Google has revamped Hangouts in a bid to make it an enterprise communication tool. It has split Hangouts app into two separate apps: Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat. While Hangouts Meet focuses on video conferencing, Hangouts Chat is all about group messaging.
Hangouts Meet allows a maximum of thirty people at a time to join a video conference using a meeting code or shared link. To put in perspective, Hangouts allows only ten people to participate in a video conference. Google calendar and Gmail are integrated into the Hangouts Meet app for seamless scheduling of meetings.
Google has incorporated a bot named @meet that can schedule meetings on your behalf. It is also available for web and iOS. Google confirmed that Hangouts Meet would be offered for all organizations with valid G suite subscription. G Suite customers will also get a dedicated dial-in phone number that can be used to enter the video conference.
Recommended: How To Get Google Assistant On Your Smartphone
On the other hand, Hangouts Chat primarily focuses on text messaging and content sharing. Using Hangouts Chat, organizations can create different chat rooms for a different line of businesses for day-to-day communication. Google has integrated Google Drive and Google Docs for easy file sharing.
It will also integrate third-party cloud services from Box, Asana, Zendesk, etc. It is also getting long-awaited search option in the chat. Otherwise, it has been cumbersome to go to any particular topic in the long conversations. We have to wait and see if it can be as sophisticated as Slack or not.
Regular users can directly download the Hangouts Meet directly from the play store. It will be rolled out to G Suite customers in next few weeks. Hangouts Chat is not ready for use, as it is still testing phase. Nevertheless, G Suite users can sign up to Google’s Early Adopters Program to get a sneak peak of the app.