Ioanna is a writer at TNW. She covers the full spectrum of the European tech ecosystem, with a particular interest in startups, sustainabili Ioanna is a writer at TNW. She covers the full spectrum of the European tech ecosystem, with a particular interest in startups, sustainability, green tech, AI, and EU policy. With a background in the humanities, she has a soft spot for social impact-enabling technologies.
Google shut down Hangouts for Workspace in February, but that’s not enough for the search giant: it’s now killing the mobile Hangouts app as well.
In a recent blogpost, the tech behemoth announced that it’ll bid farewell to the feature in November 2022. People still using Hangouts are urged to switch to the Chat app or Chat in Gmail.
As for Hangouts users on the web? Well, Google won’t start nagging for you to switch until July.
The company will automatically transfer your existing conversations to Chat. But just in case, it encourages users to download their data via Google Takeout before Hangouts stops being available.
Clearly, the transition from Hangouts to Chat is a forced one — and it’s all part of Google’s strategy to mold Gmail into something resembling a Slack competitor.
Over the past few years, Gmail has been redesigned to integrate Inbox, Spaces, Meet, and Chat. With the new changes, users are able to do side-by-side editing in Docs, Slides, or Sheets, all while continuing their conversations.
At first glance, the ability to email, chat, edit documents, and hold meetings all in one place seems to beat the functionality of ol’ poor Slack — but it’s not that simple.
As someone who spends hours in Gmail weekly, I always appreciate added functionality. But I’m not sure I want all of Google’s services to encroach upon my email if I don’t need them.
While Gmail’s deep integration aims to make everything simpler, the interface often feels cluttered — not to mention how overwhelming simultaneous notifications from all different apps are.
What’s wrong with an email app being just for email?
For me, departmentalizing workspace communication and collaboration tools is crucial.
That’s why I’ve always been a fan of Slack. The app allows me to communicate with my team without external distractions or responding to emails I simply don’t want to open.
Slack’s success is based on how it’s replaced email in the workplace. And I don’t see how Google will dethrone it by adding in more and more functionality and clutter.
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