Google Chat Stories September 8

Google’s rename of ‘Rooms’ in Chat and Gmail to ‘Spaces’ is now underway

Back in June, with the announcement that Workspace is available “for everyone,” Google revealed that “Rooms” in Chat would soon be renamed to “Spaces” and gain a slew of new features. That rebrand is now underway.

Google Chat Stories September 1

Google continues to add more features to Chat as it becomes available for more and more people ahead of the classic Hangouts depreciation. The Google Chat web app is now integrating Tenor GIF search.

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Google Chat Stories August 20

The standalone Google Chat PWA and website are getting a straightforward dark theme to match the Android and iOS clients.

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Google Chat Stories August 19

The process of shutting down classic Hangouts for Workspace users is almost complete, as Google this week enables the integrated Gmail with Chat and Rooms for even more paid accounts.

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Google Chat Stories August 18

Workspace admins can now limit external Google Chat to specific teams, domains

Last year, Google Chat added support for talking with users outside their company, thus expanding from being just an internal team communication tool. Google Workspace admins are now getting the ability to limit that external Chat access.

Google Chat Stories August 12

With Chat serving as a key part of the integrated Gmail experience, Google lets users quickly specify their activity status. In addition to the existing availability options, you’re now able to set a custom status in Gmail and Chat on the web.

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Google Chat Stories August 10

Google Chat is getting review bombed on the Play Store due to phased Hangouts migration

Disgruntled Hangouts fans and users have taken to review bombing the Google Chat listing on the Play Store as the phased migration to the service is now fully underway.

Google Chat Stories August 6

In late 2021, classic Hangouts will stop working for enterprise Workspace customers and only Google Chat will be available. Google is now beginning that process of deprecating the Hangouts app and website for free personal accounts with a warning and sign out.

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Google Chat Stories August 2

Last month, Google announced a revamp of all its emoji — nearly 1,000 characters — coming to Android 12 this fall and Chrome OS 92. These new emoji designs are also set to arrive in Google Chat over the coming weeks.

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Google Chat Stories July 26

Google Chat conversations let you quickly schedule a Calendar event, add a file from Drive, or start a Meet call. The secondary file and image-sharing options in Google Chat can now be disabled by Workspace admins.

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Google Chat Stories July 23

As of last month, all personal Google Accounts can enable the new Gmail that supports Chat and Rooms. The latter aspect, which will soon be renamed to “Spaces,” allows for large-scale productivity. Gmail now supports opening a Google Slides presentation directly to allow for multitasking with Chat. 

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Google Chat Stories July 19

Google has a multi-stage plan to shut down classic Hangouts and move enterprise Workspace customers to Chat. This latest step in advancing Google Chat adoption takes place next month.

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Google Chat Stories July 13

The writing has been on the wall for Google Hangouts for some time now, but soon Hangouts will begin warning of the app’s upcoming shutdown and migration to Chat.

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Google Chat Stories June 29

In addition to different applications being accessible all on one page, Google’s vision for the future of productivity involves having those services be tightly integrated together. The latest example of this will see Google suggestions for 1:1s in Chat based on Calendar.

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Google Chat Stories June 25

Last month, Google started rolling out an online revamp of Chat to free consumer accounts as part of the classic Hangouts migration. That Google Chat web redesign is now coming to paid Workspace users over the coming weeks with a number of enhancements.

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Google Chat Stories June 21

Following the official launch last week, Google Chat is picking up improved search. Starting on Android, the experience is adding filters to “help you find artifacts like files and links more easily.”

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Google Chat Stories June 16

Last year, Google announced that the future of Gmail will see Chat messaging and group Rooms join the existing Meet video calling integration. This is already available to enterprise Workspace users, and Google is now letting personal Gmail accounts get this “integrated workspace.”

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Google Chat Stories June 14

A key part of Google’s integrated vision for productivity is routing everything through the Gmail apps. As part of Workspace becoming available “for everyone,” Gmail is getting streamlined navigation on the web, while Google Chat’s “Rooms” will soon be called “Spaces.”

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Google Chat Stories May 18

In unveiling “Smart canvas” at I/O 2021, Google called it the “next big step” in the future of work. The goal is to create a more integrated and interactive Workspace experience, especially in Google Docs.

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Google Chat Stories April 29

Google Meet and Chat will soon be installed on Chrome OS devices by default

Google’s apps for messaging and video calling, Google Meet and Google Chat, will soon be installed by default on Chrome OS devices.

Google Chat Stories March 22

Google Chat rolling out more granular notification settings

In addition to a web revamp, Google Chat is rolling out more notification settings over the coming weeks. These new options are “based on your level of engagement or involvement in specific conversations.”

Google Chat Stories March 9

Google Chat’s old Electron desktop app shutting down this month in favor of PWA

Back in May, received a Progressive Web App to replace the previous desktop client. The Google Chat Electron app will stop working at the end of March with users encouraged to upgrade now. 

Last month, Google started rolling out a free version of Google Chat ahead of classic Hangouts going away. The “early preview” of Google’s latest consumer messaging service is now widely appearing for more users.

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Google Chat Stories February 28

Last week, we spotted how the Google Chat website was getting some tweaks and Hangouts-style chat windows. This redesign of Google Chat is now rolled out for free accounts and is interestingly directly part of Gmail.

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Google Chat Stories February 24

A free version of Google Chat is officially set to arrive in the first half of 2021. As we spotted earlier this month, Google is starting the Hangouts migration with a “preview of the new Chat” for free, personal accounts.

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Google Chat Stories February 21

Google wants to make Gmail your new “home for work” by consolidating email, Chat, and Meet into one browser window, as well as mobile app. That said, the company will maintain standalone applications for messaging and video calling, with Google Chat testing a web client redesign.

