Tag Archives: Hangouts Chat

Delete your conversation history in Hangout Chat

Quick launch summary

You’ll now be able to delete your conversation history of 1:1 direct messages in Hangouts Chat. These deletions apply to 1:1 conversations between classic Hangouts and Hangouts Chat in both directions. Please note, you’re only deleting your copy of the conversation history. Other users will still be able to see the chat.

Availability

Rollout details


G Suite editions

  • Available to all G Suite Editions.

On/off by default?

  • This feature will be ON by default.

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Easily copy your Gmail holds to Hangouts Chat in Google Vault

What’s changing

As we previously announced, beginning on April 16, 2019, Mail retention rules and holds will stop protecting chat messages in classic Hangouts. Instead, Hangouts Chat retention rules and holds will protect chat messages in both classic Hangouts and Chat. To continue to preserve messages in classic Hangouts, before April 16, 2019, you must copy any existing Mail holds (that apply to messages in classic Hangouts) to Hangouts Chat in Google Vault. Today, we’re launching a new feature in Vault to help you copy your holds from Mail to Hangouts Chat, with a few clicks.

Who’s impacted

Vault Admins only

Why you’d use it

This feature helps you ensure all your messages in classic Hangouts and Hangouts Chat are preserved by the same Vault policies as your classic Hangouts messages are today.

How to get started

Admins: In Vault,
  • From the list of Vault matters, click on any matter that may contain Gmail holds. When viewing the list of holds in this matter, you can select multiple Mail holds at once.
  • Select the Mail hold(s) and click Copy holds to Hangouts Chat.


End users: No action required

Additional details

Note that Hangouts Chat doesn’t support holds based on date ranges or search terms, so they won’t be copied with the hold. You can also choose to extend these holds to cover conversations associated with these custodians in rooms.

Additionally, if you have a large number of holds in place, you can also use Vault APIs to duplicate your holds in bulk.

Helpful links

Availability

Rollout details

G Suite editions
  • Available to G Suite Business, Enterprise, and Enterprise for Education editions, as well as G Suite users with the Vault add-on license.

On/off by default?
  • This feature will be ON by default.
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Upcoming Hangouts service consolidation for all G Suite customers

What’s changing

As we announced in 2017, Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet are the next generation of Hangouts that focus on team communication. Later this year, we'll transition classic Hangouts users on G Suite domains to Chat and Meet. As a first step, some changes are coming on April 16, 2019.

Key dates to note

G Suite customers can expect the following timeline of changes:
  • April 16, 2019 – Several changes that may require administrator action (see below for details).
  • Between April and September 2019 – Features from classic Hangouts will come to Chat.
  • October 2019 – Start retiring classic Hangouts for G Suite customers.


Consumer impact
The above dates are specific to G Suite customers and their end users who use classic Hangouts. We will continue to support consumer use of classic Hangouts, and expect to transition consumers to free Chat and Meet following the transition of G Suite customers. A more specific timeline will be communicated at a later date.

What changes will take place on April 16, 2019?
For G Suite domains that have classic Hangouts enabled, Chat will also become available to users on the web and via mobile apps. They can also continue using classic Hangouts in Gmail, mobile, web or the Chrome extension. See these details for how interoperability works between Chat and classic Hangouts.

The following admin-facing changes will begin taking place on April 16, 2019:
  1. For Google Vault customers, Mail retention rules and holds will stop protecting chat messages in classic Hangouts. Instead, Chat retention rules and holds will protect chat messages in both classic Hangouts and Chat.
  2. Chat admin settings will now control chat capability in both classic Hangouts and Chat.
  3. A new setting in the Admin console under Apps > G Suite > Hangouts Chat will be added so you can disable classic Hangouts user interfaces at a time of your choosing.
  4. The "Google Hangouts" settings page in the Admin console will be renamed "Hangouts Meet." This setting will control both classic Hangouts video and Hangouts Meet.

Google Vault customers need to take action before April 16, 2019
Between March 16 and April 16, 2019, Vault customers that have any Mail retention rules or holds will have an indefinite retention rule automatically created for Chat. This rule is to protect all your chat messages in classic Hangouts when Chat rules start protecting them on April 16, 2019. Before April 16, 2019, you must:

  • Review and set new retention rules for Chat in Google Vault.
  • Duplicate any existing Mail holds for Chat in Google Vault.
  • Set any new holds on chat messages from Chat in Google Vault.
  • Once you have set your preferred retention rules and holds for Chat, in order for them to take effect, remove the indefinite retention rule that may be overriding your rules.

