Enterprise collaboration app earns Google's spotlight

Symphonical has developed an enterprise app for Google+ Hangouts

How do you get your Google+ app featured at Google's blockbuster I/O conference? According to Bjorn Haugland, the CEO of Symphonical, you just invite product manager Amit Fulay to join you in a Hangouts video chat and show him your stuff.

Symphonical makes it possible for multiple users to co-create content in Hangouts and continue to access it afterward, by using a Google ID to log in to a project stored on Symphonical's website. The app, which was still in beta with only about 3,000 users, was spotlighted in Fulay's presentation on Wednesday and will participate in the so-called sandbox of featured products that run on Google's platform that begins Thursday morning.

Haugland said he knew his team was on track when Fulay quickly created his own sticky note on the virtual whiteboard the app serves up and wrote on it, "I love this interface."

Indeed, the app is very simple to use and delivers a familiar Google flavor with its combination of bright colors and white space. Users can choose from a set of common templates, including a week at a glance and a to-do list, to organize a set of sticky notes, replicating the whiteboard experience of a company meeting.

Three months ago, Hangouts began supporting apps that allowed users to tailor-make their video chat sessions. Most but not all of the apps were Google's own. On Wednesday, Google said more than 200 apps had been built to work on the Hangouts platform, more than doubling the average time spent in the chats. Among those apps was Symphonical, which, along with seven others, joined the list of apps Google features.

Symphonical began to target Google Hangouts when the company first announced that it would allow third-party apps to run within the video chat.

Symphonical is unique in being an enterprise app featured on Google's social networking offering, Google+. Of course, with a simple, intuitive interface, the app's uses aren't limited to the enterprise uses Google spotlights in its announcement. Haugland described event planning and school projects as some of its uses, for instance.

The app is arguably easier to use within Hangouts than Google Docs, which Google has pitched to enterprise users. It offers three different privacy settings for content shared. Unlike Google Docs, it displays profile icons for each user who can see shared content, reducing the chances that administrators will lose track of who can see a particular document.

The app's main weakness to date is its lack of integration with other applications. Users using the sticky-note-on-whiteboard process to develop and assign a specific task, for example, would likely want to save the task as a calendar item or a to-do item in a project management service such as Basecamp.

Haugland said the company was working on offering Google Calendar integration. Within the next few months, the app will also launch a user experience customized for mobile devices, Haugland said.

Cameron Scott covers search, web services and privacy for The IDG News Service. Follow Cameron on Twitter at CScott_IDG.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Cameron Scott

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?