In the latter half of 2016, Google announced that Hangouts was set to move towards a more enterprise format, being integrated into G Suite to help businesses keep their employees connected. Allo and Duo were all set to take the place of the ancient chat app that has had its purpose flip-flopped more times than any of us can count. This transition has yet to occur (likely due to Allo and Duo not changing much since launch), but it seems that the company is finally looking to ease into a business format for hangouts with the introduction of Meet.
Meet looks eerily similar to Hangouts in design, sporting the same large background image in the web client with information overlayed on top. Currently, you can use the web client and iOS app to set a custom meeting code and invite up to 30 participants, up from the 10 total members able to attend Google Hangouts video calls.
Though the app is now available on the Apple App store, the product page on the G Suite website is not yet live, and gives a 404 when accessed. We know what you’re thinking: “But what about Android? Is Google abandoning their own ecosystem once again?”. For now, there is no listing available on the Google Play Store. Given the product was so quietly launched yesterday without so much as a peep from Google themselves however, it’s possible that they are simply waiting for the official announcement to get this into the hands of Android users (we hope).
Within the app, users can access a variety of features that make it easy to make it to as many meetings as possible. If you’re on the go and can’t video chat, you can always call in using the special dial-in number for your team, making it easy to get all the information you need while driving or on the train.
The app can also hook into things like GMail and Google Calendar to allow co-workers to set appropriate times for calls, and should work nicely with the rest of G Suite once released.
Does your business use G Suite? Are you ready to switch chat apps again?
Let us know.