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Google streamlines Hangouts by taking aim at Slack

Welp, Google finally got around to converting Hangouts into an enterprise app. This leaves Allo and Duo as Google only consumer cross-platform messaging app. However, Google still has Android Messages and Google Talk, both of which have recently gotten updates.  Besides a headache from Google’s messaging mess, their new Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet apps look astonishing.

The Hangouts Chat app is similar to Slack. There is support for multiple rooms where you can talk about one topic, and it includes threaded messages. There is a deep integration with Google Apps, letting you share Google Docs, calendar events and other documents from inside the Google Apps organization. There is also Hangouts Meet which is the video conferencing solution. Meet is light and fast, and make it easy to get a conference call going. There are tools to manage who’s invited, and you can easily invite outside participants.

Hangouts new app Meet and Chat

Hangouts Meet and Chat takes aim at Slack

Like Slack, the Chat app offers third-party integration, aka bots. You could soon have Asana, Box, or Zendesk message a chat room when something happens. It’ll make Hangouts more powerful, allowing you not to worry about missed notifications ever again. Both the Meet and Chat app are meant to be lightweight and fast, something the older previous version of Hangouts couldn’t claim.

The old Hangouts app will continue to work for the time being. What is unclear is where Project Fi’s cross-platform phone syncing will go to. The feature has lived inside Google Hangouts for some time now, and if the app dies it has nowhere to go. Google’s been working to get the feature to play nice with the new Google Talk app, but I’m unsure if they’ll get that out before they kill the app.

Tell us in the comment below – do you think Google can compete with Slack with Meet and Chat, or will it fall flat?

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