Almost a year ago today, Google announced its new vision for Hangouts. It would break Hangouts apart into two apps – Meet and Chat – while adding advanced features to them. Meet was available pretty quickly to most, but Hangouts Chat has only been in beta or as a part of an Early Access Program. Today, Hangouts Chat leaves that EAP and will be available to all G Suite users as a core application.
What’s different about Hangouts Chat? While we have yet to use it (don’t worry, we will use it soon), you’ll see a fair amount of people compare it to Slack. Hangouts Chat is Google’s take on the modern project management, group messaging application. You can chat with everyone in your organization, make groups, and that sort of thing, of course, but the app includes integrations from other apps too. You’ll be able to work with Drive applications easily within chats, there are bots in chats to help you set meetings and find files, and companies like Kayak, Vonage, Uberconference, Freshdesk, and others have all setup shop within Chat.
In order to get Hangouts Chat, you’ll need your G Suite admin to turn it on for everyone. Once that happens, you can hit up the link below to install Android, iOS, and desktop apps.
Google says that it should be available to everyone over the next 7 days.