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charlesarthur : chat   6

Google Chat is the worst desktop chat program I have ever used • Tech Nexus
<p>Google Chat is the worst desktop chat program that I have ever used.

How bad is it exactly? Let's just say if I had to choose between using Google Chat and signing up for Comcast I'd choose Comcast every time.

Details? Okay.

Google Chat for Desktop login opens your default browser to login

Sounds reasonable right? Wrong.

A self contained application should need no browser at all to login.

I am required to use Google Chat for work. I use Google Chrome for work and Firefox for my personal stuff. I do not ever mix the two. I do not want my personal Gmail cookies anywhere near my work Gmail cookies. Mixing the two is a recipe for my work having access to my personal logins or accidentally syncing contacts. Do I really want to accidentally pocket dial one of my coworkers? Not really.

Guess what Google Chat does?

Clicking that goes to my default browser of course. Because you're not allowed to login to your work account on a secondary browser apparently. I literally have to copy/paste its OAuth login URL to Chrome myself.

Even more ludicrous: since this is all using OAuth, Google Chat literally hosts its own web server on your localhost so that it can redirect to itself upon success.

And this is just the login.</p>

Things, as you guess, go downhill from there.
Google  chat  design  program 
december 2018 by charlesarthur
Google Maps will let you chat with businesses • The Verge
Dieter Bohn:
<p>shall we make the easy joke that Google can’t seem to stop launching new messaging platforms while its primary messaging platform strategy is still a mess? Yes, yes we shall. Hangouts is dead for consumers and Allo is “paused” and RCS Chat still hasn’t launched here in the US across all major carriers. Neither AT&T nor Verizon will commit to a launch date. (I asked them both this week.)

I bring up RCS not just for the cheap shot, but also because it’s a good example of how “business messaging” is quickly becoming big business. It’s part of the plan for RCS Chat, it exists inside Facebook Messenger and iMessage, and it’s a big part of the eventual business plan for WhatsApp. So it makes sense that Google would want to be in this space and, honestly, it makes some sense to put it inside Maps instead of in another messaging app. As Google notes, it keeps your business chat messages separate from your personal messages.

So let’s leave messaging aside and give Google this one. It can’t push harder on business messaging inside Android Messages, because it can’t leverage RCS, because it ceded control of its message platform to the whims of its carrier partners. Putting business messaging inside Google Maps is a good solution in that context. And anyway, this messaging feature already existed and the news here is simply that you can get to it inside Google Maps.

But that leads me to my third feeling: what the heck is going on with Google Maps? It is becoming overburdened with so many features and design changes that it’s becoming harder and harder to just get directions in it. There’s Group Planning, there’s a social-esque “follow” button for local businesses, you can share your ETA, there’s a redesigned “Explore” section, and there’s almost no way to get the damn thing to show you a cross street near your destination without three full minutes of desperate pinching and zooming and re-zooming.</p>

Product hits maturity; revenue growth slows; team in charge still has old growth targets, plus needs to justify their existence. (To <a href="https://twitter.com/TheRyanFord/status/1062970599671099392">quote Ryan Ford</a>, a product designer.)
Google  maps  chat  product 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
Police crack encrypted chat service IronChat and read 258,000 messages from suspected criminals • Hot For Security
Graham Cluley:
<p>Police haven’t described how they made the breakthrough of managing to crack the IronChat system, and snoop upon encrypted messages, but the suspicion will be that the encrypted chat app had a weakness – such as its reliance on a central server.

In a statement, police in the Netherlands explained that as a result of their surveillance, law enforcement agencies have seized automatic weapons, large quantities of hard drugs (MDMA and cocaine), 90,000 Euros in cash, and dismantled a drugs lab.

In addition, a number of suspects are also said to have already been arrested, with multiple searches taking place in various locations around the country.

“This operation has given us a unique insight into the criminal world in which people communicated openly about crimes,” said Aart Garssen, Head of the Regional Crime investigation Unit in the east of the Netherlands.

