Google Hangouts is one of the most popular messaging apps from Google, but things were left messy when the tech giant came in with Allo and Duo, two apps that basically offer what Hangouts offers as a single app.
In fact, many were left unimpressed with Google’s decision to remove Google Hangouts as the main chat app on Android devices, instead, replacing it with Google Duo as the default app. Well, according to the search engine company, the main reason for doing this is to promote Hangouts as an enterprise app while leaving Allo and Duo for mainstream mobile phone users.
Whether this is paying off or not is still early to tell, but from what Google is doing, it appears that the Hangouts app will indeed get deeper and deeper into the enterprise world in the coming days. So far, the baby steps are now seeing the company join the team collaboration space and it’s now taking on the likes of Slack, Workplace by Facebook, Cisco Spark and Microsoft Teams with its own Google Hangouts Chat.
At the moment, this new Google Hangouts Chat is still in private beta and what it does is bring together private rooms for conversations on G-Suite as well as other third-party platforms. What this means is that when you subscribe to G-Suite, you’ll automatically gain access to Hangouts Chat for free.
As noted earlier, Google Hangouts has excelled as a chat app, but the search engine giant is now taking Slack’s direction by making it easier to switch from discussions to video calls in a click. Some of the features that Google Hangouts Chat brings to the table include the ability to generate a link which can be used by anyone to join the discussion without the need to download the app or even get a plugin. If you need to make a conference call, the app also comes with a unique dial-in phone number for this purpose. Furthermore, you also get a larger meeting size (up to 30 people in a single call), custom workflows and so on.
The company has also launched a bot known as @meet and this one is aimed at helping with scheduling meetings on your behalf. The bot will go through your calendars within the G Suite account and schedule meetings and events for you, thus saving time you’d have wasted doing the same. Apparently, developers can add more bots to the new Google Hangouts Chat once it leaves the beta channel, but for now, there’s still no integration with Google Assistant.