Google has put Javier Soltero in charge of all of its messaging apps. Now this doesn’t mean that Google is finally going to give us one messaging app to rule them all, but they should all work coherently. And hopefully have the same set of features – or close to the same set.
Soltero is now in charge of Google Meet, Google Chat, Messages, Google Duo and the phone app. Basically, the remaining messaging apps that Google still has. Hangouts isn’t listed there because, well it’s going away fairly soon.
Here’s Google’s statement on the changes: “We are bringing all of Google’s collective communication products together under one leader and unified team that will be led by Javier Soltero, VP and GM of G Suite.” That’s very good news.
Soltero isn’t new to Google
Soltero has been in charge of Google Meet and Google Chat since Google hired him in October of 2019. He was the VP and GM of G Suite, with a focus on those two apps.
Now this move puts all of Google’s messaging apps under one umbrella. Soltero’s team is going to be in charge of all of Google’s messaging apps, and that is a good move.
In speaking with The Verge today, Soltero did state that there are no immediate plans to integrate any of Google’s apps. At least not yet.
Google’s messaging strategy is a mess, and Soltero could be the one to fix it all
It’s no secret that Google’s messaging strategy is a mess. They went from combining everything into a single app, to them breaking each feature into another app (see Allo and Duo). Going from three messaging apps, to (at one point) seven messaging apps. So Google could use some help here, and Soltero could be the one to give them that help.
Soltero had a pretty long career before joining Google last year. He created the Acompli email app, which was universally loved. Microsoft acquired that app and turned it into the main Outlook app, about two months after the deal was final.
If all that Soltero does is move us to three apps (Google Meet, Google Chat and Messages by Google), then his tenure would be a success. As that would give us a video chatting app, a instant messaging app and most importantly, a texting app for all Android phones. But that’s unlikely to happen anytime soon, as these things do take time.