Google is revamping Gmail to fully integrate other communications tools like Chat, Rooms and Meet and better equip the form to keep pace with rivals like Slack and Microsoft Teams.
The update, which is coming to G Suite customers with no mention of an update for consumers, looks like a much more complete solution for office collaboration in the new era of remote working.
Meet offers easy video conferencing, Chat enables instant messaging while Rooms enable users to collaborate on documents. The new app features tabs for each at the bottom of the display that makes it easy to switch between the various facets without having to leave the app, or open new windows.
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Google is calling the revamp ‘a better home for work’ and is bringing the new interface to the web and mobile apps, and you can see a little preview below.
In a blog post, Google said: “One thing we’ve heard again and again from our users is how switching between apps interrupts their flow—and their focus. That’s why in this new integrated experience, we’ve been thoughtful about how to help you work more fluidly.
“A few examples: you can quickly join a video call from a chat, forward a chat message to your inbox, create a task from a chat message—everything connects together in a way that makes it easy for you to manage the flow of your work and get more done.”
The company will allow people to pin the rooms they use the most and set their status to Do Not Disturb and Out of Office. Gmail’s powerful search tools are also coming to chat, making it possible to easily find important information.
Google is also beefing up security in Rooms and Chat to ensure data is protected, while links in Chat will get real-time scanning for potential phishing scams. Google says much more is on the way in this regard.
As for the consumer version of Gmail, the company does say it is “actively thinking through how and when to bring this experience to the consumers who might want it,” but it seems the app will stay as it is for the foreseeable future.