I shouldn’t be surprised I’m writing this article in 2020, but Google is preparing to release another communications app. According to a report by The Information, Google’s new app – no name was provided – will bring together various parts of G Suite, including Gmail, Hangouts Chat, Hangouts Meet, and Google Drive.
Here we go again.
Add it to the long list of Google’s attempts to get people to talk to one another. Off the top of my head, there’s Gmail, Hangouts, Google+, Gchat, Allo, Duo, Spaces, Wave, RCS, Inbox, that weird chat interface in YouTube, and probably something else I’m forgetting. How many of those do you actually use, among those that actually remain?
Keeping up with Google’s communications efforts is harder than keeping up with the plot of the Marvel universe.
The app is being tested internally at Google at the moment and will be available as part of G Suite, meaning it is aimed at businesses. That’s the one area Hangouts still has some regular traction since it was split into two apps, so it makes some sense. From the report, it seems the app might be something of a Slack and Teams competitor, although it’s light on details about how the app will actually function.
Given the timing of the leak – it’s based on a conference that happened in mid-January – I wouldn’t be surprised to see the app make its debut later this year at Google I/O (a pretty safe bet for major Google announcements anyway). Until then, we’ll have to make do with one of the other twenty or so ways Google lets us communicate.