It seems that Google inadvertently let the cat out of the bag on a new project it’s been working on, a videoconferencing tool very similar to Hangouts, but capable of handling more meeting members.
Hangouts is not being replaced, from the looks of it. The new service, called ‘Meet by Hangouts’ seems to be geared towards larger videoconference meetings where there are more people than Hangouts can currently handle, which is 10 people on the call. The new service can reportedly handle up to 30 people on a single call.
AppAnnie found a listing for the app on Apple’s App Store, which TechCrunch originally spotted. The app listing has now been removed, suggesting that Google isn’t ready to release the service just yet.
Next week, Google is holding its Google Cloud Next ’17 conference, and it features G Suite apart from Google Cloud Platform, Maps, Devices and other cloud-related products from Google. Hopefully, we’ll see Meet by Google Hangouts featured at that event.
G Suite is a critical component of Google’s enterprise product lineup. Though it’s arguable that it’s not in the same class as Office 365 or some of the solutions from top providers like Cisco, it’s something Google feels is important to its product portfolio.
Unified Communications now has several major companies competing against each other. Facebook launched its Workplace app, and even Amazon Web Services is now in the fray with Amazon Chime, Workmail and Workdocs.
From that perspective it’s not surprising that Google will want to beef up its G Suite capabilities. We don’t yet know what other enhancements to Hangouts Google has brought into the new app, but it’s clear that the search giant wants very much to be a part of the enterprise productivity tools space moving forward.
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