File transfers are also working, and they’re passed through a relay at 173.1.
That IP address unsurprisingly belongs to Google and serves up bits from deep in the heart of Mountain View.
Other changes to the extension include a button that whisks you away to Google Hangouts — clicking it will launch a new window that won’t be grouped with your existing Chrome windows on the Windows 7 taskbar.
It acts like a page does when you create an application shortcut from Chrome’s Tools menu.
It’s going to be called “Chat,” and it’s based on a standard called the “Universal Profile for Rich Communication Services.” SMS is the default that everybody has to fall back to, and so Google’s goal is to make that default texting experience on an Android phone as good as other modern messaging apps.
As part of that effort, Google says it’s “pausing” work on its most recent entry into the messaging space, Allo.
Google optimistic many carriers will flip the switch this year, but there could be some stragglers.
Chat messages will be sent with your data plan instead of your SMS plan, so you’ll likely only be charged for whatever (minimal) data it costs to send a message. If you are texting somebody who have Chat enabled or is not an Android user, your messages will revert back to SMS — much in the same way that an i Message does.
Instead of continuing to push Allo — or creating yet another new chat app — Google is instead going to introduce new features into the default Android Messages app, like GIF search and Google Assistant.It had previously been called the Google Talk Launcher, and it’s primarily been useful on Chrome OS up until recent versions.That had a lot to do with Chrome OS’ panels feature, which allows extensions and pages to dock to the bottom of the screen and float above other tabs.When people begin using Chat, they’ll get many features that are standard in any other texting app, including read receipts, typing indicators, full-resolution images and video, and group texts.But remember, Chat is a service, not a Google service.