If you don’t take set your preferred retention rules or holds in Chat and then remove the indefinite retention rule by April 16, 2019, all your chat messages in classic Hangouts and direct messages in Chat will be retained indefinitely. Refer to this Help Center article to learn more about completing these actions.

What will happen in October 2019?
Classic Hangouts will be retired for all G Suite customers starting in October 2019 and all remaining users will be transitioned to Chat. More notices and details will be shared on the G Suite Updates blog in the future. In order to make the transition easier for your users, you can review our Chat documentation.


What is the best time to move my users to Hangouts Chat?
You can transition your users immediately if you’d like. If there’s more functionality that your organization needs before switching, rest assured that between April and September 2019, we’ll add features that will make it easier for your users to move from classic Hangouts to Chat such as:

  • Integration with Gmail
  • Chatting with external users
  • An improved video calling experience
  • Making calls with Google Voice

We will communicate availability of these new features via the G Suite Updates blog so stay tuned!

Helpful links


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Save time with Smart Reply in Hangouts Chat

We’re bringing Smart Reply to Hangouts Chat so you can respond to teammates quickly and move projects forward more efficiently, in less time. This launch is part of our ongoing effort to bring intelligent, assistive writing tools to all of G Suite.

Smart Reply in Hangouts Chat uses sophisticated machine learning intelligence, similar to that behind Smart Reply in Gmail. Our technology recognizes which messages most likely need responses, and proposes up to 3 different replies.





Once you’ve selected one, you can send it immediately or edit your response starting with the Smart Reply text. Please note, this feature is currently only available in English.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Reply to a message

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Securely log in to Hangouts Chat desktop apps with SSO or security keys

We’re improving the Hangouts Chat sign in process to support using Single-Sign-On (SSO) and security keys within our native MacOS and Windows apps. These authentication options were previously only available for Chat on the web.

With SSO, employees can use the same, easy sign-in process for Chat that they use to access all of their enterprise cloud applications after signing in just one time.

For admins who have required that their users have 2-step verification enabled, this requirement will now apply to Chat desktop apps as well.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center:Add 2-Step Verification
Help Center: Use Security Key for 2-Step Verification

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Whitelist third-party bots for Hangouts Chat

We’re adding the option for you, as a G Suite admin, to whitelist specific bots for Hangouts Chat for your organization. This new setting will apply in Chat beginning October 10th, 2018.

When we announced Hangouts Chat earlier this year, we introduced bots. Bots provide a conversational way for you to connect to services in Chat, such as looking up information, scheduling meetings, performing tasks, and so on. Bots can be created by Google, users in your domain, or third parties.

We’ve heard from you that you’d like more granularity over which third-party bots your users can interact with in Chat. In addition to the option in the Admin console to turn bots on or off for your domain, you can now enable specific third-party bots individually in the G Suite Marketplace settings.


Full instructions on how to whitelist bots can be found in the Help Center. While you can start adding bots to a whitelist now, this new setting won’t take effect in Chat until October 10th, 2018.

This means that if you have previously disabled all G Suite Marketplace apps or whitelisted specific apps, the Google Drive bot, Meet bot, and third-party bots will stop working unless you change your G Suite Marketplace settings to allow these.

For more information on using bots in Chat, check out the Help Center.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:

  • Admin ability to whitelist: Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility) starting September 26, 2018
  • Setting takes effect in Chat: Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility) starting October 10, 2018
Impact:
Admins only

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: About bots
Help Center: Control user installation of Marketplace apps

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Snooze notifications in Hangouts Chat

Hangouts Chat makes it easy to collaborate efficiently, but it’s important that you can disconnect without interruptions from Chat messages. You can now snooze notifications, allowing other users to know that you are checking messages on your own time.



You can choose the time frame that best suits your needs from the options of 30 minutes or one, two, four or eight hours. During this time, notifications will be muted on all your devices. Other people will see your presence indicator change to a moon and a status line next to your name letting them know when they can expect you to be responsive again.

