Hangouts should've been renamed to Hangups. Connection issues were so rampant, and was one of the primary reasons Google Helpouts failed so badly.
I disagree. I used hangouts to call my wife and kids frequently from Afghanistan over a 2Mbps satellite connection and never experienced a hangup. in fact, the voice and video quality was FAR superior to any other voice/video offering on the market. It worked for me in 2007-8 and 2011-12 without a hitch. I have also leveraged it for years in my asterisk pbx without issues on hours long conference calls. that being said, hangouts itself is not being retired (thankfully), the API is.