Folks who use Google Chat PWA (Progressive Web Application) will have a treat in store. On Monday, Google announced that there’s going to be a new version of the Google Chat PWA coming on September 27th, and upgrading is mandatory.
Google Chat PWA is a replacement for Hangouts
For folks who don’t know what Google Chat PWA is, once upon a time, Google had a service called Hangouts. The company has been working on retiring it and delivering a suitable replacement. One such replacement is Google Chat PWA.
This is a chat platform that lives on the web and acts like an app that you use on your browser. With this chat platform, you can perform most of the tasks that you can with most chat apps. You can message people individually or create chat groups.
This service is actually cross-platform as well. You get access to your Hangouts chat history, and you can even set up a video chat meeting using Google Meet integration.
You’re going to start seeing prompts to update to the new Google Chat PWA
Soon (if it hasn’t started already), Chat users are going to start getting prompted to upgrade to the new version of Google Chat PWA. Since it’s just a prompt, it can be ignored; however, you can only ignore it for so long. Come September 27th, the current version will become inactive, and you’ll be presented with this screen:
How does the new Google Chat PWA differ from the current version?
There’s a handful of changes that Google made with the new Google Chat PWA. The company states that it tweaked the interface to closer resemble the Gmail application. This is to give users a more familiar interface to navigate.
The search bar is now above the main chat view, and it’s much bigger. Also above the main chat view are tabs that can help you navigate your shared content. There’s a chat tab, a files tab, and a tasks tab.
On the right, there’s a panel where you can access other Google PWAs like Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Drive. This shouldn’t be new to people who typically use Google services on their browsers. You can also add on other PWAs by pressing the “+” under the other applications. The panel can be hidden by clicking the arrow on the bottom.
The left panel that contains your chats and groups has also gotten an update. Instead of having the entire panel scroll up and down, you can scroll each section individually. You can also adjust the height of each section.
Even though Google is working on the new Pixel Phone, it still has time to work on the little things. The new version of the Google Chat PWA proves to add some needed improvements. Google will help you if you’re confused about how to upgrade.