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Google Talk vs Google Hangouts – The Battle between Two Great Free Apps

Are you a Gmail user?

If you are, then you probably know of Google Talk. Many Gmail users are fond of using this app. And now, Google has released an updated version of Talk, called Hangouts. GTalk is still around. This means you can still use which one you prefer to use. Confused? This article might help you to decide.

Roughly a year ago, Google decided to remove Google Talk – or Gtalk, as it is more simply called – from their App Store. This was in lieu of a new release of an instant messaging and video chat platform – the Google+ Hangouts.

The Google+ Hangouts promised better instant messaging and video calling experience to its users. Unfortunately, it seems that Hangouts was not yet developed well enough to win the hearts of the many users who chose to stick with the old Gtalk. After all, Gtalk hasn’t officially expired yet – it is still available for download and use at many third party download sites.

Maybe you are part of the crowd of reluctant Google product users that are still standing at the crossroads not knowing where to go. Then perhaps this article can help you weigh some pros and cons of switching to Google+ Hangouts.

What Hangouts Has that Gtalk Doesn’t

Google decided to abandon the “less is more” mantra in creating Hangouts. Features that Gtalk lacked but have been integrated into Hangouts include uploading pictures and using emojis and animated GIFs into chats. This, as well as the option of putting up a picture next to your name on contact lists.

The more key features that were developed in Hangouts are the conference chats and multi-way video calls that are obviously superior to the limited one-on-one calls that Gtalk has. The latest update of Hangouts also presents the Merged Conversations feature that allows people to join their Hangouts messages and SMS to a person into one conversation window.

As an extra treat, thanks to its superb multi-way video call capabilities, Google made Hangouts on Air a new trend. Now, it is easier for you to watch your favorite author or celebrity blogger as they are interviewed and chatted to live. Many celebrities have also held wonderful group video calls with their fans. Who knows, you may be the next lucky fan to have an online chat with your idol!

What Gtalk Has that Hangouts Should Have

Of course, you simply can’t please everyone. Many users have condemned Google+ Hangouts, saying that the multitude of new features has clogged up what was otherwise a nice simplistic yet sleek look of Gtalk. Others point out that Hangouts may have been released a little too early before its maturity.

What developers may have overlooked are some small but equally important features of Gtalk that many users wish were also retained in Hangouts. The ability to choose the Invisibility option, for one, withholds Hangouts users the choice to go online incognito on days when they don’t feel like socializing. Status options are also quite limited (though they have been improved somewhat with the recent update) compared to the old Gtalk. You can’t let people know that you are currently busy or away from the computer.

Google’s transition phase between Gtalk to Hangouts has opened holes in their services, allowing for misunderstandings and failed message deliveries to happen. For example, people who still use Gtalk in their Gmail cannot join in on group messages initiated by Hangouts users. Moreover, Hangouts users won’t receive group messages from Gtalk users at all. Sad to say, despite its wide brand recognition, Google still has a long way to go before reaching the top of telephony services.

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