The text based conversation on Google is a mess. Here’s what I think needs to happen:
Step 1. Make G+ mandatory with a Gmail account. If you brought G+ to Google, and now Google is coming to G+, make G+ Google. With +1′s and authorship of content in Google Search, this seems like the next logical step.
Step 2. Combine the G+ app “Messenger” on Android with the Android app “Talk”, and call it “Chat”. People have used Gmail for a long time and they’re use to “Chat”. You’ve also got “Chat” in the G+ desktop version.
Step 3. Integrate the Chat app on your phone with the Chat functionalities of Gmail, G+, and the Google Talk desktop functionality (don’t forget Chromebook). That means catalogue all your conversations within Gmail. When chatting with someone in a chat window, you could possibly click ‘view conversation’, which could open the new Gmail style conversation view. See history on your phone by clicking ‘all time’, and view it seamlessly in the window.
Note: Because G+ is now mandatory with a Gmail account, all phones will have an email address (and all phones have a phone number), so all emails and message threads can be stored in Gmail. Similar to what Facebook have done with private messages. Why shouldn’t Chat and ‘private messages’ be the same thing?
Step 4. Combine “Chat” with Androids SMS abilities. I left this till now because given Androids fragmentation and ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) was only just released, this could be logistically the most difficult, but who knows. The ‘free’ SMSing on Android would make having a Gmail account very worthwhile, and would make all their products more useful.
Step 5. Release Google Voice worldwide as part of Google and Android, instead of an entirely separate service. Living in Australia I can’t really try this service so I can’t comment much about it, I’ve only been able to see the Desktop version using a VPN. But I can imagine one big Voice / Chat / SMS / Messenger happy family.
Written by Maurice