Continuing the discussion from 2x62: Hey Eckhardt:
From now on, who ever loses the prediction battle should automatically be allowed to predict that Google will once again change their messaging strategy!
Apparently Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat are now Google Meet and Google Chat for G Suite customers but Hangouts remains for consumers - albeit on life support.
This whole COVID-19 pandemic and self-isolation situation has really put a spotlight on the messed up state of messaging on Android (vs iOS where everyone has iMesssage and Facetime so there’s no need for anything else).
I’ve tried a few chat, voice, and video apps. Notably SMS/phone (no video), Hangouts, Duo (no chat), Signal, and WhatsApp.
I’m reluctant to put much effort into Hangouts because we all expect it to be retired soon. The video quality was the worst of them all. But it’s the only one that ticks all the boxes:
- chats, voice, and video in one app
- does not require a mobile number to subscribe (so my kids and parents can use it easily)
- feature parity across mobiles, tablets, and computers (including Chromebooks)
- has enough of my contacts already using it
Duo’s video quality is very good, even for my parents, but getting through signup without a phone number is a hassle (but possible); and there’s no chat component so it’s back to Hangouts for that (Pulse SMS integrates nicely with Duo but that only works for contacts with a mobile).
I would love to use Signal (being open source and private and is an SMS client on the phone) but there’s absolutely no Chrome app (no Linux or Android on my Chromebook); it requires a phone number; and I don’t feel enough of my contacts use it that the rest will easily hop on.
WhatsApp ticks two out of four boxes (all-in-one and most contacts are onboard) plus there are rumours that Facebook is merging the backends of FB Messenger, Insta Messenger, and WhatsApp so I could stay in touch with friends who insist on using FB without me actually opening FB (and never being able to leave).
If I had a time machine the one wrong that I would right is when Google abandoned Hangouts after they had just finished adding SMS to it and it looked like they were finally on track to offer Android users a viable iMessage/Facetime alternative on all platforms.
Has anyone found an alternative that ticks all the boxes?
Happy Easter everyone - stay healthy!!!