So you’ve been using Google Hangouts for years to stay in touch with friends and family, host work meetings, or even livestream to your fans and followers. But now Google has announced they’re upgrading Hangouts to an all-new messaging platform called Google Chat. What does this mean for you? How will it change how you connect and communicate?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the transition from Google Hangouts to Google Chat.
We’ll explore all the new features Chat offers, how it differs from Hangouts, when you can expect the upgrade to happen, and most importantly, how you can get started with Chat to stay connected with the people who matter most.
By the end, you’ll be a Google Chat pro and ready to make the switch from Hangouts. So sit back, relax, and let’s dive in!
Google Hangouts Upgraded to Google Chat: What’s New
Google recently upgraded Google Hangouts to Google Chat. If you’re a Hangouts user, here’s what you need to know:
- Google Chat has a fresh new look with customizable themes to match your style. You can change the color scheme and choose an icon to represent you.
- Chat works on the web, Android and iOS so you can stay in touch wherever you are. The mobile apps have been redesigned to be faster and easier to navigate.
- All your Hangouts conversations and contacts automatically migrate to Chat so you can pick up right where you left off. But Chat also has new features like read receipts, message reactions and suggested replies to streamline your conversations.
- Chat integrates with other Google services like Gmail, Calendar and Drive to provide a unified communications experience. You can start a video call directly from a Chat message or share files without leaving the app.
- Chat has enhanced security and admin controls for businesses. Company administrators can manage user access, monitor compliance and configure data retention policies to meet their needs.
- While Chat replaces Hangouts, Google Voice and Google Meet will continue as separate services. Your Voice number and call history won’t be impacted. And you can still start or join video meetings with Google Meet.
The upgrade to Google Chat brings a fresher, more integrated messaging experience across Google’s communication tools. With a familiar feel and new capabilities, Chat aims to be the messaging service that does it all. Why not give it a try – you might just find a new favorite way to stay in touch!
Key Features of Google Chat
Google Chat, the new and improved version of Google Hangouts, has some great features that make it easy to connect with your coworkers or friends.
One of the best parts of Chat is that it’s integrated right into Gmail, so you don’t have to switch between apps. Just look for the Chat icon in the Gmail sidebar to start a new message or see your ongoing conversations.
Chat also has rooms, which are spaces for group conversations. You can create rooms for different teams, projects, or common interests. Anyone with a link can join a room, so they’re great for collaborating with people outside your company too.
- Send messages, photos, emoji, GIFs and stickers to liven up your conversations
- Start video calls with up to 25 people so you can see your colleagues face to face
- Share your screen to review documents, presentations or any other content together
- Set away messages to let people know if you’re out of office or unavailable
- Get notifications on your desktop and mobile devices so you never miss an important message
With Chat, you have a powerful communication hub where you can instantly connect through messaging or video calling. Compared to Hangouts, the interface is more modern and user-friendly. The extra features like stickers, away messages and screen sharing also make teamwork and collaboration so much easier. Overall, Chat is a big step up and helps you get more done with your coworkers and friends.
How to Use Google Chat for Your Business
Chat Features for Business
Google Chat comes with many features useful for business communication and collaboration. As an upgrade from Hangouts, Chat is integrated with Gmail and the rest of the G Suite apps, allowing you to:
- Start chat conversations directly from Gmail by clicking the chat icon next to a contact’s email. This makes connecting with coworkers and clients more convenient than ever.
- Create chat rooms to discuss projects, share files, and work together in real time. Invite specific coworkers or entire departments to join the room. Everything shared in the room is automatically saved and searchable.
- Share your screen to present documents, spreadsheets, slideshows and more with coworkers. The screen sharing feature allows for interactive collaboration and editing.
- Make video calls with up to 250 participants so you can host team meetings, client calls, and virtual events right within Chat. Record the calls to share with anyone who couldn’t attend.
- Sync Chat with your company directory to see the availability and contact info for all coworkers. Presence indicators show you who is currently online, away or offline so you know the best way to reach them.
