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Hangouts Meet's chat functionality lets you message work peers while video conferencing
If nothing else, at least Google has plenty of ways to communicate with others – Allo, Duo, and Hangouts on the consumer side, while Hangouts Meet and Chat sit on the enterprise section of the spectrum. As far as the business side is concerned, Meet is focused on video conferencing, while Chat serves as more of a chatting tool.
The main difference between the two business apps is availability – whereas Chat is still baking in the oven, Meet is available right now. That difference did not stop Google, however, from updating Meet to feature chat functionality.
Visually, the only thing that has changed on the web-based version is the new chat tab that is part of the side drawer, which can also be opened by clicking on any chat notification on the bottom right. Meanwhile, the mobile Meet app features the chat tab on the far right.
Even with chat functionality, however, do not expect to be able to save those conversations – they will only exist during calls and are deleted once the call ends, so keep something handy should you want to take notes.
Arguably more interesting than the update seems to be the discourse that surrounds it. More specifically, some folks are wondering why Google develops numerous apps for what amounts to communication.
Indeed, it does look like Allo, Duo, Hangouts, Meet, and Chat have the lines at least somewhat blurred between them, as far as functionality is concerned. As such, it might not make much sense for Google to siphon them into separate slots.
Of course, some people would prefer to keep these apps compartmentalized to keep their work stuff separate from their personal.
Regardless, Meet’s update will be available to G Suite users sometime soon. Meanwhile, though Chat is not yet available, those that are interested in the app can play around with it through the G Suite Early Adopter Program.