Google splits Hangouts into ‘Chat’ and ‘Meet’ to take on Slack

March 10 04:44 2017

The new communication app for business is Hangouts Chat, which is now only open to G Suite customers enrolled in Google’s Early Adopter Program. In an effort to make Hangouts more business-friendly, Google is splitting the service into two separate apps: Hangouts Meet, a videoconferencing app, and Hangouts Chat, a Slack-like messaging app designed for teams.

One of the new services is called Hangouts Meet, which is pictured above. Google’s focus on enterprise has been met with some disappointment by users as a decent Slack/Skype solution has never been offered. You can also call upon bots in these rooms. Guests who have not been specifically invited but given access through the shared link can “knock” and ask to join the conversation. Stupid stuff like this may come in handy come the future. Users with G Suite Enterprise Edition licenses get dedicated dial-in phone numbers for their meetings, “so team members on the road can feel connected and productive in meetings despite wi-fi or data issues”, Johnston said. It’s available starting today, with enterprise users getting a more extensive feature set soon.

Having launched Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based chatting apps – Allo (text) and Duo (videos) – for the public, Google’s Hangouts, henceforth, will be offered as dedicated communication application as a part of the G Suite service pack offered to companies. Google is trying to convince consumers to switch from Hangouts to its Duo video-calling app and Allo messaging app, but its unclear how many people now use those new services.

Another major feature will be app scripts.

Google claims to have streamlined the interface to make it lighter, faster and smoother as well and claim that running even 30-person video conferencing will be smooth and easy. It boasts @meet, an intelligent bot that uses natural language processing and machine learning to automatically schedule meetings with Google Calendar. If this sounds very familiar, it should – it’s exactly what Google did with Allo and Duo – which, by most metrics, appear to have failed rather spectacularly.

If you use a G suite enabled account, it says there that you get to know the full potential of the app. Of course, things will probably change before it goes live entirely, but for now, it looks rather nice.

Meanwhile, the Drive service has been overhauled to better support group use. Since hiring Diane Greene, the former CEO and founder of enterprise software company VMware (vmw), as head of its cloud business unit, Google is heavily marketing itself as a sort of one-stop-shop for business technology. That said, it should not take much time for Google to add such features, although the company has not provided an upcoming feature list as such.

Google Hangouts Chat

Google splits Hangouts into ‘Chat’ and ‘Meet’ to take on Slack
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