Google is happy to support two almost identical products at the same time. It̵
The creatively named chat service is Google’s answer to Slack and Microsoft Teams. It’s an instant messaging client with collaboration tools and security enhancements not available in the download Hangouts client, which has not changed much since its launch in 2013. Chat is currently a paid service for
G Suite Google Workspace customers, but it’s free for everyone in 2021.
Google Chat will inherit Gmail integration, which is one of the great benefits of Hangouts. But if you use Hangouts with Google Fi, then you’re pretty screwed! Hangouts support for Google Fi will end early next year, so you’ll be stuck calling and sending messages from the Google Messages app. Our friends at Google say that Messages will soon come to the browser, so maybe there is some silver lining here.
Chat also misses out on Google Voice integration. If you use Hangouts with Google Voice, get ready to start using the dedicated Voice app. Other Hangouts features, such as group video chats, end in November and December.
Goss, it really sounds like all these apps are doing the same thing! Do you believe Hangouts is not the first instant message killed by Google? We can only hope that Google consolidates more of the duplication services in the future.
Source: Google via The Verge