Google has finally revamped the Hangouts service into more enterprise focused Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet. It was hinted earlier by the tech giant, at the time of launching Google Allo and Duo last year.
Hangouts Chat is a group chat app, quite similar to Slack, while Meet is an app that improves the video calling service of Hangouts.
Hangouts Chat features rooms for different projects and groups with threaded conversation. Deep integration with G-Suite allows users to share drive files, photos or videos quite easily via this app. Another notable feature in Chat is the powerful search option with filters that easily surfaces contents. Hangouts Chat, as a platform, also supports third-party bots built using Google App Script.
Meet on the other hand is the first-party bot built into Hangouts. It uses natural language processing and machine learning to automatically schedule "meets" as in meetings in the app and also in Google Calendar.
According to the company, Google Meet's main aim is to create "a light, fast interface and smart participant management."
Meet supports up to 30 people to join the video conferencing both in mobile app and on a desktop. It only requires a shared link to join Meet and access Calendar as well. This new revamped video conferencing app doesn't require any accounts, plugins or downloads. Other notable features of Hangouts Meet include a native, full screen presenting mode.
Hangouts Meet has already been started to roll out from Thursday and will be made available to all users within a few weeks. G-Suite customers can already apply to try out Chat through this Early Adopter Program. Apps will be available for iOs, Android and web.
As per a report by The Verge, free Google Accounts users will later have access to Hangouts Chat through a model called "freemium".