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Google Chat Stories February 10

For over two years now, we’ve known that Google was planning to kill off their classic Hangouts app in favor of opening Google Chat to those without Google Workspace. With the migration set to take place in the first half of 2021, Google Chat is preparing a beta test to open the app for Hangouts users to preview.

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Google Chat Stories January 19

Gmail now lets you resize Google Chat, Rooms in the web sidebar

One way to boost the adoption of Google Chat is by making it available directly in the email tab that users likely already have open. The Gmail web client now lets you resize the Google Chat and Rooms side widgets.

Google Chat Stories November 30, 2020

Next year, Google Chat will go free ahead of the eventual deprecation of classic Hangouts. The Google Workspace team today is highlighting upcoming changes that will begin to launch later this week.

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Google Chat Stories November 12, 2020

Gmail on the web now lets you pin Google Chat conversations

In the integrated Gmail experience available to Workspace customers, classic Hangouts has already been swapped out. Google Chat is in its place, with conversations now able to be pinned for consistent Gmail sidebar access.

Google Chat adds Calendar shortcut for fast event creation

After announcing new unthreaded rooms last week, Google Chat is now adding Calendar integration for streamlined event creation.

Google Chat Stories November 5, 2020

Since launch, rooms in Google Chat have had conversations grouped into threads. This approach made sense for some, but was a barrier to high-volume teams and contrasted with Slack. Google is now adding the ability to have unthreaded Chat rooms.

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Google Chat Stories October 29, 2020

As of the start of this month, Workspace customers can get access to an integrated Gmail experience that includes Chat and Rooms. Google is now boosting the Gmail experience by letting Chat users set an “away” or “Do not disturb” status.

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Google Chat Stories October 15, 2020

At the tail end of 2018, we reported on Google’s plans to replace Hangouts with Chat and Meet. The company later confirmed the news and has since been moving enterprise users to those two apps. Google is now ready to start detailing how it will transition classic Hangouts users to a free version of Chat.

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Google Chat Stories October 8, 2020

Besides Gmail integration, the last big update to Chat in July introduced a dark theme. Google Chat will soon be picking up read receipts in one-to-one conversations.

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Google Chat Stories August 12, 2020

Last month, Google announced that its new “home for work” consolidates communication and document editing into one app. The new Gmail is now rolling out to G Suite customers on Android and the web.

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Google Chat Stories August 10, 2020

In June, the classic Hangouts to Google Chat migration started in earnest for G Suite customers. Free accounts are expected to get transitioned next, and there are now signs that this is underway. Over the past few days, classic Hangouts users are receiving messages in Google Chat.

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Google Chat Stories July 29, 2020

Earlier this month, Google announced that Gmail would soon incorporate chat, group, and video messaging. The standalone apps are still seeing updates, with Google Chat for Android and iOS today picking up a dark theme.

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Google Chat Stories July 21, 2020

Last week, Google announced that its messaging services will soon be fully integrated into Gmail. As part of “Productivity & Collaboration” week at Cloud Next ’20: OnAir, Google Meet, Chat, and Drive are also getting a slate of security enhancements to better moderate access.

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Google Chat Stories July 14, 2020

For the past several weeks, we’ve been tracking a big Gmail for Android redesign that incorporates Google Chat and Meet. The video calling integration has been officially announced and is rolling out now, while the rest leaked today. Google is making Gmail the “new home for work” by letting you do everything from the same screen/app.

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Google Chat Stories July 2, 2020

Back in April, we reported how Google was readying Chat and Meet functionality directly inside Gmail. Video conferencing was announced for the Android and iOS apps last month, and Google Chat now looks to be following.

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Google Chat Stories June 2, 2020

Last August, Google delayed the classic Hangouts transition for G Suite customers into this year. Starting today, admins can migrate their users to Google Chat in earnest and get access to Gmail integration.

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Google Chat Stories May 27, 2020

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.

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Google Chat Stories May 18, 2020

At last year’s Cloud Next, Google started testing the ability for Hangouts Chat users to contact people outside of their domain. Google Chat next week will gain the ability to invite any Gmail and Google Account as a guest.

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Google Chat Stories April 24, 2020

Gmail on the desktop web today is home to more than just email. It’s long had text chat and video calling, while the last major redesign added Tasks integration. Google now looks to be bringing Chat, Meet, and Tasks functionality directly to Gmail for Android.

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Google Chat Stories April 15, 2020

Hangouts Meet just got its much-needed rebrand to Google Meet amidst the surging popularity of videoconferencing tools in general. Alongside a trademark for that term, there’s another Hangouts product whose fate has yet to be decided. Hangouts Chat, the teams-focused Slack competitor from the Mountain View company, might also be getting a rebrand that does away with the troublesome Hangouts branding.

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Google Chat Stories December 10, 2014


You’ve long been able to share your location with contacts in Hangouts chats, but the Google Hangouts for Android app is today getting a little smarter, noting when someone has asked where you are and automatically prompting you to share your location on a map.

Google indicates that this is merely the first step in building more intelligence into the app, describing it as “the start of something new.” Future versions of the app are thus likely to recognize more questions, offering the ability to answer them with a single tap.

The latest update to the app – which is rolling out during the course of the day – also offers a number of other new features …  expand full story

Google Chat Stories April 8, 2013

A message reported by a Google+ users suggests that Google’s rumored Babel integrated messaging service may be close to launch:


The screengrab posted by Patrick Dhawaan shows the message All conversations have been moved to the Trash. Because one or more are part of a Babel chat, these messages are still available in other Babel chat applications … expand full story

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