There’s been a lot of buzz today about the many annoucements coming out of Google I/O. One that I’m very excited about is the release of Hangouts, Google’s new unified messaging service. Pulling Gmail Chat, Google Talk, and Google+ chat & Hangouts together is a huge win for users and I’m excited to see it happening. I’ve heard that Google Voice will rolled-in soon as well. They’ll likely also incorporate SMS messages just as Apple has done with iMessage and Facebook has done with Facebook Messenger.
There’s one feature that nobody seems to be requesting though, and it’s something I really hope Google will eventually add to Hangouts… asynchronous audio messages or “push-to-talk” (PTT) messaging (something like Voxer). If you’re ever used these PTT messaging services, it quickly becomes second-nature. In fact, I’m convinced that PTT messaging will become a normal part of communication in the future.
Think about when you’re driving and shouldn’t be typing a text message (or even making a phone call). In seconds you can fire off a quick audio message to a contact and then wait for them to reply at their leisure. It’s a phone call, without the 3-minute commitment and formalities. You can easily keep three or four voice conversations going at once and be uber-productive. And if you want to go back and listen to a message someone left you in the past, it’s ridiculously simple.
Google has done a fantastic job of making amazing technology accessible to everyday folks, and I think something like this would push the envelope even further if it was fully baked-in to the other communication services. Please Google? Please?