Hangouts Chat

Yesterday, Google confirmed that it was sunsetting Allo, while focusing on Hangouts Chat and Meet for the enterprise rather than the “classic” iteration. To reaffirm that commitment, the Slack competitor today is adding Smart Reply.

Smart Reply analyzes the previous conversation in a thread to offer contextual suggestions on how to respond. Launched on Allo at I/O 2016, it is now available in Messages for SMS/RCS and Gmail.

In Hangouts Chat, it is coming to threads, however given the format of the service, Smart Replies don’t appear automatically. Users will have to first tap reply before three response options appear. After selecting, it will be populated in the reply text field, so that users can customize before sending.

In light of the past week, Google also took the opportunity to layout and justify Hangouts Chat. The argument primarily focuses on artificial intelligence and machine learning, with features like using smart bots to book conferences rooms, faster file search, and of course today’s Smart Reply feature.

Another selling point is integration with other G Suite apps. Namely, the Drive family of productive apps and Hangouts Meet for video conferencing. Google is lastly touting the privacy aspects of G Suite.

With G Suite’s enterprise-grade security solutions, you can keep information in Chat compliant. Plus, Chat integrates with Vault, which makes it easy for IT admins to archive, preserve, search and export Chat-specific data.

Smart Reply in Hangouts Chat is available on both the Android and iOS mobile apps, as well as the web interface. Google yesterday detailed how users can message contacts outside of their organization in the coming months. Meanwhile, Google also noted that Hangouts Chat and Meet will eventually be available to regular Google users that are not a part of G Suite.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: