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Google's latest app, Spaces, aims to simplify group sharing

Google's latest app, Spaces, aims to simplify group sharing

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Even before kicking off its I/O 2016 conference, Google is introducing a new app. Today the company announced Spaces, an app for Android, iOS, and the web that's designed to make it easier to share, well, stuff from the web in group conversations. "Sharing things typically involves hopping between apps to copy and paste links," Luke Wroblewski, the product director for Spaces, wrote in a blog post. "Group conversations often don’t stay on topic, and things get lost in endless threads that you can’t easily get back to when you need them."

To avoid all that hopping around, Spaces comes with built-in Google Search, YouTube, and Chrome — so you'll never really have to exit the app to check out whatever other people in the conversation are referencing. In terms of interface, Spaces looks partly like your everyday messaging app, but also sees some influence from Google+. But to be clear, anyone can be invited to a space, according to Google. "You can create a space with just one tap for any topic and invite anyone via messaging, email, a social network, or whatever way you like," Wroblewski said.

Google Spaces

The app's search feature lets you pull up previous images (borrowing some of that Google Photos magic), videos, and comments that've been sent along. Google will be setting up spaces for each developer session at I/O, so that should be a decent test of just how well this idea works in practice. Also, the fact that Google just announced a new app before this week's keynote shows just how jam-packed the stage presentation is likely to be.