I have to admit, I love everything about Google. From GChat, to Google Voice, to Google Now, to the growing Google Plus and yes, to the much update forgotten about Google Voice, I love everything about Google. Like most people who live on Google’s suite of products, I use Google solutions to find information I need and stay in touch with friends through various measures (GChat, Google Talk, Google Voice). That being said, when I woke up this morning to find an update on my android device concerning Google Hangouts replacing Google Talk, I was somewhat skeptical to make the switch. Here’s why.
For anyone who works in an office where your network allows GMail to be open all day, GChat is a central part of your communication to friends duringthe day. Aside from checking email, I would wager 60% – 75% of my GMail daily activity centers on GChat, not GMail. Due to this, since the service launched in 2005 (GMail launched in mid-late 2004 with invite only accounts), I have been hooked on GChat. It was and still is how I stay in contact with friends and family during the work day. At any given point in time I have 4 – 7 GChat conversations going on and while I can take or leave the newsletter or coupon I receive from GMail, I don’t ignore GChat. GChat, not GMail was my first real Google solution love.
Limited in capability, basic in function, forgotten to the normal Google updates, I need Google Voice. Why: I have an Android I use for both work and personal. I want my personal number and I want my work number. Google Voice allows that. To me, Google Voice seems like the bastard child of Google – the one product Google feels like it has to maintain – yet doesn’t really want to. Either way, I need Google Voice. If the day comes when Google Voice is no longer, I will not be a happy camper.
With the advent of smart phones, the natural extension of GChat is/was Google Talk. Google Talk brought all the simple capabilities of GChat to the phone in your pocket. Sure, like everyone else, I use my phones native SMS and MMS client however for me, Google Talk, just always seemed easier than my Android’s native text messenger. Sure, Google Talk is limited. Sure it has it’s draw backs but the moment I leave the office, the conversation I was having all day with my friend located the world away continues. I could stomach not being able to send a video or photo on Google Talk however I didn’t want the conversation to end. Google Talk was my go to.
This being said, Google has decided to replace Google Talk with Google Hangouts. I made the change this morning (it took all of 35 seconds to make the change) however I don’t know how I feel about it.
At the end of the day, I am going to use Google Hangouts. I made the change on my Android and I am already using it on Google Plus. I am going to use Google Hangouts yet when it comes to my mobile device, I am going to miss the simplicity of Google Talk. Sure Google Hangouts offers better messaging capabilities (Photos, Emoji, Video Calls…nothing revolutionary, but still an upgrade from the basic nature of Google Talk) however it just doesn’t feel right…yet.
In the end “yet” is what it comes down to. Overtime I know I will come to love Google Hangouts. Come to rely on it. Come to look forward to it’s updates however, right now, I am torn. I love Google. I love Google solutions in their various forms. I will learn to love Google Hangouts.
Goodbye Google Talk. Goodbye forever.