Google has shown a new Hangouts real time communication app at I/O. Released today, it’s for Android, the web and iOS, it stores all your conversations, with photos organized automatically in albums. You control your history, but there’s never any reason to lose anything unless you want to.
Hangouts replaces Google Talk, Google+ Messenger, Google Voice Chat for Drive and the old Google+ Hangouts. Instead of a list of contacts, when you open Hangouts you see your recent conversations, and they are all live. You can see who has read what, an who is active in the conversation. Like Google+ Hangouts, you can have free video conversations with up to ten people. This means Skype has even more competition, and WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Viber are clearly in its sights.
Hangouts has been heavily rumored for some time. It didn’t make sense for Google to have so many different communication apps, and I’m pleased it’s not called Babel!