About a month ago, Google showed off its plan to integrate several business communication services into the Gmail app on mobile and web. That integration is now starting to roll out to G Suite users.
For those who may have missed it, the change comes alongside the recent Google Meet and Gmail integration. Google added its new Meet video conferencing service to Gmail, adding a tab at the bottom that users could tap to view upcoming meetings. The company later showed off a Gmail refresh that turns the email platform into a workplace collaboration suite with Google Chat, Meet, Rooms and Docs.
Across both Gmail’s web app and mobile app, users will be able to quick access Google Chat and Rooms, a Slack-like business messaging platform for groups, email, video conferencing tools and work together on documents through Google Docs. It marks a distinct change for Google, which previously offered all these service separately with minimal integration.
However, the integration shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The work communication space has heated up tremendously in recent months, in part thanks to COVID-19 and social distancing. With the increased number of people working remotely, business communication platforms are more important than ever. Microsoft Teams has exploded thanks to its deep integration with Microsoft services like Office. It only makes sense for Google to do the same.
Engadget notes that Google also introduced new productivity tools and features for Gmail, such as the ability to assign group tasks, task update notifications in Rooms and the ability to pin important Rooms. There’s also the ability to set status notices in Chat, see files shared in a Room and toggle between email and chat results on the web.
For now, only G Suite users on the web and Android will get the new features. Google hasn’t shared details about the iOS rollout yet. According to the G Suite blog, the full rollout could take up to 15 days.