WTF Google releasing more chat clients


Huh, the timing is funny to me personally because a week or so ago I tried it out again, and a friend of mine popped up as he has it installed too. We texted back and forth a few times, played with the goofy features, but have since switched back to SMS / Messages. I uninstalled it a couple days ago.

Texting on Android still seriously sucks, and texting is one of the most important (arguably THE most important) ways we communicate.


It still pisses me off that Google killed Talk. It did exactly what I needed, didn’t do any other stupid bullshit, and Hangouts is much worse and now they’re killing that too and so how exactly am I supposed to chat with friends who aren’t on Facebook and who may or may not want to give me their RL contact info again? Talk and Hangouts were easy because they just had to have a Google account and basically everyone has those. I probably can’t get them to regularly sign into some random other service.


I think the idea is that “hangouts” users will be migrated to “hangouts chat”, which despite the name has nothing to do with each other. The latter is the Slack clone.


And is oriented for enterprise use, and will surely be even less useful for just fucking talking to my friends and have even more dumb unnecessary bullshit.


Hangouts Chat will be available for consumers before OG Hangouts is EOL. I haven’t messed with it a great deal, but if it’s anything like Slack it’ll be great. Very feature-rich. That said, it will not have end-to-end encryption.

Whatsapp does have E2E encryption, but Facebook owns it and keeps it in the same shared app storage on iOS, so Facebook could theoretically snoop. Given recent revelations, it’s become clear that FB really is not a reputable ethical organization, not even up to the standard that we expect from billion-dollar companies. So I would not use it.

If you and your friends are looking to move to a new platform, the obvious answer is Signal. It is fully E2E encrypted, open-source, takes both security and privacy seriously, and is run by a non-profit foundation so it doesn’t have perverse monetization incentives.

Alternatively, if everybody is on iOS just use iMessage. It’s secure too, and frictionless.


None of my friends (or me) are on iOS or looking to move platforms. Or will load a dedicated client, probably, in my friends’ cases. I think they just open Gmail.


On Android, Signal can replace your SMS app. It sends Signal messages to people with Signal, and SMS to everybody else. You do need to install the app and choose to use it rather than the built-in messaging app, though, so it isn’t completely frictionless.


The point is, we communicate using Google’s stuff because everyone already has that and there’s no need to sign up for anything or have a new thing just to talk with your one particular friend. And there is not going to be a wider movement to any of these other options because it would be just for me, any more than my Facebook friends are going to move to a non-completely-shit platform just because I don’t want to use Facebook.

So I just want Google to stop fucking with shit that already worked, but they won’t.


Well you’re shit out of luck there, bud. Either fall back to SMS or get people to install an app. Google definitely did a piss-poor job here, but it is what it is.

If you do fall back to SMS, RCS should be coming in the next couple of years, adding tons of functionality to SMS with zero friction. But it won’t ever get E2E encryption like iMessage.


I’m pretty much on the same boat as Malkav.

Wait… wait… discord??? It’s a weblink!

edit: Got excited about signal, but I need a webchat for this guy’s firewall. He has to pretend to work, I assume.


Discord is basically the same thing as Hangouts Chat and Microsoft Teams, a Slack ripoff. Very feature-rich chatting experience, easy and fun to use, but not end-to-end encrypted.

The new RCS standard will work everywhere in a year or two, so I think that’ll probably win out over everything else in the end. As an open standard run by the carriers, Apple will end up supporting it also.


The one thing I love about Hangouts is that it isn’t tied to a phone number.

So one time my regular phone ran out of battery power, but my OnePlus One still had some juice, and I was able to text someone using Hangouts because the place I was in had public Wifi. So even without a sim card, any device can message on Hangouts, which apps like messages or Whatsapp don’t do.


Wait, are we losing Hangout Chat? I’m confused now.


Hangouts is being turned into Chat and Meet and both are aimed at enterprise users. I am just guessing that they will be worse for the basic IM type chat I actually want because that seems to be every change Google makes lately.


The only person I use Google Hangout Chat with is my sister, and it’s because they do have it at work. I can talk to her easily throughout the day and not get in her way. I use Discord for other things but largely it’s FB or just SMS. Still Google’s chat being connected to gmail just makes it’s handy. I can see when she is at work or on her personal account.


Hangouts Chat is remaining, and again, it will be available for consumers too, not just enterprise. That’s Google’s Slack ripoff.

The OG Hangouts is what’s being killed. That’s what you see in Gmail. Also Allo, but that was stillborn.

@Rock8man: I haven’t used Whatsapp, but if it works like Signal you just need the phone number to register, not to actually use the app. The app itself works completely over the internet, not SMS.


Discord is great you guys! There’s a Qt3 server:

And also a SGJ server!

Way better than Slack.


Really? Always seemed pretty much the same to me. Just with built-in gaming integration.


Sure, available for consumers. Not designed for.

Also the Gmail integration was kind of key.


It’s the same as Discord, MS Teams, and Slack, very attractive and easy to use.