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"It's really liberating to start from scratch sometimes," says Erik Kay, director of engineering, communications products. Its interface is clean and easy to understand, with some clever little innovations on what you've seen in other chat apps like Whats App or Messenger. You sign up with your phone number and you can connect your Google account to it, though there's no need to.
You can see the usual chat app stuff: there are sent and received indicators, emoji, and a big set of custom stickers.
It sounds off insolently whenever it chooses and expects me to drop whatever I’m doing and, well, engage. When I absolutely must, I take the call, but I don’t do a very good job of concealing my displeasure.
It consumes no more time than I want it to and, to a much greater degree than is possible with a phone call, I get to decide if it takes place at all. The numbers change as we get older, with the overall frequency of all communication declining, but even in the 65 and over group, daily texting still edges calling 4.7 to 3.8.
Google says it'll be available later this summer — for free — on both i OS and Android. So it was with profound relief that I embraced the arrival of e-mail and, later, texting. exploded from 14 billion in 2000 to 188 billion in 2010, according to a Pew Institute survey, and the trend shows no signs of abating.