Google G Suite users are now receiving a new update for the Hangouts Chat. If you’ve been waiting for Smart Replies to become available in Hangouts Chat, you’re in luck, as that is the only change that is rolling out to Hangouts Chat as we speak. In case you wonder how this feature works in Hangouts Chat, well, it’s quite similar to how it works in Gmail, for example. The app will present a number of pre-generated options to you, and those options will be shown above the message field, so you can choose either one of them, and they will appear in the message field itself. Smart Replies are supposed to learn over time, and offer even better suggestions the more you use them, so there you have it. This update is rolling out as we speak, and if it is not available to you in Hangouts Chat yet, it will be soon, though do keep in mind that this update is coming only to G Suite users, as Hangouts Chat is still an enterprise app, even though that will change down the line. If you’d like to check out exactly what this feature looks like in Hangouts Chat, feel free to check out the gallery down below, as it will show you what it looks like both in the mobile app and on the desktop client.
Background: Many of you are probably quite unfamiliar with Hangouts Chat, as that app is not available to consumers just yet. Hangouts Chat was first mentioned last year when Google announced that the regular Hangouts app will be split into two apps, Hangouts Chat, and Hangouts Meet. Hangouts Chat is supposed to be a chatting app, a Slack-like app for chatting and collaborating, while Hangouts Meet is a video conferencing platform. Regular Hangouts, which is available to consumers, is still around, but it will be going away in the future, as a recent report stated. Google hinted that Google Chat and Meet will be available to consumers as a replacement, but Hangouts as you know it is going away. As far as Smart Replies are concerned, they first emerged in Inbox back in 2015, Gmail mobile received that support last year, while it rolled out to Gmail desktop earlier this year.
Impact: Many people think that Google should have stood by Hangouts and develop that service instead of launching Allo, Duo, Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet, but that did not happen. Hangouts did not get enough care over the years, and it will be going away in the future, same goes for Google Allo, actually, as Google is looking to focus on (Android) Messages and Duo, as its chatting and video-calling apps, even though both Hangouts Chat and Meet will become available to consumers down the line. It remains to be seen what the future holds, but Google killed off plenty of its services this year, well, it announced that it will phase them out, including Inbox, Google+, Allo, and Hangouts, which did not really sit well with consumers, at all, and that is not exactly surprising.