Google’s reply to Slack and replacement for Hangouts, Google Chat, has a new task-related update. Google is pushing Google Chat to be the default chat app for Workspace customers and gradually replace the classic Hangouts which has been the default chat app since 2013.
The new feature means users can hover over a task in the browser or mobile apps to get information on where and when the task was created within the flow of a chat.
From good to sterile
Google noted in a Workspace blog post that the new feature makes it easier to locate context for tasks and re-engage with team members on updates, questions, and collaboration. Google Chat has had a lukewarm welcome at best. It is not clear what this feature will change about that reputation. On Google Play, Chat has 2.5 out of 5 stars with many users posting about their longing for Hangouts. The reaction prompted the search giant to apologize.
A user named Danielle Price called out Google for replacing something that works well with an inferior product, calling the UI ‘sterile.’
You can keep your Hangouts…for now
In a blog post announcing the feature, Google explains that when looking at tasks on a mobile device, a chat icon is shown on the top right-hand corner.
The feature is enabled by default for all users on Workspace and G Suite with no control given to admins to disable or enable the feature at will.
Even though Google is still allowing admins to opt-out of migrating to Chat from Hangouts, that will not be the case later this year, when the search giant makes it mandatory.