Trying to locate team chat and video tools is challenging enough, but delving into Google’s many offerings may be plain perplexing. Does anybody use Google Hangouts anymore? The question is: how does Google Hangouts vary from Google Chat? To start, what is Google Meet and how does it vary from Google Duo?
It’s a bit complicated, and you’re not alone in your confusion. Here’s a rundown of some of Google’s most popular video and chat offerings. In-depth summaries are available by clicking on the links below.
Since its launch in 2013, Google Hangouts has been the company’s primary means of online communication for both text and video. This service will be limited to consumer accounts (those with a @gmail.com or @googlemail.com address) beginning in June 2020. You may access Hangouts from the sidebar of your Gmail account or at hangouts.google.com.
Video conferencing has never been easier than with Google Meet, formerly known as Google Hangouts Meet, and now available as part of Google Workspace (formerly G Suite). Meet also offers a no-cost version. Meet is very much like the video chat service offered in the consumer Hangouts, but it can accommodate a far larger number of users at once. You may access Meet at meet.google.com.
Formerly known as Google Hangouts Chat, Google Chat is a premium feature of Google Workspace. If you use Gmail for business, you already have a premium Google Workspace account and access to Chat. App features private chat like consumer Hangouts and threaded team channels like Slack. Visit chat.google.com to join the conversation.
The Google Duo app allows users to have one-on-one video chats on desktop and mobile devices, similar to Apple’s FaceTime. Visit duo.google.com to access Duo.
On Android, sending and receiving text messages is handled by Messages. Turning on chat features may grant access to a subset of more advanced services, such iMessage on Apple smartphones, though this will vary by carrier.
Want some more info? Read on for an overview, some screenshots, and a whole lot more information. We’ll begin with a brief overview of Google’s enterprise services (Meet and Chat) before moving on to the consumer apps.
Google’s Response to Zoom Is Google Meet
Google Meet (formerly Google Hangouts Meet) is Google’s workplace video conferencing platform, available to Google Workspace customers and to all Google users for free. Meet has capabilities that aren’t available in Hangouts, such as real-time captioning and the ability to accommodate up to 250 participants and 100,000 live stream watchers. The maximum number of people who can participate in a video call on Hangouts is 25. Meetings can be initiated at meet.google.com, or scheduled in advance with Google Chat or Google Calendar.
In contrast to Google Hangouts’ typically dark user interface, Meet’s features are organised in a clean, white menu bar. Each call participant is displayed on the right side of your screen, and you have the option to disable your camera, mute your mic, or share your screen. You may switch between a grid view and the default layout, which displays the video of the person who is speaking, just as you can in Hangouts.
Whether you want to share your entire desktop, just one Chrome tab, or just one window, Meet has you covered. We found that in our experiments, Google Meet performed similarly to regular Hangouts. The main drawback is that, like all other video chat services, it can quickly deplete your battery life and cause your laptop’s fans to start spinning when you’re on a call for an extended period of time. You can change the video quality from the default 720p stream down to 360p if it’s playing too slowly.
Google Workspace is where you will find resources like documentation and tutorials for Google Meet. Through the use of Zapier and Google Calendar, you can set up a meeting on Google Meet without having to manually do so. Google Meet is just one of the dozens of apps that Zapier can integrate with. Here are some of the more common uses:
Google’s Alternative to Slack, Chat
Formerly known as Google Hangouts Chat, Google Chat is a recent addition to Google’s suite of team communication tools, competing with Slack and Microsoft Teams. You can access it with any Google Workspace account.
Conversations between groups inside your organisation are the main emphasis of chat. Your chat groups will be tailored to the specific teams you invite members from. When compared to Slack, where threads are purely optional, Chat is the de facto method of communication, as each group is essentially a collection of threaded chats. Similarly to the consumer version of Google Hangouts, you can send messages to specific people within your organisation to have private talks.
You can do things like schedule meetings and transfer files without ever leaving the app, thanks to its tight integration with the rest of Google Workspace. If you’re working on a Google Doc and want to make sure the whole team can see it, just share it and the sharing settings will be adjusted in Chat automatically. Then, while looking into your team’s past discussions, you may narrow your results by the kind of documents you’ve shared (Google Docs, Slides, or Sheets).
Chat, alongside focused dialogues, aids in avoiding distractions with individualised notifications. You can customise the discussions you receive alerts for, as well as the mediums in which you receive those alerts (mobile or email).
Among the Many Google Chat Apps, Which One Should You Use?
Over the years, Google has released a dozen or more different chat programmes, both voice and text based. Google Talk and Wave have disappeared for good, Allo failed swiftly, and I’m sure there are more I’m forgetting. Which apps will be around in a few years hence is anyone’s guess. To which of Google’s messenger apps should you subscribe? Read this summary to get an idea of what features each app provides.