If you’re like me and were hitting the peak of your middle school years around the mid 2000’s, you probably had an AIM screen name and were all over it after school (see: @YourAwayMessage for further detail…). Designing pretty away messages or perfecting Buddy Profiles was something of a past time, and the art of communicating from behind a screen was exciting, at least until I got my first cell phone. Some may argue that Facebook chat has taken over the deceased program’s function, providing a happy distraction from Internet browsing activities in the form of an online conversation, but personally, I hate FB chat mainly because I’d rather creep around the Book in peace. That being said, I think that Google Chat has taken the place of AOL Instant Messenger in a much bigger way. I always have my GMail up at work, and the people on my GChat list are exactly the ones whose conversation is a welcome distraction from Excel spreadsheets.
What not everyone realizes is that you can talk to your GChat contacts without a computer (as if you already weren’t connected enough…). The Google Hangouts App allows you to message your GChat contacts from your iPhone (and most likely Andriod device too, given the Google affiliation), meaning that if I have a day off or need to shoot my cousin a message after I’ve already left the office, I can get it right to her desktop without ever touching a computer keyboard. If you’re a fellow GChat addict, it’s definitely worth downloading.