Use our Help Center to find out more about snoozing notifications.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Gradual rollout (up to 15 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Snooze notifications


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React with emojis in Hangouts Chat

You can now use emoji reactions to respond to any Hangouts Chat message. Reactions allow you to quickly and creatively react to any message to show support, humor or empathy. For example, you can use them to celebrate good news, acknowledge a request, take a quick poll, and more.



Communication styles at work are evolving, and expressive communication modes are oftentimes preferred over simple text. Emojis, in particular, are a fun and effective way of accurately representing thoughts and feelings to help you build stronger personal connections with your team.

To access reactions in Chat on the web, mouse over any message and click on the “Add reaction” icon. On mobile, long press on the desired message to see the “Add reaction” icon.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Get started with Hangouts Chat

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Hangouts Chat alerts & notifications… with asynchronous messages

Posted by Wesley Chun (@wescpy), Developer Advocate, G Suite

While most chatbots respond to user requests in a synchronous way, there are scenarios when bots don't perform actions based on an explicit user request, such as for alerts or notifications. In today's DevByte video, I'm going to show you how to send messages asynchronously to rooms or direct messages (DMs) in Hangouts Chat, the team collaboration and communication tool in G Suite.

What comes to mind when you think of a bot in a chat room? Perhaps a user wants the last quarter's European sales numbers, or maybe, they want to look up local weather or the next movie showtime. Assuming there's a bot for whatever the request is, a user will either send a direct message (DM) to that bot or @mention the bot from within a chat room. The bot then fields the request (sent to it by the Hangouts Chat service), performs any necessary magic, and responds back to the user in that "space," the generic nomenclature for a room or DM.

Our previous DevByte video for the Hangouts Chat bot framework shows developers what bots and the framework are all about as well as how to build one of these types of bots, in both Python and JavaScript. However, recognize that these bots are responding synchronously to a user request. This doesn't suffice when users want to be notified when a long-running background job has completed, when a late bus or train will be arriving soon, or when one of their servers has just gone down. Recognize that such alerts can come from a bot but also perhaps a monitoring application. In the latest episode of the G Suite Dev Show, learn how to integrate this functionality in either type of application.

From the video, you can see that alerts and notifications are "out-of-band" messages, meaning they can come in at any time. The Hangouts Chat bot framework provides several ways to send asynchronous messages to a room or DM, generically referred to as a "space." The first is the HTTP-based REST API. The other way is using what are known as "incoming webhooks."

The REST API is used by bots to send messages into a space. Since a bot will never be a human user, a Google service account is required. Once you create a service account for your Hangouts Chat bot in the developers console, you can download its credentials needed to communicate with the API. Below is a short Python sample snippet that uses the API to send a message asynchronously to a space.

from apiclient import discovery
from httplib2 import Http
from oauth2client.service_account import ServiceAccountCredentials

SCOPES = 'https://www.googleapis.com/auth/chat.bot'
creds = ServiceAccountCredentials.from_json_keyfile_name(
'svc_acct.json', SCOPES)
CHAT = discovery.build('chat', 'v1', http=creds.authorize(Http()))

room = 'spaces/<ROOM-or-DM>'
message = {'text': 'Hello world!'}
CHAT.spaces().messages().create(parent=room, body=message).execute()

The alternative to using the API with services accounts is the concept of incoming webhooks. Webhooks are a quick and easy way to send messages into any room or DM without configuring a full bot, i.e., monitoring apps. Webhooks also allow you to integrate your custom workflows, such as when a new customer is added to the corporate CRM (customer relationship management system), as well as others mentioned above. Below is a Python snippet that uses an incoming webhook to communicate into a space asynchronously.

import requests
import json

URL = 'https://chat.googleapis.com/...&thread_key=T12345'
message = {'text': 'Hello world!'}
requests.post(URL, data = json.dumps(message))

Since incoming webhooks are merely endpoints you HTTP POST to, you can even use curl to send a message to a Hangouts Chat space from the command-line:

curl \
-X POST \
-H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
'https://chat.googleapis.com/...&thread_key=T12345' \
-d '{"text": "Hello!"}'

To get started, take a look at the Hangouts Chat developer documentation, especially the specific pages linked to above. We hope this video helps you take your bot development skills to the next level by showing you how to send messages to the Hangouts Chat service asynchronously.

