Google’s enterprise communication tools have seen a flurry of changes in recent weeks. The latest is a Progressive Web App for Google Chat that replaces the existing Electron client.

First detailed last April, the PWA lets you use Google Chat in its own separate window that does away with your browser’s address bar and hides other unnecessary controls. It can be launched from a desktop/dock app icon, with the messaging experience otherwise unchanged.

For admins, Google touts the secure and always up-to-date nature, as well as simplified deployment. There’s also “better loading performance.” Version 73 of Chrome (from March 2019) or higher is required with Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS supported.

Google recommends that admins and users uninstall the existing Electron-based app. There are three ways to install the PWA once on chat.google.com:

  1. If the app isn’t already installed, a pop-up window opens and lets you download the app.
  2. In the top right of Google Chrome, click More and then Install Hangouts Chat.
  3. In the top right of chat.google.com, click Settings and then Install Chat app.

Available to all G Suite customers, the Google Chat PWA is rolling out now. As of this evening, we are not seeing the automatic prompt to install yet. It joins other apps like Google Drive, YouTube Music, and YouTube TV.

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