Police only decided to shut down the service after they became aware that criminals were beginning to suspect each other of leaking information to the police, introducing a very real risk that there could be a threat to individuals’ safety. For this same reason, Dutch authorities decided to go public about their access to the chat system at a press conference.</p>
Hacking  police  chat  ironchat 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
Google’s new Chat service shows total contempt for Android users’ privacy • Amnesty International
<p>Responding to Google’s launch of a new messaging service for Android phones, Amnesty International’s Technology and Human Rights researcher Joe Westby said:

“With its baffling decision to launch a messaging service without end-to-end encryption, Google has shown utter contempt for the privacy of Android users and handed a precious gift to cybercriminals and government spies alike, allowing them easy access to the content of Android users’ communications.

“Following the revelations by CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden, end-to-end encryption has become recognized as an essential safeguard for protecting people’s privacy when using messaging apps. With this new Chat service, Google shows a staggering failure to respect the human rights of its customers.

“Not only does this shockingly retrograde step leave Google lagging behind its closest competitors - Apple’s iMessage and Facebook’s WhatsApp both have end-to-end encryption in place by default - it is also a step backwards from the company’s previous attempts at online messaging. Google’s own app Allo has an option for end-to-end encryption but the company says it will no longer invest in it. 

“In the wake of the recent Facebook data scandal, Google’s decision is not only dangerous but also out of step with current attitudes to data privacy…"</p>


Harsh. Google is trying to marshal carriers to use a more modern version of SMS, called RCS; it's also trying to bring text apps on Android up to date. (Weirdly, Google has never managed to produce a unified message product for Android in the way that Apple has iMessage.) As Ben Thompson puts it, Google's trying to herd cats. Now it's getting slagged off by Amnesty too.
google  chat  app  encryption 
april 2018 by charlesarthur
Chat: Google’s big shot at killing Apple’s iMessage • The Guardian
Samuel Gibbs:
<p>Google has unveiled a new messaging system, Chat, an attempt to replace SMS, unify Android’s various messaging services and beat Apple’s iMessage and Facebook’s WhatsApp with the help of mobile phone operators.

Unlike traditional texting, or SMS, most modern messaging services – such as Signal, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or Apple’s iMessage – are so-called over-the-top (OTT) services, which circumvent the mobile phone operator by sending messages over the internet.

Google’s Chat is different. Users will not need to download another chat app or set up a new account. Instead of using OTT, it is based on rich communication services (RCS), a successor to SMS (short message standard), which has been used by people all over the world since 1992 and is still the fallback for most.

RCS has been in the works since 2007, steered by the GSMA mobile operator trade body. Various mobile phone operators have offered their own versions, typically called “advanced messaging” or similar, but they haven’t usually worked with the outside world.

With Chat, Google is unifying all the disparate versions of RCS under one interoperable standard that will work across networks, smartphones and operating systems. In doing so it hopes to take the surefire nature of SMS – anyone can send anyone else with a phone a message without them requiring a specific account or app – and bring it up-to-date with all the features modern chat demands.</p>


An obvious thought: if Google even looks as though it is positioning this as a way to "kill iMessage", Apple will never support it, and if Apple doesn't support it then operators are going to wonder why they're letting Google screw up their golden goose, and they won't support it after all. Google can preload it on Android phones, but that's not "killing iMessage"; it's "providing an alternative to iMessage", which WhatsApp and latterly Facebook Messenger have done for years without "killing" iMessage.

Google, seems to be rewriting the Star Trek episode of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trouble_With_Tribbles">The Trouble With Tribbles</a>, but with chat apps taking the part of the tribbles.
google  chat  apps 
april 2018 by charlesarthur
The hidden homescreen » Medium
Matt Hartman:
<p>The move to chat-based interfaces is mainly developer driven: relative to a native iOS or Android app, development of a chat-based app is faster and marketing is less crowded (for now). It is also partly consumer driven in that it is a painful for consumers to have to switch in and out of different apps — or even to have to download an app at all. However the developer pain point is more significant at present.

For app developers, marketing is often hard. #Homescreen data shows that apps on users’ homescreens are pretty calcified. In January 2016 over 50,000 apps were submitted to the app store. However, most smartphone users download zero apps per month.</p>


We're probably going to see more chat interfaces, as Hartman points out (look at Quartz's new news app), but as he also points out, lots of them will struggle to gather enough context to be useful compared to the interfaces we already have.
chat  interface 
february 2016 by charlesarthur

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