Hangouts Joins Apps for Business, Loses Google+ Prerequisite
Hangouts has always been a useful little app, connecting you with friends and family through a means of chat and video messaging that connects seamlessly across multiple platforms; connecting you, that is, if you fulfilled the prerequisite of owning and operating a Google+ account. Now however, as announced by Google this week, Hangouts will be allotted to anyone with a Google Apps account, driving yet another proverbial nail into the Google+ coffin.
“Google Apps customers have been taking advantage of both Google+ and Hangouts for long enough that we recognize the separate use cases for both,” explains a Google spokesperson to Frederic Lardinois of TechCrunch.
Google Apps account users are now able to facilitate or join meetings through any connected desktop or Chromebox for Meetings device, however a few restrictions remain. As of this moment, Google holds firm its Google+ prerequisite requirement for utilizing Hangouts over a mobile device, yet even this Google plans to axe in the coming months. Also restricted to non-Google+ users are any Hangout apps aside from screenshare or chat (which, let’s be honest, are the real ‘bread and butter’ anyway), as well as Hangouts On Air’s chat broadcasting function to large audiences.
Acutely focused on furthering Google’s footprint in the unified communications (UC) for enterprise vertical, Hangouts has been included into the already busting Google Apps for Businesses suite.
“The goal of [today's] launch is to make it easier for employees and businesses to communicate by video. Our customers recognize the value of connecting face-to-face and are driving this demand,” Google’s spokesperson continues.
While paying subscribers to this service were always able to utilize Hangouts, joining the party will now be personal devices (company willing), all under one unified SLA.
Additional upgrades for Apps for Business users include 24/7 phone support for Hangouts, a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee and, by the end of the year, Google Apps Vault support for Hangouts.
Edited by Maurice Nagle