Unified Communications Featured Article

Google Hangouts Merge Text and Chat Conversations for All Users

April 24, 2014

Keeping track of communications made through text messages or chat clients like Google Hangouts is becoming more of a chore, considering that both of these types of messages are usually done from the same device now. Programs like Facebook Messenger and other third-party apps have solved this problem by merging  chat clients with the user’s SMS text messaging program, but now Google has joined the club as well: Google users can now access SMS messages and Chat messages from Google Hangouts.

Now whether you’re sitting at your computer or on the go with your daily tasks, messages can all be sent to the same location, ensuring that the message is sent or received with no regard to location. Sending a message to your children and having it simultaneously sent to both their Google hangout chat session as well as their mobile phone means that they can no longer deny that they were asked to send a thank-you letter to their Grandmother, as an example. This is also indicative of future plans for Google to incorporate other communications into Hangouts, like voice and video.

Google is promising that they will help differentiate between SMS and Chat messages within Hangouts, so that it’ll be clear to all parties who is using what. Sent messages will be incredibly easy to tell apart at first glance: green means that the message was sent via Hangouts chat, and white will denote SMS messages. Received messages may all display the same background, but text messages will display a small “via SMS” label to set them apart.

Of course, this will also have extensive changes on the way that Hangouts is used in business environments. Already, employees use hangouts chat segments to do everything from communicate important product design strategy to figuring out where everyone should meet for lunch. Incorporating SMS text messaging into the system means that these same employees could communicate the same principles while telecommuting with even greater flexibility than before, or even ask someone who’s already out for lunch to pick up a couple of extra sandwiches for the office.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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