Hyatt and I were working diligently today in the office when I noticed that there was an update for Google Talk on my phone. This update replaces Google Talk with a new app called “Google Hangout” and to be honest the name has about the same appeal as a mid-life crisis. It doesn’t sound cool and it feels forced. But once you get past the name I found myself with a feature that I’ve been quietly pinning for – group chat. Something I haven’t had since everyone bailed on Windows/Live/MSN whatever messenger.
Not only group chat, I can set up fixed groups as well. So if I setup a group with just Across members and say … call it “Across Spammer” all I have to do is click on that group name and shoot and link or say hi and everyone in the group will see it and be able to respond to me and to each other. So you’ve probably already realized this but, yes friends, this is a 24/7 chat room feature that you can access from your computer and your mobile device. Best of all it’s not Facebook.
Now before you go “great another cell phone alert bomber” You Can Turn Off Alerts! Or even set your hang out to snooze mode so you can only get notifications when you want. One real hang up about hang out is that for the Windows version it wants you to install chrome, and it wants you to activate google+ which isn’t awful if you already have an android phone since you pretty much already sold your soul to google. I mean come on, it’s not like you were using it anyways.
I’ll be a strong advocator of Google Hangout and I hope you’ll join the rest of us in making each other’s days a little more interesting and less productive at work.