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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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hangouts.jpg
Google has unveiled a new unified messaging service that is designed to work on Android, iOS, and the web. Called Hangouts, the app incorporates and unifies several different Google services, including Google Talk, Google+ Messenger, and the existing Google+ Hangouts.
Today we're launching a stand-alone version of Hangouts that combines text, photos and live video across Android, iOS and your computer.

Now that Hangouts spans modalities and devices, you can finally fuhgeddaboudit (the technology, that is), and focus on what really matters: creating lasting relationships. And that, we think, is a plus.
Hangouts, which is similar to Facebook Messenger, places an emphasis on "conversations which last," saving chats between users in the cloud and allowing users to access past chats, shared photos, and video call history. The app's interface also emphasizes conversations over contacts and supports both multimedia content and additions like emoji.

According to Google's Senior Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundrota, detailed chat history can be toggled off. "Of course we give you the ability to delete those things," he said. "But having the ability so save those conversations, I think is delightful and amazing."

Because Hangouts relies on Google's cloud, both video and text chats can take place on a number of different devices and between multiple people. The app will be available today from Google Play, the App Store, and the Chrome Web Store.

Update: The Google Hangouts app can now be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Update 2: As noted by Engadget, AT&T is currently restricting the group video chat functionality of the Google Hangouts app to WiFi.

Article Link: Google Unifies Cross-Platform Messaging Services With 'Hangouts'
 

HarryPot

macrumors 65816
Sep 5, 2009
1,026
433
Not such a good week for Whatsapp it seems....

I much prefer a third party app, completely separate from the big companies which just add useless functions to their messaging apps.
 

bushido

Suspended
Mar 26, 2008
8,070
2,755
Germany
this is pretty neat for all my friends on android actually. maybe i can finally text them from my mac without using my iphone all the time to answer.

if only whatsapp would make a computer app
 

HarryPot

macrumors 65816
Sep 5, 2009
1,026
433
iMessage is now behind the game!

I never really liked iMessages. It is nicely designed, but in their goal of simplicity they do missed several key features.

Groups in iMessages are way inferior to what Whatsapp or Facebook offer.

Whatsapp still has a bigger global reach and brand recognition than the rest though...

I personally like them much better. But I'm afraid big companies with their extra cash will little by little make them go out of business.
 

nickpro

macrumors regular
Jun 11, 2007
180
36
Bay Area
does anyone know if the new Hangouts integrates the Android phone's standard texting into it like iMessage does?
 

Yvan256

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2004
5,070
973
Canada
The first real competitor for Skype?

Apart from Skype, this seems to be the only service to offer everything (texting, voice, video, file sharing) while also being cross-platform.

About 80% of my friends are on Windows, only three of my contacts use iPhones or iPads and a few relatives use Linux.

I just don't like that this comes from Google, but frankly I don't expect Microsoft to produce quality updates for Skype on non-Microsoft systems and Apple likes to re-inforce their own ecosystem.

So, Google Hangouts it is. :eek:

Facebook, you say? I don't even consider them an option.
 

ck2875

macrumors 65816
Mar 25, 2009
1,020
2,859
Brighton
I'm happy to see this unification. I talk to a few close friends on Google Talk quite a bit, and actually prefer Hangouts over Skype any day of the week.
 

michaywood

macrumors newbie
Feb 3, 2011
16
0
What daughters really tell THEIR PARENTS they got engaged in a Google Hangout?! If my daughter did that, she can fuhgeddaboudit!
 

taxiapple

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2009
191
27
I couldn't finish the video.

I was hoping the video would explain about it. First I had to turn the music down. Then after watching about a third of the clip, I gave up on it explaining anything.
It was just shots of random text messages.
 

Tankmaze

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2012
1,697
338
wow, good move google. with bbm coming to ios and now this, bring on the free messaging service. :D
 

ArcaneDevice

macrumors 6502a
Nov 10, 2003
763
179
outside the crazy house, NC
I never really liked iMessages. It is nicely designed, but in their goal of simplicity they do missed several key features.

Groups in iMessages are way inferior to what Whatsapp or Facebook offer.

I'd be happier if Messages in Mountain Lion wasn't such a piece of crap. Randomly arranging message order, failing to show messages, sending messages to the wrong contact account ...

out of "beta" my ass.
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2003
11,955
5,816
Bay Area
does anyone know if the new Hangouts integrates the Android phone's standard texting into it like iMessage does?

Good question. That's my favorite thing about iMessage. Almost everyone I communicate with regularly uses iMessage, but if not, I don't even have to think about it (as long as I'm on my phone - iPad/Mac is a different story).
 

leo.andres.21

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2008
227
32
Centre of the Attention
the design of this is nice and clean as well.
i hope the adoption rate is higher than Google+ was,
otherwise i'll stick with iMessage and FB Messenger.
Whatsapp on iOS is quite outdated and has not received a single new feature in the last year or so.
hopefully they could get video calling and free calling outside of the US, that would be great
 

canucksfan88

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2007
560
64
this has been an interesting week.
even though BBM has been out of the game (in my opinion), it still has a lot of brand recognition. with whatsapp moving to a year subscription, there is an opportunity for BBM to rise.

This google hangout is also intriguing. The landscape is changing.
 
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