Hangouts Chat, Google's Slack competitor, is now available to download

If you work remotely or in a large organization, chances are your company uses Slack for business-related communication. It's something we use here at Android Central every single day, and Google's hoping it can steal away Slack loyalists with the launch of Hangouts Chat.

Hangouts Chat was first announced about a year ago last March, and it was first rolled out as part of an Early Adopter Program. However, Google's now making Hangouts Chat a core feature of its G Suite so anyone can download and use it right away.

Similar to Slack and other related apps, Hangouts Chat allows you create various group chats and communicate one-on-one with other employees via direct messages. Hangouts Chat is available in 28 languages, chat groups/rooms can hold up to 8,000 members each, and you'll find tight integration with Google's other services — including Docs, Sheets, Slides, Vault, and Hangouts Meet.

And, of course, this wouldn't be a Google product without some use of AI. According to Google:

When your teams collaborate in Chat, you can speed up manual work, like booking conference rooms, searching for files and more using artificial intelligence.

To help increase your productivity even more, Hangouts Chat also supports bots. There are 25 available at launch, including ones from Xero, Freshdesk, Kayak, Trello, Zenefits, and others.

Hangouts Chat has dedicated apps for Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac. If you're like me and have a laptop running Chrome OS, you'll need to use Hangout Chat's web app or use the Android app that's not optimized for large displays.

Download: Hangouts Chat (free) (opens in new tab)

Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

  • Does everyone have to be a member of your G Suite in order to use the app or can you have "outsiders" included?
  • you need to be a gsuites to use hangout chats but with meet you can invite outsider but you still need gsuites to initiate a meet. this is not for gmail consumers. people seems to confuse this product
  • Gee, I can't imagine why people would get confused when talking about Google's messaging services.
  • I do use G-Suites but wondering if I could use the app for people NOT in my G-suites.
  • So, with regular Hangouts.. Does the name change or not cos this is gonna confuse only about a billion people. Just saying.. @Google
  • I don't know about that. I'm pretty sure that aside from G Suite customers and people who read blogs like this, no one is even going to hear about this.
  • Thank God, I always felt there was something missing from Messenger, Allo, Duo and Hangouts. No productivity focus. And I hated using both Trello and Slack. Well, luckily, there's a new app to fix this! But seriously, the amount of different communication apps is ridiculous. WhatsApp, Messenger, Android Messenger, Allo, Duo, Hangouts, Skype, Slack, Trello, this thingy, not mentioning the smaller ones and the regional ones - do we seriously need this many? Sure, choice is good, but at this point the market is way oversaturated to introduce anything new.