We did our episode on how one aspect of IM has gotten far worse rather than better due to the fracturing of the market. Networks don’t interoperate and anyone with a wide social circle is forced to navigate multiple services, many of which are awful.
Hangouts is overall the most functional IM Google has. Duo and Allo are both barely used and less featured. I worry they’ll roll hangouts entirely into one of the two and basically ruin what little ecosystem I’ve managed to cobble together…
This blows. Thankfully I’d only really began to be the driving force bringing my friends on board the hangouts train. If I hit the breaks they all go back to using sms and group.me not ideal but… kinda works, I guess.
It doesn’t have the Hangouts embedded goodness such as video calls and audio calls but it is more than competent at being a text based chat that is properly encrypted.
Can act as SMS as well.
Properly encrypted packets not like iMessage which encrypts then signs each packet (making the signing of each packet useless).
Saves chat history and you can encrypt and export a chat log which can only be decrypted using your private key / cert which is only known to you (like it should be).
The keys are not known or accessible by the company unlike Apple everything or with Google’s Allo when using the non private setting. Even though WhatsApp uses Open Whisper system’s Signal protocol, unless you ticked a box during the June/July all messages can be read by Facebook who must have your key to do so. Prior to that June / July period Facebook didn’t meddle with WhatsApp security. Now it’s useless as even though you may have denied Facebook access to your key other people would not have known about setting this option. Many muggles use it thinking that Facebook is not involved when in fact they are “improving your Facebook advertisement experience”.
Telegram has a very nice front end and hyped up their security but they rolled their own encryption and their protocol was found to be severely lacking.
Haven’t used the other ones yet. Wickr is supposed to be good but the chat is ephemeral.
I would put effort into coordinating a mass-exodus from hangout, HOWEVER, it has to work on the mobile and the desktop. That’s really the only major problem with Allo. Where is the desktop client? I would really like to switch to iMessage, but it needs a desktop client that works on Win/Linux and not just OSX. This is still the thing that Hangouts does that nothing else seems to do. You can get your messages no matter what screen you are currently looking at.
It seems that there is something basic that I’m missing. Slack and Skype (trash) both do this. I’m reasonably sure I can trivially find more with both desktop and mobile clients. Why do you say hangouts is the only one that does this?
I only like using Slack at work. In every other circumstance it’s business-first nature just gets in the way. The free version is especially lacking, and it’s too expensive for anyone to pay for it. We’d be better off with just actual IRC. However, that is a system meant for chat room. While it supports direct person to person messaging, that is not its primary function. It’s UI is not well suited towards that purpose.
It’s how my office communicates. It has a mobile client, and it really is very similar to IRC (plus has an IRC plugin) it would work, sort of as a text only communication between friends. You’d have to get comfortable with a different way of trying to talk to one and only one person.