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Google’s next chat app will combine Gmail, Hangouts, and more

Published Jan 29th, 2020 6:36PM EST

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Google has developed or acquired a large number of useful apps over the years, unifying them all under your Google account. Search, YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps, Waze, Android, Assistant, and many others are all available using the same login, making Google one of the best provider of free services in the world — free, of course, means that you’re paying with your data, but that’s a trade-off many of us are comfortable making.

The one thing Google still doesn’t have, and not for lack of trying, is a chat app that can deliver everything we expect from a modern messenger. Google struggled for years to come up with an iMessage rival, but utterly failed, in spite of releasing quite a number of chat apps along the way. If you thought Facebook has been overdoing it with Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram, you must have lost sight of Google’s many instant messaging platforms that have launched over this past decade. And now — you guessed it — Google is making another chat app, but this time around, it has a different idea in mind.

iMessage remains the best iPhone-exclusive feature. Apple isn’t doing an Android version of the app, and Google can’t replicate it. Now, the company is supposedly focusing on a different type of chat app — one that should satisfy the needs of businesses. According to The Information, the new chat app would meld features from several other Google products, including Gmail and Drive. The app would also feature support for Hangouts Meet video calls and Hangouts Chat texting. The app would be included in Google’s G Suite collection of apps.

If you’re already using chat apps for business, be it Slack or Microsoft Teams, then you know where Google is heading. It’s unclear at this time what the app will be called, and its interface still hasn’t leaked.

The report says that Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian addressed the app during a mid-January meeting with Google salespeople and business partners. If Google is already having such meetings, it would be fair to assume that the app could be unveiled at Google I/O 2020, the developer conference set for this May in San Francisco.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.