Google Spaces: Ready to Dump WhatsApp?

The search giant has launched a new messenger/sharing platform. But do you need it?

 
Google Spaces: Ready to Dump WhatsApp?

Google has a new proposition for you today: Come to Spaces -- and stay there.

Google Spaces is a new app on Android, iOS and on the web, and it's Google's try at another messaging and social-sharing platform.

This new group-sharing app has built-In Chrome, search, and YouTube. And no, it's not Google Messenger (that continues as a separate app and a great replacement for the default SMS app on Android).

Long-time users of tech may remember Google Wave, a collaboration application mostly aimed at work use. It was so complex and sluggish that it didn't get many users and finally, Google gave up on it.

More recent users of tech very much know of Google Hangouts, ex-Gtalk, and Google+, both places where one can have conversations and share stuff -- but every now and then one hears rumours of their being shut down, particularly Google+.

But Google isn't done experimenting with social and messaging yet. Spaces is its new offering and people are busy trying it out right now. The app (or web version) logs you in with your Google account and you're good to go.

So, in this app, you create 'spaces' by tapping to start a topic of conversation and inviting others to join in. The other person taps on the link and comes in, to tap Join. And now you can type in your messages.

It's meant for small groups -- just how many people is not clear, but it's obvious that there'll be plenty of confusion if the group gets too big, as happens on WhatsApp's every-increasing group sides.

Google has invited those attending its upcoming developer conference to all download the Spaces app and be ready to chat when they turn up. That is, if you're an attendee, the offer you can't refuse.

Topics or conversations in Spaces are in coloured tiles. The look and feel of the app is very different from WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and other popular messaging apps. It would take a little while to get used to and reviewers on the Play Store are complaining it isn't intuitive enough.

With a small number of conversations going, it's actually easy enough, but I certainly found it slow to upload anything, whether it's text or photos. With text, there's an ever-so-slight lag before the text you enter posts. Photos take even longer.

Google not only hopes you'll leave WhatsApp and other messengers and use Spaces but stay there because you can search from within Spaces and even share YouTube videos there, though currently the button for that is missing. The idea is to do away with the need to switch to another app.

Overall though, there's a surfeit of messaging apps, including many that will let you talk with groups, both small and large. Everyone is thoroughly accustomed to groups in WhatsApp. Google may just be hoping for a bit too much with its new Spaces.

Lila Ray is a corporate consultant who likes her gadgets as much as she likes her shoes. You can write to her at raylila@outlook.com


Tags : Google, Google Spaces