Google Hangouts, the search giant’s new unified messaging service, isn’t likely to become much of a threat to existing platforms, particularly being so late to the game. But that doesn’t make its existence is any less important. Behind Google’s enormous ecosystem, the app introduces a way for users to stay connected across all platforms—iOS, Android, Web—while putting people first.
The basic principal of Hangouts is the ability to sync across multiple platforms. At Google’s I/O conference on Wednesday, the company mused on the current state of the messaging industry, lamenting on the inability to communicate seamlessly through multiple platforms. Some platforms get a few important aspects right, but there’s always something lacking, according to Google.That’s why the company’s new client exists.
We gave Hangouts a try yesterday, and found it worked as promised. It’s already my go-to iOS application to keep in touch with work colleagues if I’m not at a computer. And while the service is pretty effective and self-explanatory, there are some areas where Hangouts lacks. Google has already come out and said more features are coming, including SMS integration, so the service will definitely improve as time goes on. What’s there now is good, but not great.
As I said yesterday, Google has set a solid foundation in place, it’s just a matter of improving on what’s already there. For users of WhatsApps, Kik or even iMessage, Hangouts might not be much of a draw—BBM is coming to Android and iOS this summer as well—but additional options sure don’t hurt, especially one that syncs as well as this one.