The new Google Chat is now available to many users who do not pay for Google Workspaces, including integration with Google Meet for video calls.
New Google Chat now available for free on PC to replace Hangouts
Hangouts, one of the most widely used instant messaging apps, has little time left to live, and is expected to end up like other dead or abandoned Google apps.
The good news is that, in this case, Google has a replacement in the form of Google Chat. Originally, this service was born for teleworking, and during the past 2020, it established itself as an alternative to Zoom or Microsoft Teams. But soon it will be much more.
Going forward, Google Chat will be Google’s only messaging app, part of the Google Workspace suite and offering free video calls for 100 people.
New free Google Chat
Google Chat was born as an app for professionals, and that shows in several aspects; Not only is it more complete than Hangouts, but to access all its advantages we had to pay for G Suite (now Google Workspace).
But if Google has any pretensions of this app replacing Hangouts, that had to change, and it has just done so. Now, the free version of Google Chat for computers, accessible through a web page, has changed its design and has received the improvements that paid users already had.
This is a good opportunity to see how the replacement for Hangouts will be since Google Chat will also be integrated into Gmail and will become the new default option in messaging.
The appearance of this Google Chat app fits very well with Gmail, and it is to imagine that Google is in the middle of the integration process. This is something we can already see with the top search bar, which cannot be missing in any Google product. Right next to it we find the button to change the status, from active to “Do not disturb” or “away”.
The new app is cleaner and more pleasing to the eye, with the list of chats on the left and the chat itself occupying the most space in the center. We can also access other Google apps, such as Calendar or Keep. If we activate the necessary permissions in our browser, we will be able to receive notifications of messages we receive.
Google Chat for desktop is also integrated with Google Meet, the video calling app, and we can make meetings or join one by clicking in the lower-left corner.