Google Chat is a communication service created by Google. Previously, it was designed for business environments and teams; however, it has since become available to the general public/consumers. The software offers group messages or conversations, direct messages and spaces.
Ideally, spaces allow users to create and assign tasks and share files in a central location beyond chat. There are two ways you can access Google Chat (through the website and the Gmail app), which we’ll cover later in this article.
Google Chat is one of two applications that have replaced Google Hangouts, the other being Google Meet. The software launched on March 9, 2017 as Hangouts Chat. It was then renamed to Google Chat on April 9, 2020.
Initially, the software was only available to Google Workspace customers. However, in February 2021, Google began rolling out Google Chat in “early access” to regular consumer accounts until it became fully available in April 2021. Google then ditched the original Hangouts and replaced it with chat in early 2022.
Google chat features
- File sharing.
- Discussion topics in real time.
- Pinning a message.
- Task assignment.
- Search across multiple spaces.
- Video conference.
- Parallel presentation of document and chat.
- Online presence indicators.
- Browsing within the user’s organization.
- Video conference.
Google Chat is divided into two parts: Chat and Spaces. The chat section contains direct conversations with other people and group conversations. Spaces, originally called rooms, is a chat feature built into Google Chat for topic-based collaboration with shared files, conversations, and tasks.
Google Chat integrates group productivity features such as real-time collaboration and message threading to organize topical conversations without leaving Gmail (using the web-based version of Google Chat). Spaces are designed to work together on long-term projects. Unlike spaces, group conversations only support chat and do not have any task functionality or another tab option to display a list of shared files.
Google Chat has also added a chat security feature that will display banners warning users of possible phishing and malware attacks originating from their accounts. Therefore, it is worth using a more secure application.
Spaces also allow users to change the chat name and change it, which is not possible in group conversations. Spaces also allow users to only be notified when they are mentioned. Each space has three tabs: a file tab for sharing files, a task tab for creating and assigning tasks, and a file tab for sharing files.
How to Install Google Chat on Ubuntu 22.04
Step 1: Update the system
First, start the process by opening a terminal with “CTRL+ALT+T”. After that, run the following command to update the system.
sudo apt update
At the end of the terminal, you will be shown if there are any packages that need to be updated. If there are 1 of them, as in our case, then run the following command:
sudo apt upgrade
After a while, all system packages will be updated.
Step 2: Install the Snap
Then install the snap-in by running the following command. However, you have the option to skip this step if you have already set up a Snap package:
sudo snap install snapd
Step 3: Confirm the Snap
Now make sure the snap-in works by installing the snap-in kernel.
sudo snap install core
After configuring the kernel, restart the snap-in by typing the following command:
sudo systemctl restart snapd
Next, let’s install Google Chat.
Step 4Install Google Chat
Finally, install Google Chat on your Ubuntu 22.04 system by running the following command:
sudo snap install google-chat-electron
And it’s all!
Alternatively, you can download Google Chat by visitingsnapcraft official website and clicking the install button as shown in the snapshot below:
You will then be directed to the steps required to install the software on your computer.
Let’s take a look at the next section where we will explain how to open Google Chat.
How to open the web version of Google Chat
There are two ways to open Google Chat. The first is to use the Gmail app launcher or the website by clicking on the set of grid dots at the top right of the screen.
Once the grid opens, a number of apps will appear, including Contacts, Gmail, Drive, and Calendar. The green Google Chat icon should also appear in the list. Click on it to open the web version of Google Chat.
Last Google Web Chat window
Let us now clarify the steps to open Google Chat.
How to open the google chat app
On the other hand, you can click on the start menu on your Ubuntu system, which should display all the applications installed on your system, as shown below:
After that, go to the Google Chat icon and click on it.
And here it is.
How to use Google Chat
After opening the application, the Gmail login window will appear; Sign in with your Gmail login credentials:
After authorization, you will be taken to the chat interface. You will see a hamburger icon on the left side of the chat interface screen. This is the main menu of Google Chat, where chat, sections, and meetings are located, as shown in the snapshot below:
Note. All previous Google Hangout conversions will be displayed here, along with a list of the people you’ve chatted with.
To start a conversation, click on the plus sign, as shown in the screenshot below:
After that, another window will appear with several options: “start a group conversation, create a space, view spaces, message requests, and often.” Click on the option that best suits your needs and continue. If you’ve had previous Google Hangouts conversations, they’ll show up in the “often” section.
To send a message, click on the name of the intended user. After that, enter a message on the bulletin board and click the submit button in the shape of a triangle:
On the right side of the screen window, you will be provided with data such as presence information and whether specific users are online or offline, as shown in the snapshot below:
Google Chat also has a search bar to help you quickly find people, places, and messages to save time.
The Google Chat Message Board has advanced functionality that offers features such as “formatting options, adding emoji to a conversation, inserting graphic interchange formats (GIFs), a file upload button, and adding a hangout button”, which is very convenient for many users.
Remember that it also has workspace tools that can be displayed by clicking on the (+) icon located in front of the bulletin board, as shown below:
After creating a new chat and space, they should be well classified, starting with chats and then spaces, as shown below:
On the bottom left is an appointment button that allows users to create a new appointment and another one to view your appointments as shown below:
Some handy features, such as predictive text input options, also automate responses in this app. For example, if a colleague says “Good morning”, Google Chat will offer you a list of suitable responses such as “Okay, how are you?”
After creating a chat, you can share spreadsheets and documents from Google Drive. This way, any allowed members will access the file through Google Docs.
In addition, hangout links are quickly established through the chat interface. Once posted to Google Chat, the chat will offer an interactive meeting for colleagues.
After considering this stage, let’s highlight the pros that come with this app.
- Google chat integration.
- Google chat cost.
- Is Google Chat right for you?
Pricing for Google Chat as a component of Google Workspace is available across all parent product pricing tiers.
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