Gchat down: Major outage hits Google services

Hangouts and Google Sheets appear to be also affected by the problem. 

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Google is looking into an outage that appears to have affected many users of its chat services. 

In a statement provided to TechCrunch, the company said that it had received "reports of an issue with Google+ Hangouts," and that it would "provide more information shortly." Google's Apps Status Dashboard shows orange for Google Hangouts and Google Talk – a color that indicates service disruptions on the platforms. Google Sheets, a spreadsheeting application, appears also to be affected. 

As is often the case when one social media tool goes offline, the disgruntled masses took to other networks to complain. "Using #AIM for the first time in maybe 6-10 years," one user wrote

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And the New York Observer tweeted that "Gchat is down. Are you going to a. get some work done for once or b. complain about it on Twitter?" (Judging by the sheer volume of angry Twitter posts, the answer is b.) 

As of 2:30 p.m. Eastern, Google's chat platforms appeared to be slowly coming back to life, although plenty of users remained unable to access Hangouts and Talk. 

In related news, Google announced this month that it updated the Gmail iOS app to support background refresh, meaning, as the company put it in a blog post, "your Gmail messages will be pre-fetched and synced so they’re right there when you open the app – no more annoying pauses while you wait for your inbox to refresh."

In order to access the new features, you'll need to have iOS 7 installed on your Apple device. 

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