February 20, 2022
Google in the year 2000:
Google in the year 2020:
It turns out that Google moved to block logins from many open source Web browsers a few years ago, and has neither reversed nor explained that decision since.
I’d missed that development at the time, as I’m using Firefox on most of my systems, and Google continues to fund Mozilla, I’m guessing as a smokescreen for their otherwise almost complete dominance of Web technology.
However Google does let me sign in on Firefox ESR. Having done that … instead of letting me use Hangouts in my mobile browser, it redirects me … to the Google Play store. Apparently the heuristic they’re using here is “is a mobile; isn’t an iOS device; therefore must be Android!”. Sigh.
Okay, I know Hangouts is being deprecated. Let’s try the new hotness … Chat. Nope, same behaviour: redirects me to install the “Google Chat standalone app”, assuming I’m on an Android phone when I’m not.
It turns out: Chat currently requires Chrome in order to work.
I could at this point look at installing Chromium on my PinePhone and see if I can get it going that way, but honestly, at this point I’m done.
My sincere apologies to the few remaining people I know using Google Chat to communicate with me. Drop me an email instead :)