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Google brings some unity to its message apps, but not in the way we hoped

Google is moving all its major communication products to one team, rather than having them all over the place.

Published onMay 7, 2020

Google Duo stock photo 3
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Google is moving all of its major communication products to one team, rather than having them all over the place with a bunch of different people in charge. Hopefully, this should lead to improvements across the board in terms of Google messaging apps, namely its Duo, Messages, Meet, and Phone apps.

Javier Soltero was brought into Google to be the VP and GM of G Suite, and now he’s going to be in charge of all the company’s communication products. However, he told The Verge that there are no immediate plans to change or integrate any of Google’s apps. It could be quite some time before we see any actual changes to the functionality of Duo, Messages, or the Phone app. In fact, he actually said that he felt “it would be irresponsible” to make changes to any of these apps too rapidly, as “these products are playing an important role in people’s lives.”

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Google Meet

Google has always faltered when it comes to organizing its suite of messaging and chat apps and services. Between canceled apps, renames, and overlap, there’s certainly room for improvement, and it’ll be interesting to see if Javier Soltero is able to push the company in the right direction in that regard.

Google made a full statement on the leadership change:

We are bringing all of Google’s collective communication products together under one leader and unified team that will be led by Javier Soltero, VP and GM of G Suite. Javier will remain in Cloud, but will also join the leadership team under Hiroshi Lockheimer, SVP of Platforms and Ecosystems. Outside of this update, there are no other changes to the personnel and Hiroshi will continue to play a significant role in our ongoing partnership efforts.

There has already been some fairly rapid movement in terms of Google’s messaging apps. Soltero has used his short time at the helm of Google Meet and Google Chat to clean up the mess that is Google Hangouts and its branding. Hangouts Video changed to Google Meet and Hangouts Chat became Google Chat, which is a naming convention that makes far more sense. Hopefully, he’s able to do something similar to Duo and the rest of the apps he leads.