Allo and Duo Get “Corporate” Siblings as Google Splits Hangouts into Bot-Powered Apps to Take on Slack

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Mar 9, 2017
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So Hangouts was still alive… It would be now. Google is making some significant changes to its Hangouts app by breaking it into two hipster, Slack-killing workplace tools. Talk about Microsoft and Slack getting some competition.

Of course, Google wouldn’t let others take on the workplace communication market when it already offers some of the most popular tools with its G Suite. The company has now reimagined its Hangouts app, breaking it into two parts to offer better communication apps. The two new apps will be called Hangouts Meet for video conferencing and Hangouts Chat for group text chatting – very similar to Slack.

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Google announced the news today at its Next conference in San Francisco.

Google Hangouts – now Meet and Chat

Chat app is a take on Slack, which will be available to all the Google G Suite customers. The new app will allow business users to create virtual rooms where they can hold group conversations. Chat also offers to break conversations into threads, much like Slack. The app includes a new @meet bot that will automatically schedule meetings on Hangouts Meet. The meet-bot will compare Google Calendar schedules to look for an open time available to all the chat participants.

Chat will further integrate with third-party services like Box, Zendesk, and Asana. Currently in testing, businesses can sign up to try it out using Google’s Early Adopter Program.

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The new collaborative video chatting Hangouts Meet app was actually launched a week ago by the company. Meet allows business customers to conduct 30-person video conferences without the need of each of them having their own account. A simple invitation link could be shared via email or Calendar and over 30 people can join a particular meeting by simply clicking on that shared link, even from the road by dialing in from phone.

Meet allows users to pull files from G Suite. It also integrates directly with G Suite, which means “information you need about each meeting is automatically pulled from Calendar,” Google said. “For our G Suite Enterprise customers, each meeting comes with a dedicated dial-in phone number, so team members on the road can feel connected and productive in meetings despite wi-fi or data issues.”

You can get access to Meet on the web or download it on Google Play.

While it’s too early to say if the two new apps will meet any success, Hangouts Meet and Chat could help Google to finally break into the messaging world.

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