There are two types of people that use Gmail. First, there are people who have switched over to Hangouts and won’t look back. Second, there are those who will stay with “g-chat” forever… at least until Google ultimately forces everyone to convert.
Are you on the fence? Are your colleagues trying to convince you to take the plunge? Or maybe you’re trying to stick to what works? Let’s put them face-to-face.
Ease of Use
G-Chat is simple. Click someone’s name, type, and press enter. The little colored dots tell you if they’re online, busy, or away. Hangouts has a ton of features, but when you first start using it, you’ll have to re-learn how to do things.
And while Hangouts has a ton of cool features, it also cut out some essential ones. For example, the ability to jump from chat window to chat window by pressing the tab key is lost with Hangouts, and you can no longer have a “busy” status. *grumble grumble*
G-chat is instantaneous and windows pop up seamlessly. Hangouts is still sluggish and very clunky at times. Hangouts have gotten slightly faster overtime, but it’s still slow in comparison.
Reliability & Bugs
Hangouts is new, but again Google really needs to get it up to speed. Sometimes I have “ghost windows” appear when people start a chat with me. When this happens, I can’t see anything — just the outline of what should be the chat window. Then I have to refresh Gmail and then reopen all of my chat windows. The worst.
Stickers, images, GIFs, the little typing icon, and even some fun easter eggs are all at your fingertips in Hangouts. G-Chat wins in simplicity, but if you want to send media, you’re going to have to chat the person a link. And links are usually long. I mean, you could use bitly, but that requires more work.
(Easter egg: Type /shydino and see what happens. There are tons of these!)
There’s probably a way to use g-chat on your phone (I think the Gmail app has chats come in like email threads), but it’s not easy or intuitive at all.
Hangouts has its own designated app that doesn’t cut anything out. It’s great for sending chats from the bathroom, but could be a bother if you don’t want to talk to people when you shouldn’t be working. (Go on vacation, people.)
My colleagues used to share fun statuses. These were usually links to funny GIFs or statuses to notify the masses of thoughts or things (like free food in the kitchen). Now that most have converted to Hangouts, all I see are a list of names. Now, this is an option in Hangouts, but currently it doesn’t work. Google, fix this. It still works seamlessly in g-chat though!
Now that we’ve done some comparing, you’re probably wondering where I stand…
I went back-and-forth between the two options around three times. Yes, this is a big deal to me because it’s legit way to communicate to colleagues in the office. Hangouts ultimately won because it gave me the ability to chat from mobile and had more media-rich options. I’m just hoping Google will make Hangouts faster and better over time.
Where do you stand? Do you agree with what I said? Comment below or tweet me~!
Additional image credits: Google
Hi I’m Mikey Dunn~! I live in New Jersey and work in New York City. Here, you’ll find posts about anime, college advice, tech, and opinions. I also vlog weekly on YouTube about my life.