The tech world is buzzing over the news that on June 26th, Google is replacing Gchat with Google Hangouts. This is a tough loss for students and employees who have mastered the art of appearing to work while secretly chatting with friends. The stealth option to chat while “sending emails” was the perfect coping mechanism for a boring class or workday.
So, why is this happening to us?
Well, Google unveiled Google Hangouts in 2013 with the intention to replace Gchat. But they gave users the option to continue to use the “maybe I AM emailing, who’s to say” Gchat format. Google Hangouts offers the exact same instant messaging feature as Gchat. Additionally, Google Hangouts offers the option to call or use video.
For any Gen Xers reading this, Google Hangouts is like AIM, Skype, and a cell phone all in one.
So, really with the exception of being sneaky, Google Hangouts has the superior format.
For you smartypants who are thinking, “No problem, I’ll beat the system and just use the Google Talk app on my phone” — good thinking, but sorry, no dice. The Google Talk Android app will no longer work, same with any other apps that were designed to use with Talk.
To help you cope with the switch, Google has seven other messaging apps you can choose from. These include Allo, Duo, Voice, and Voice.
But ultimately, it’s probably best to enjoy Gchat now, while we still have it, and get used to the new system when it shows up on June 26th.
The good news is, we’ve gotten used to new systems in the past and we’ll get used to this one too. It’s really just a different interface that users will need to get accustomed to. As far as tricking teachers and bosses that we’re listening, people have been doing that for years. Odds are we’ll find a way to sneak this new system into school/work too!