Microsoft Teams gets a new competitor as Google introduces Hangouts Chat

Mar 12, 2017, 01:06
Microsoft Teams gets a new competitor as Google introduces Hangouts Chat

At its ongoing Next conference in San Francisco, Google announced a revamped version of its Hangouts app in the GSuite with Hangouts Meet for video conferencing and Hangouts Chat for enterprise messaging. According to TechCrunch, every meeting through Meet will come with a dial-in number, which has a PIN code attached. Google is hoping that with people already familiar with the services it offers to normies - Allo and Duo - and its cloud growing as an enterprise platform, companies will be inclined to take up G-Suite and Hangouts as well.

These new changes are very similar to another app: Slack. And now Google has added Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet to the mix.

Google Hangouts is now divided into two: Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat and it wants to take on Slack. G Suite packages start at $5 per month. It will integrate with third-party services like Box, Asana and others. Team members create virtual rooms to hold conversations in, with threaded conversations allowing anyone and everyone to follow what's being said. Inside, users can share content from the likes of Google Docs and Google Drive, as well as view pictures and videos. One bot from Google is "Meet", which can scan everyone's Google calendar and pick a time for a meeting.

Those interested in giving it a try can download the Google Hangouts Meet APK right below.

The company reiterated its plan to focus Hangouts on "enterprise use cases" when it announced in January that it was retiring the Google+ Hangouts API, cutting off third-party consumer apps that integrated with it.

But the interface has been completely redesigned from the old version Hangouts, with an updated look that makes it easier to see everyone on the call.

Both Slack and GSuite are practically prerequisites for many modern companies, and while before they perfectly complimented each other, Google is now turning Slack into a competitor. Rumors and speculation have pointed to Google making Hangouts enterprise-only and pushing consumers towards Allo and Duo, but Fulay's Tweet, made in reply to a curious user, stands as assurance that, for now at least, that won't be happening. Google Drive's Scott Johnston explained the reason for the new implementation. Furthermore, you also get a larger meeting size (up to 30 people in a single call), custom workflows and so on. "Rooms and Conversations make it possible for teams to work on entire projects in a productive way that keeps work moving forward, especially when teams can't meet face-to-face". "So there are two app entry points, but they are the same family". Are you likely to use Hangouts Chat? Notably, Hangouts Meet is also available as a web client at https://meet.google.com/.