Bring teams together with new G Suite integrations

(Cross-posted from The Keyword)



The average employee uses 36 cloud services at work to collaborate or share files. That’s more apps than hours in a day! With so many apps and services, it’s important that your business chooses modern, open tools that make it easy to work with anyone—be it inside or outside of your organization.

We want to reduce complexity for your teams, which is why we’ve built integrations in G Suite like third-party add-ons in Gmail and Google Docs and better interoperability with Microsoft. Today, we’re announcing new integrations in Hangouts Meet and Calendar to help you have even better meeting experiences regardless of the conference technology you use. We’re also bringing you new ways to collaborate in Hangouts Chat and Sheets.

Collaborate easily with new compatibility in Hangouts Meet

Nothing’s more frustrating than hosting a meeting and having trouble getting people to join because of issues with technology—it can interrupt workflows and slow down productivity. We want to make it easier for businesses to use meeting solutions, like Hangouts Meet, without worrying about compatibility with existing equipment. This is why we’re making Meet compatible with traditional video conferencing systems, like Polycom and Cisco. In partnership with Pexip, teams will be able to join a meeting on Meet from their preferred equipment in the coming weeks. We’re also making it possible for Microsoft Skype for Business users to easily join a meeting on Meet directly from their Skype app.

Spotify has benefited from using Hangouts Meet to collaborate both internally and externally. Says Martin Antonsson, AV Infrastructure Engineer at Spotify, “Interoperability between Hangouts Meet and other video conferencing systems is fundamental to enabling collaboration. Now we can focus on having productive meetings instead of worrying about the technology.”

 Build add-ons in Google Calendar, join meetings in a cinch

A big part of having productive meetings is making sure that the right folks are able to join them. That’s why we’re announcing support for third-party conferencing natively in Google Calendar. Soon conference providers can easily build add-ons to create, view and join a video conference directly from a Calendar event. Users can simply click a link in the Calendar invite to join on web or mobile.



Cisco Webex is building an add-on to help users easily schedule meetings right from Google Calendar without requiring a download or plug-in. Arkadin, GoToMeeting, LogMeIn, Dialpad, RingCentral, Vidyo and Vonage are also building add-ons to help them more easily meet with their customers. These third-party conferencing add-ons will be available in the G Suite Marketplace in the coming months with details to come for developers.

You might have seen that we made it easier to view schedule availability across Google Calendar and Microsoft Exchange last year. Building on this, we’re also announcing a way for you to book resources like rooms, equipment and more in Microsoft Exchange. If you use G Suite, you’ll be able to easily view and book resources stored in Exchange and Office 365 in the coming months.

Work with teams outside of your domain in Hangouts Chat

After you get the right people in the room with the right setup, it’s important to be able to share information in real time during your meetings—even with folks who may not be in your company. In the coming months, you’ll be able to include people from outside of your organization in Chat, making it easy to stay aligned with clients, vendors, partners and others, all from one place.

Resuelve—a consumer debt management business based in Mexico—uses guest access in Chat to connect with people outside of their organization, particularly as they look to grow their presence in additional regions. "Hangouts Chat has been crucial to our company's ability to expand into other markets,” says Jordi Adame, Chief Technology Officer of Resuelve. “It’s helped our internal teams be productive and we're looking forward to connecting with people outside of our organization in a similarly efficient way.”

New SAP integrations with Google Sheets

Companies often have critical business data in their SAP systems. In an upcoming SAP release, employees will be able to discover additional insights from their ERP content by importing it directly into Google Sheets. With this new integration, you can skip manually exporting data to CSVs and uploading them to Drive. Instead, export directly to Sheets and analyze data with tools like intelligent pivot tables. You can also skip tedious formatting by recording macros in Sheets, making it easier to streamline business processes and share information across teams right away.



Looking ahead

In the coming months, you’ll be able to join conferences on Hangouts Meet from your existing meeting room hardware, book rooms from Microsoft Exchange in Google Calendar and collaborate with folks outside of your domain in Hangouts Chat. You’ll also start to see integrations with Google Sheets in an upcoming SAP release, too.

Learn more about how your business’ technology can co-exist with G Suite. Visit the Next ‘18 website to register.