On Wednesday, at its Google I/O conference, Google announced its new unified, cross-platform messaging service called Hangouts. The service, which will be available for Android, iOS and Chrome, will be launched later today for all three of those platforms.
Hangouts adopts the same name as its popular Google+ feature, and combines Google Talk, Google+ Messenger and the original Google+ Hangouts video chat feature into one consolidated service. Eventually, those three aforementioned services will be retired.
The new Hangouts app provides users with a list of recent conversations, bringing one-on-one and group conversations to fruition alongside photos, emoji and video calls. Each chat can be labeled with a name and emoji icon, and all conversations are stored in the cloud and sync across all devices.
In the past few years, cross-platform messaging services have emerged as the latest trend in the tech space. Just yesterday, it was announced that BlackBerry Messenger is coming to iOS and Android. Moreover, competitor WhatsApp has more active users than Twitter.
Hangouts has already been compared to the likes of both WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, but perhaps more important is the comparison that the new service draws with iMessage, the messaging platform for iOS and OS X. Will Hangouts make you reconsider your usage of iMessage?
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