Anyone remember “GChat” or “Google Talk?”
I do. I remember it well.
It came in furiously in the wake of AIM’s demise and quickly became the preferred messenger among my friend circle.
Then they added Google Apps support making it an ideal business IM.
Then they blew it!
- Sure, they could’ve improved everyone’s favorite messenger by making it easier to find the people you want to talk to.
- Sure, they could’ve improved everyone’s favorite messenger by letting you combined your personal and professional Google accounts for a single stream of communication.
- Sure, they could’ve improved everyone’s favorite messenger by adding emojis, stickers, animated gifs, and text effects.
- Sure, they could’ve improved everyone’s favorite messenger by incorporating Google Voice to unify voice, SMS, and IM communications.
- Sure, they could’ve improved everyone’s favorite messenger by adding P2P video chat.
- Sure, they could’ve improved everyone’s favorite messenger by letting us send quick videos and pictures, or sharing from our camera roll.
- Sure, they could’ve improved everyone’s favorite messenger by adding private, encrypted and disappearing messages.
- Sure, they could’ve improved everyone’s favorite messenger by adding a virtual assistant.
But why do all that when instead you can blow the whole thing up?
Impossible? Feature creep?
Think this would make Google’s messenger too bloated? Think again?
Facebook is already making it easier and easier to connect with people in a single place with all of the features listed above IN ADDITION to other features such as sending payments and installing apps.
Snapchat is only a few features away from giving us everything above…SNAPCHAT!
Meanwhile, Google is making us invite friends to five different places to talk while distributing these features across each messenger.
Because why have one messenger when you can have FIVE?
Fragmentation and naming cluterf**ks
FIVE is the currently number of communication apps from Google (provided that we don’t count the beleagured Google+).
There are rumors than Hangouts will become an enterprise app, because what business person doesn’t think about “hanging out” when thinking about work?
Seriously…who is running this ship?
Whose idea was it to give up GChat for Hangouts? Further, whose idea was it to turn Hangouts into a business app?
Whose idea was it to release five communications apps while the competition is kicking the crap out of you with ONE.
Here, let me fix that for you
I don’t want to use Facebook messenger and I hate communicating with text on Snapchat. What I really want is ONE messenger that handles it all and so far Apple and Facebook have done the best job. So if Google wants to actually get back in this game, here’s what they should do…
All Google needs is two apps. Everything is is straight up stupid.
App #1: Hangouts
Hangouts is a multiperson video chat.
Every other feature doesn’t belong there. Hangouts makes sense as a video chat application for multiple people. The name fits.
The only other feature should be streaming to YouTube Live. Pick up where Blab left off.
App #2: GChat (Google Chat)
Bring back the old name and stop being so damn clever.
“We’ll call it Allo” …really?
GChat rolls off the tongue. Older people will like it and feel nostalgic about the re-release. Newer people can easily say it and already have a Gmail account.
GChat should be the comprehensive app.
- It should allow for multiple points for incoming communications, like iMessages. I should be able to put my work and personal Google accounts together in one app and one stream. This means people can message me by putting in my phone number (GVoice), personal Google, or professional Google account. They should be able to contact me regardless of whether they have the app.
- It should have IM, SMS, MMS, voice chat, and video chat. App to phone communications (SMS and MMS) should flow through your Google Voice number so it feels like texting to the other person. This way the user can just give out the GVoice number instead of making people download an app.
- It should have stickers, emojis, and animated gifs.
- It should have the ability to send videos, send pictures, and markup photos and videos.
- It should have the built in Allo assistant.
- It should have private, encrypted and disappearing chats.
And this is the most exciting part: It should give you a single stream of communications from any person.
Imagine seeing all of your IMs, texts, picture messages, video messages, and voicemails from someone ALL in ONE PLACE!
Now do this and make it look clean and sexy like Allo.
I fixed it. Your welcome.
The assistant can get directions, add things to calendar, send emails, add reminders, book flights…ALL THROUGH GOOGLE SERVICES!
Ok, now you want to see how you get Google into Social?
Add a swipe to the left to open up the camera/video like on Snapchat and Instagram.
Now videos can stream live to YouTube Live and pictures can go to Google Photos.
Google+ can become a mixture of YouTube Live, Google Photos, and status updates.
More on the future later but I can’t waste anymore energy if Google can’t get past this first hurdle?