What Is Google Chat? Everything You Need To Know – February 2024
Google Chat is yet another chat service by Google. Many of you are probably quite confused at this point, as Google had quite a few of these services, some of which are gone at this point. In this article, we’ll do our best to explain what is Google Chat and provide you with some additional information about the service. This service was launched back in 2017, and it’s not as popular as some other messaging services. It not only arrived late to the party, but it launched as a spin-off, in a way. Let’s talk more about Google Chat, shall we?
What is Google Chat?
As mentioned in the introduction, this is a chat service aka communication software. Google Chat came to life as a spin-off from Google Hangouts, in a way. It came to being one of two apps to replace Google Hangouts. Google launched Google Chat and Google Meet. Google Meet seemingly managed to get more traction than Google Chat, at least it seems that way, as Google didn’t release any official information.
How can I access Google Chat?
Google Chat is available on both desktop and mobile platforms. You can access it via the Gmail client, with ease, as it replaced Hangouts there. You’ll notice the ‘Chat’ menu in the left-hand menu on Google’s official mail.google.com website. You’ll need to log in first, of course. Google Chat is also available in the form of a smartphone app. If it’s not already installed on your phone, you can get it from the Google Play Store. It’s free, of course. It’s also available on iOS, in case you’re using an iPhone.
Does Google Chat contain my Hangouts conversations?
Those of you who used Hangouts in the past are probably wondering whether your archive of conversations is available in Google Chat. The answer is yes, well, if you want. You can get Google Chat to pull the list of your Hangouts conversations for you, at least that was the case when I first installed the app. That was quite some time ago. It’s possible that it’s pulling the conversations on its own now.
Does it have ads?
No, Google Chat does not have ads, unlike many other apps out there. Those of you who use Viber, Facebook Messenger, and some other popular instant messaging applications, will know that ads are usually a part of such apps. Well, that’s not the case here, which is to be expected, as this is Google’s app. You won’t be bothered by ads in between your conversations, nor will you get any other type of ads here.
Is it feature-rich?
Google Chat, as things stand, is a minimalistic instant messaging service. It does have all the essentials that you’d expect out of such an app. You can send text messages, pictures, videos, GIFs, calendar invites, and so on. It even has great integration with Google Meet, as expected. It does not have some other, more advanced instant messaging features, though. Those non-essential ones. You won’t find custom stickers here, for example, nor can you record and send a voice clip to someone via this app. All the essentials are here, though.
Is the UI clean or cluttered?
Both the Google Chat app and web client are quite clean in terms of the UI design. That’s not surprising considering that this is Google we’re talking about. If you prefer a straightforward design with no clutter, Google Chat is one of the best out there. Other than the hamburger menu, search bar, profile picture, and two tabs at the bottom, the entire focus is on the conversations themselves. Even when you open a particular chat, you’ll get a really clean UI, with most features being located on the left side of the message field.
Does it support group conversations?
Yes, it supports group conversations, the same way Hangouts did back in the day. You can easily create group chats. All you have to do is start a new chat with one person, and then you’ll see the add icon at the top. Via that icon, you’ll be able to add more people to that chat without a problem.
Does it come pre-installed on Android phones?
That question, regardless of what app we’re talking about, always depends on what phone we’re talking about. Android OS is installed on a lot of phones these days, some of which have Google services, some do not. On phones without Google services, no, it does not come pre-installed. Even on phones that do come with Google services, chances are you won’t see it pre-installed. Some phones may have it, but most that I’ve seen do note. Google may start pushing the app more aggressively down the line, but that’s just not the case at the moment. It’s way more aggressive with Google Meet, in all honesty.
What are Google Chat alternatives?
There are tons of instant messaging apps in the market, so you have plenty of alternatives to Google Chat. In fact, most of those alternatives have been alive longer than Google Chat, in its current form. Some of the alternative instant messaging services are Viber, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Signal, Telegram, and Kik. These are, of course, not all the services available out there, but only some of the most popular ones.
Is Google Chat Android exclusive?
No, it’s not. It is also available on iOS, in an app form. Google Chat as a service, on the other hand, is available pretty much everywhere. Regardless of what OS you’re using, you can access this service via the web browser. Simply open mail.google.com, as we talked about earlier, and it will be there, along with your emails.
Will Google Chat remember my past conversations?
By default, yes, it will. Google Chat does have an option to disable message history, though. If you’d like it to delete older messages, you can opt for that as well. Most people prefer to have all their chats in one place, and not lose any of them, or choose which ones to delete. So, by default, the chat history is turned on. You can easily change that.
Is Google Chat aimed at private or business use?
Well, both, kind of. It aims to be a regular instant messaging app, but it also caters to business users. It’s a part of Google’s Workspace portfolio, and it is being used for business purposes as well. It does a good job in that aspect.
Does Google Chat support dark mode?
Many people prefer dark themes these days, and some of you are probably wondering if dark theme/mode is available in the Google Chat app. The answer is, yes, it is. In fact, you have several options regarding dark mode. You can choose between Light and Dark modes in the settings, or you can simply opt to have Google Chat follow your system settings. If your phone is set to dark mode, in general, this app will be too.
Can I uninstall Google Chat?
Yes, you can. This app doesn’t come pre-installed on many devices, but even if it does, chances are you’ll be able to replace it. We haven’t tested every single phone in the market, of course, so there could be some exceptions, but in general, you can uninstall it without a problem.