tech talk

Google splits Hangouts into two business-friendly apps, but says it isn't trying to take on Slack

Hangouts Meet will allow companies to hold video calls with up to 30 members, and Hangouts Chat will make it easier to hold team conversations.

Google is set to give Hangouts – its messaging app – a major overhaul, by converting it into a business communication tool. During the ongoing Next conference in San Francisco, Google on Thursday announced that Hangouts will now have two parts — Hangouts Meet for video chat and Hangouts Chat.

The Hangouts Chat, which till date was mainly a direct one-on-one chat service, will now have group chat rooms options to hold team meetings. This is the biggest change the app has undergone since it was launched in 2013, according to Verge. It will be integrated into Google Docs and Sheets so that document permissions are assigned automatically based on the team that created them. The app will work on Android, iOS and the web.

Another major feature will be app scripts. Using this feature, Google has created a bot – @meet – that can take a look at the schedules of the users in a group chat and automatically suggest a meeting time and schedule it directly in the Google Calendar. Third-party companies will be able to create apps that integrate with Hangouts Chat using the app scripts.

Hangouts Meet will help companies hold video calls with as many as 30 members at a time. According to the company, the new video chat will be a lighter-weight version of the app and thus will not put lot of pressure on the device processors. Enterprise customers will get a dial-in number automatically. Hangouts Meet will also have an edge over Microsoft Edge and Apple’s Safari – both video chat services – because the user will not need to install a plugin on Chrome or Firefox.

With the new version, Google is looking forward to some corporate collaboration with Hangouts. However, some of these features will be limited to Gsuite users while regular Gmail users may have to eventually pay for a few of these features.

According to tech experts, the new look and features make Google’s Hangouts Chat a lot like Microsoft’s Slack. However, Google’s head of apps engineering Prabhakar Raghavan denied such reports. He told Recode that the new version is not meant to challenge Slack. Raghavan said Slack is already integrated with Google Drive. “We don’t intend to take away from that” he added.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

A musical remix, a delectable dish and a taxi makeover

What do these three works of art have in common?

What connects Raghav Sachar, Ranveer Brar and Taxi Fabric? On the surface, nothing at all. Sachar is known for his genius musical abilities, Brar a chef loved for demystifying food while the essence of Taxi Fabric goes way beyond its name. All three operate, and thrive, in unconnected domains. Upon looking closer, though, a common thread emerges between their work so far - an unmistakable streak of creativity.

Raghav Sachar is a singer, composer and film scorer who was featured in a National Geographic series, My Brilliant Brain, for his prodigious musical abilities - he can effortlessly switch between male and female vocals and play over 30 musical instruments! His adaptations of old Bollywood songs, shot in a multi-screen format, have been especially well received on the Internet.

Ranveer Brar is a well-known chef who is working to expand the idea of food. He has appeared in culinary shows as diverse as Masterchef India, Great Indian Rasoi, Thank God It’s Fryday and Food Tripping. Brar’s work in food media isn’t merely instructional, he seeks to deep dive into food - to the very science of it and its endless aesthetic possibilities. Brar is also a phenomenal food stylist who approaches food presentation as no less than an art, and himself as no less than a food artiste.

Taxi Fabric is a startup that turns taxi seat covers into canvases for artists. Through Taxi Fabric, artists have found a medium to unleash their creativity and activism onto Mumbai’s roads – the iconic kaali peelis. If you get lucky on a Mumbai street, you may hop into a world of Mumbai’s chawls, surrealist Persian architecture, Chandni Chowk and more in your short taxi ride.

The latest projects from these three creatives have a connection too - the same muse, presented by Flipkart. The muse inspired Raghav Sachar to recreate one of his own songs ‘Baahon Mein Tu Aaja’. Watch his new version of the song below.

Chef Ranveer Brar, meanwhile, dipped into his food styling instinct to create a beautiful dish. You can watch his piece of culinary art below.

Taxi Fabric brought on board Arun Chanchal, a graphic designer who describes his aesthetic as geometric surrealism. Watch the stunning result of their collaboration below.

Flipkart revealed the #ExtraordinaryBeauty that launched a musical remix, a delectable dish and a taxi makeover on 20th July. Watch the reveal below.

Honor 9N is the latest in Honor’s range of beautiful, yet highly functional, phones. There’s a lot that makes Honor 9N a worthy muse - it boasts 2.5D curved glass design with 12-layer nano coating process. It, moreover, offers full-screen display thanks to its notch design. Honor 9N will be launched in India as a Flipkart exclusive on 24th July, 2018. To know more about the phone, click here. Stay tuned for the launch, here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Flipkart and not by the Scroll editorial team.