- Use Chat’s built-in bots and integrations to streamline business processes. Add bots for task management, scheduling meetings, and more. Integrate with your CRM, project management tools and other workplace software.
Transitioning from Hangouts
If your business currently uses Hangouts for communication and collaboration, transitioning to Chat is easy. All your Hangouts conversations, contacts, and rooms will automatically migrate to Chat. However, Hangouts video calls and On Air broadcasts will not transfer over, so you’ll need to start using Chat’s video calling and live streaming features going forward. Make sure all employees are trained on Chat before discontinuing use of Hangouts. The upgrade to Chat will allow your business to have an even more productive collaborative experience.
Google Chat vs Other Messaging Apps: A Comparison
Google Chat is Google’s new messaging service, replacing Google Hangouts in 2023. How does it compare to other popular messaging apps? Here’s what you need to know.
Google Chat has many of the same features as Hangouts, like group chats, video calling, and screen sharing. It also has some new features like message reactions, read receipts, and message search. Compared to WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, Chat may seem basic. However, for simple messaging between friends or coworkers, it has all the essentials.
Privacy and Security
Google Chat uses end-to-end encryption to keep your conversations private. Your messages and calls are encrypted so no one, not even Google, can see them. WhatsApp also uses end-to-end encryption, while Facebook Messenger does not. If privacy is a concern, Chat and WhatsApp are better options.
Compatibility and Devices
Google Chat works on Android and iOS mobile devices as well as on the web. You can use it on phones, tablets, and computers. This wide compatibility is similar to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. All three services also have desktop apps for Windows and Mac if you prefer.
Google Chat is completely free to use, as are WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. There are no in-app purchases or subscriptions required.
Overall, Google Chat holds its own against other popular messaging services. While it may lack some of the advanced features of WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, for basic messaging needs between friends or coworkers, Chat is a simple, secure, and compatible option. And since it’s made by Google, you know it will continue to improve over time.
FAQ: Your Top Questions About Google Chat Answered
When will Google Hangouts officially become Google Chat?
Google announced in 2021 that Google Hangouts will be upgraded to Google Chat in 2023. The exact date of the transition is still to be determined, but Google will provide plenty of advance notice before Hangouts is discontinued.
Will my Hangouts conversations and contacts transfer over?
Yes, Google has confirmed that all your Hangouts conversations, contacts, and other data will automatically migrate to Google Chat. You won’t lose any of your Hangouts history or have to start over adding contacts. The upgrade to Chat will be seamless.
What new features will Google Chat have?
Google Chat offers several improvements over Hangouts:
- A modern, clean interface with customizable themes
- Improved search to easily find past conversations and contacts
- Smart replies and AI-based features to help you respond faster
- Integrated with other G Suite apps like Gmail, Calendar, and Drive for easier collaboration
- Spaces to organize conversations by topic, project, or team
- Safety features like spam filtering, blocking, and reporting abuse
Will Google Chat be free to use?
Yes, Google Chat will continue to be a free messaging service for all Google account holders. There are no plans to charge for any features in Google Chat.
Can I still use Hangouts after the upgrade?
No, once Google Hangouts is upgraded to Google Chat, the Hangouts service and apps will no longer be available or supported. All your conversations and contacts will have moved over to Google Chat, so you’ll need to start using the Chat service and apps going forward.
How do I get started with Google Chat?
When Google Hangouts officially becomes Google Chat in 2023, the Chat website and apps will automatically replace Hangouts. You’ll simply need to start using chat.google.com or the Chat apps on your devices. All your Hangouts data and contacts will already be there waiting for you. Google will also provide resources to help you get started with Chat and make the most of its new features.
So there you have it, everything you need to know about the latest changes coming to Google Hangouts and the new Google Chat. The transition may take some getting used to, but the additional features and streamlined experience will make the switch worth it. Google is working hard to provide the best communication tools and keep you connected to friends, family, and coworkers.
While technology is always changing, connecting with others will always remain important. Make the most of the new Google Chat and all it has to offer – happy chatting! The future of messaging is here.