Google was a company once ahead of the pack in online communication with Google Talk, but has been surpassed by other SMS systems such as BlackBerry Messenger and more recently Facebook Home. Social media communications are entering a new age and Google is ready to rush to the forefront again with Google Hangouts, there latest unified social communication app. Like Facebook Home, it is essentially a super app acting as a hub for all of a user's various communication platforms such as Google Talk, Gmail and Google+ Messenger and video chat, trying to create a seamless social experience. Hangouts will not simply allow you to create effective and flexible digital conversations with multiple friends using its many various features, but allow you to easily manage them on the go and across many different devices. For example, you could check in at a new restaurant and share a picture of it with your circles. Your buddy Steve could be online to see your post and then moments later send you a video call to see if you've eaten yet and want to sample the new place's cuisine.
Working Out the Kinks
The app however has been subject to some negative feedback in the user reviews section on Google Play. Peoples main gripe with Hangouts is that, though it boasts many features, it has trouble dealing with basic SMS systems. In the permissions required for Hangouts, it says the app has access to receiving, reading, and sending text messages. This is currently not the case according many dissatisfied user comments, however the request for these permissions is a clearly displayed intention to include the services in the future and surely build further upon them.
A New Hangout Outside Facebook's Home
Though Google is known for killing or recalling bad ideas or products, this new Google Hangouts service is believed to become one of the new staple products of the company. It's as though while they continue to grow, they still remember some of their thicker roots (such as Google Talk and Voice) and continue to water them. Successfully integrating all of their various services into their social network Google+ could mean trouble for Facebook Home if it does not soon learn from it's own shortcomings and adapt, but nonetheless it is thrilling to see the beginnings of unified digital social interaction and I'm sure there's plenty more to see on this bumpy ride.