Google Meet’s messy message

sometimes, Google ‘s precisely got tantalum Google. That ‘s what I ‘m starting to think when it comes to the company ‘s ever-evolving fix of messaging apps, which has systematically been one of the biggest sources of confusion ( and sometimes entertainment ) for anyone who relies on Android or other Google services — whether on a personal degree or as depart of an enterprise-level clientele. You know the effect by nowadays, right ? Take a trench breath and get ‘s try on to do this in a unmarried sprawl, record-length prison term ( and major bonus points if you manage to read it out loudly without having to pause for a breath ). ready ? here we go : Way second when, Google had a messaging service called Google talk that came installed on every Android telephone and was built right into Gmail, even though most people called it Google Chat ( or GChat for short ), and at a certain degree, Google changed that into Hangouts and made a boastfully manage about how that was its fresh universal “ coordinated messaging platform “ that ‘d be a foundation for the future — and, well, that app had everything a message service needed at the prison term, including encoding and video and a massive built-in exploiter floor, but then Google decided to stop focusing on it and alternatively launch a thousand other overlapping messaging services while finally repurposing Hangouts into an enterprise thing ( despite its name being the least business-appropriate-sounding sword conceivable, outside of possibly “ NakeyChatParty ” or, I do n’t know, “ Facebook Messenger ” ) and then besides tooting about with raw message services called Allo and Duo for consumers while simultaneously working on another texting app called Messenger that was finally renamed to Android Messages and then Google Messages and possibly equitable Messages now ( no one ‘s wholly certain ), and so then Messages and Duo ended up becoming the independent focus for consumers, for text and television, respectively, while two newly Hangouts-branded apps called Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat filled the same character on the enterprise front and the regular old Hangouts app continued to exist alongside them but then those enterprise service names were finally changed to fair Google Meet and Google Chat and the regular previous Hangouts app still exists and THAT BRINGS US TO NOW.

Whew ! Got all that ? I ‘m exhaust. But somehow, that ‘s just the start .[Get level-headed knowledge in your inbox with JR’s Android Intelligence newsletter. Tips, insights, and other tasty treats await!] even with that improbable saga, y’see, we ultimately landed in a place that actually about made sense ( if you allowed yourself to forget the past for a irregular ) : Messages and Duo were the text and video recording messaging apps for consumers, while Meet and Chat were the group chew the fat and videoconferencing apps for enterprises. Google made this differentiation abundantly clear, with a member of the message team going vitamin a far as to create and partake a handy chart that illustrated the breakdown : Tweet Twitter
Click the prototype to view the fully original tweet .
indeed that brings us to 2020 and nowadays. Following clues earlier this year that such a move might be coming, Google is nowadays making its Meet enterprise messaging service available to everyone — including consumers — and actively promote non-business users to embrace it. Per this week ‘s announcement :

You can use Meet to schedule, join or start batten video meetings with anyone — for a virtual yoga course, weekly book club, neighborhood meeting, or happy hour with friends. Until nowadays, Meet has alone been available as part of G Suite, our collaboration and productiveness solution for businesses, organizations, and schools. Going forward, Meet will be available to anyone for dislodge on the web at and via mobile apps for io or Android .

right. sol what about Duo — the consumer video chat serve apparently designed for those very same purposes ? well, it ‘s hush there, besides. Just last workweek, in fact, Google announced some improvements that ‘d bring better timbre to its code television calls along with a host of other enhance features, including the ability to have higher numbers of participants involved. And as for the previous ( “ classic ” ) translation of Hangouts, which is somehow silent hanging on amidst all of this and calm integrated in the main Gmail interface for consumer users ( where it ‘s referred to just as “ Chat ” in the web site ‘s settings, by the by, in case you needed an supernumerary pinch of confusion ) — well, Google has n’t yet committed to any specific timeframe for when it ‘ll pull the punch and put that matter out of its misery already. But hera ‘s the real kicker : The company says it intends to “ support classic Hangouts users until everyone is successfully migrated to Chat and Meet ” — in other words, until all the consumer users of that old service are transitioned into those allegedly enterprise-focused current services.

Yeeeeeeah. In addressing some of the criticism of this unharmed messaging mess, a Google messaging coach once pointed out the dispute between “ what a product is for vs. who has access to a product ” — with the underlying deduction, I assume, that Messages and Duo were positioned for consumer use while Chat and Meet were positioned for enterprise function, evening if some users from one area occasionally had access to the other. That ‘s carnival enough. But how does that explanation in any manner line up with Google now actively encourage consumer users to rely on Meet ( while simultaneously encouraging them to rely on Duo for the lapp aim ) and then preparing to “ migrate ” the remaining consumer users of the old Hangouts avail into the enterprise-intended Chat and Meet — rather of into their consumer-intended equivalents ? valet, my head hurts .No one has a clear and consistent understanding of what these services are meant to be If there ‘s one real takeaway from all of this, it ‘s that no one, least of all Google, seems to have a pass and consistent understand of what the hell these message services are meant to be right now. And when the party behind the products ca n’t even present that kind of simple and easy-to-understand dislocation, how are we as users supposed to have any luck of deciphering it ? The solution from that is far-flung confusion, both on the consumer end and on the enterprise side. Imagine trying to explain all of this to an modal android phone-owner who ‘s trying to figure out which app is appropriate for them and worth getting invested in — or to an enterprise decision-maker who ‘s weighing out Google ‘s communication options alongside those of a competing serve supplier. It ‘s hard to imagine any solution other than something along the lines of : “ What ? ! All right — never take care. Screw it. Let ‘s just use slack ” ( or WhatsApp, or whatever the appropriate alternative might be ). And that ‘s a dishonor, because Google authentically has some estimable services. And it has the potential to have some great services — services that could be uniquely positioned to solve the cross-platform communication struggles so many of us deal with and grumble about on a daily basis. All it ‘d take is getting out of its own curse way and oversee to keep a reproducible concenter for more than a count of minutes. I ‘m honestly starting to wonder, though, if when it comes to Google and messaging service strategy, that ‘s plainly excessively much to ask.

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