Google will clean up social apps by merging Google+ Hangouts, Google Talk, and Google+ messenger

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One of the problems that Google sometimes has is that there are too many projects going on at once, often with nearly identical features. For a company as large as Google, it is understandable that this might happen, but also odd when they don’t manage to fix the problem. Above you can see an example of this kind of confusion with the Google+ Messenger app, Google Talk app, and Google+ app, all of which have very similar functions. The Talk app allows text chats, voice chats, and one-on-one video chats, while the Google+ app allows multiple video chat “Hangouts,” and the Google+ Messenger app is basically the same thing as the Talk app. In fact, the Messenger app allows you to continue conversations from the talk app, and also launch a Google+ hangout from the chat. Not only that, the Messenger app is actually accessible from within the Google+ app, and the talk app voice chat plugs into Google Voice.

As you can see, this could easily become quite confusing, and is really an unnecessary duplication of effort on Google’s part that doesn’t do anything for the consumer. Fortunately, Google Product Manager Nikhyl Singhal has realized this, and said when asked about the confusion, “We have done an incredibly poor job servicing our users here.” He continued to say that Google has recognized the problem, and is working towards a solution which will consolidate the functionality of all three services into one easy to use service and app.

This small tweak contributes even more to the added polish that I was talking about earlier today with Google Music. Multiple services with duplicated features have been a Google problem for a while, and that confusion was beginning to spill over into mobile as well. With Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, it finally appears that Google is looking at the little problems, what some call paper cuts, and fixing them. Although problems like this are admittedly pretty small, it is once again great to see Google pay attention to these details and make Android and the rest of its services a more unified, simple experience.

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Aaron Orquia

Aaron Orquia is an associate editor at Pocketables. He has been using Android and Linux since he bought his first computer years ago, and his interest in technology, software, and tweaking both to work just right has only grown stronger since then. His current gadgets include a OnePlus One, a Pebble smartwatch, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.

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2 thoughts on “Google will clean up social apps by merging Google+ Hangouts, Google Talk, and Google+ messenger

  • I only see one redundant app/shortcut… G Talk should still exist for anyone that wants to use Google Chat (available within Gmail, IM clients, etc.) without having to be exposed to Google’s social network. Nothing wrong with that.


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