Archive for : June, 2018

Google messaging app

According to Android Authority, since the launch of Google Talk in 2005, Google has emphasized the importance of people using the company’s services to communicate with one another. In fact, Google thinks it’s so important, that it made more Google-branded messaging platforms than it knows what to do with, each one offering similar functions with minor tweaks.

All the different Google messaging apps can be confusing, and it doesn’t help that Google continually disables services, re-brands them, or integrates features from one app into another. But, according to Google (via Computer World), it will not wrap all the messaging services under one roof:

We’ve designed specific products for distinct use cases, so we don’t intend to have one app that does everything for everyone. We think we can better serve our users by creating products that function really well, and users can choose the product that best suits their needs.

While this sounds good on paper, it also makes things bewildering for the user when it comes to sticking with one app for one function. For example, a user could use Google Duo, Google Voice, or Hangouts to make a phone call. Which one should they use? Why is one of them better than any other? Before we take a look at all the current Google messaging apps, let’s look back Google’s messaging history.

History

Google’s first attempt at a messaging application was arguably its best. It was called Google Talk (sometimes colloquially referred to as Google Chat or Gchat) and you could use it to chat with anyone on any platform, even if they didn’t have a Google account. The Gmail web portal had a browser-based chat box, so you didn’t have to install any software. There was an Android app, a Windows app, and even a BlackBerry app. However, Google Talk was based on an open-source protocol called XMPP.

Google proposed new instant messaging tool for 2018

According to Boing Boing, it’s 2018, five years after Edward Snowden’s documents revealed the scope of US and allied mass surveillance; after a string of revelations about creepy private-sector cyber-arms-dealers who sell spying tools to stalkers, criminals, and autocratic governments, Google has proposed “Chat,” a new Android standard for instant messaging with no encryption and hence zero protection against snooping.

By contrast, Facebook — tech’s most surveillance-happy corporation — added Signal’s end-to-end encryption to Whatsapp in 2014. Amnesty International says that Google has shown “total contempt” for Android users’ privacy, Mcdovoice satisfaction survey.

“With its baffling decision to launch a messaging service without end-to-end encryption, Google has shown utter contempt for the privacy of Android users and handed a precious gift to cybercriminals and government spies alike, allowing them easy access to the content of Android users’ communications. Following the revelations by CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden, end-to-end encryption has become recognized as an essential safeguard for protecting people’s privacy when using messaging apps. With this new Chat service, Google shows a staggering failure to respect the human rights of its customers,” Westby contended.

Westby continued, saying: “In the wake of the recent Facebook data scandal, Google’s decision is not only dangerous but also out of step with current attitudes to data privacy.”