If you’re wondering what is Google’s actual messaging strategy, so is every one else. Hangouts started as different apps that over time got merged together to form a complete messaging solution, then instead of trying to push it, Google brought two new half-baked apps that did only one thing. It was announced that Hangouts will take the corporate route and now Hangouts is being split again into two different apps. But it’s not as bad as it sounds. The new apps are called Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet and are geared towards enterprise users directly facing off against the likes of Slack and Skype.
First off is Hangouts Chat, which as you’d expect from the name, is centred around text-based messaging. It has been completely redesigned though and looks like an entirely different app with a hint of the old Hangouts. It’s specialities include file sharing, group conversations with @usernames (threaded conversations) and even a @meet chat bot that quickly schedules video conferences that can be instantly added to the Calendar of everyone in the room, or just specific individuals.
Third party bots and apps can too be brought right into a conversation. Asana, Box, Prosperworks, and Zendesk are already working with Google to make their products live inside the new Hangouts. There is of course a deep integration with other G Suite services, and a filterable search which is where Hangouts Chat looks to exceed Slack and Microsoft Teams.
Hangouts Meet is the video conferencing chunk of the Hangouts enterprise suit with one goal – “make joining meetings effortless so that people can be as productive as they are when they’re face-to-face.” Hangouts Meet is designed to have a “light, fast interface and smart participant management.” Meetings are as easy to start as sharing a link – no fiddling around with logins, plugins, or native applications. Up to 30 people can join at once from their PCs, Smartphones or even a dedicated dial-in number for G-Suite Enterprise customers. Other features include a native, full-screen presenting mode, with G-Suite integration pulling information that users need for each meeting.
While the future of the original Hangouts app seems uncertain, it is good to see that Google is at least this time very clear about the kind of customers it is targeting with these new apps. Hangouts is no longer meant for the average person. It’s made specifically for the working men and women of the world who are getting big things done on a daily basis.
It’s also quite obvious that the original Hangouts app still has more users than Allo and Duo combined. “We know people use Hangouts for work in the consumer space, so it’ll be offered for them,” Google’s director of product management for Drive, Scott Johnston told TechCrunch. So we’ll probably still have Hangouts as well?
The company says all G-Suite Enterprise customers can try out Hangouts Meet as of today while Hangouts Chat should be available by the next few weeks. G Suite customers can apply to try Hangouts Chat through the Early Adopter Program.
In fact, Hangouts Meet is already online on the Playstore. You can also get the APK from APKMirror. According to The Verge, free, non-paying Google Account users will have access to Hangouts Chat through a “freemium” model later in the future. Both the apps being geared towards G-Suite Enterprise customers it’s understandable if you don’t much care about them however.
Like a true lover perhaps we should all be happy that Hangouts has finally found love, even if it’s not us. What do you think about Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet?
Source : Google