True to Google’s propensity to only reveal after they’ve leaked, and the company has announced a big overhaul from Gmail for the business of G Suite viewers ahead of the conference of Google Cloud later next week. The app is no longer so much as “Gmail” as it’s just a single application for all communication channels Google offers: Chat, Gmail, Meet, and Rooms. Many feel this is an attempt to compete with Zoom.
According to TheVerge – “It will be accessible to G Suite clients this week as an “early access preview” and will play out to all G Suite clients later this year. As for every user edition of Gmail, in the short term, it seems as if nothing would improve. Google says it’s “actively considering when and how to bring this experience to all users who may want to try it.”
Javier Soltero, the person who rolled in Google last November with one goal of cleaning up all of this, describes it as like an “integrated workspace” that will make it more easy for staff to move between these various communication modes without feeling hopeless. So, for example, one day the chatbox that already exists in a Google Meet or a Google Doc window wouldn’t be a spontaneous additional box but will be combined with the other chats or rooms.
Today, though, the key change is simply to place these devices in the same app window (on your desktop)or(on the phone). The bounce between window tabs and apps should be less. For one example, mobile users would be able to get a look with a chat in one column, a doc in another, and a video chat from Google Meet that hovers between the two.
Although there are hyperlinks to these other great products in Gmail today, this is more of a wholesale assimilation. It may be Google’s next logical move after Google Meet (official site) moved into Gmail last May.
Having all these various contact channels into one app has one additional advantage: setting a Do Not Disturb profile for all of them and mutating their alerts in one location. You can also scan for the chats as quickly as you can scan for Gmail. Google says those integrations will allow users “to enter a chat video call faster, forward a chat message to your personal inbox, [or] create a job from a chat message.”
Google is definitely working to make other activities related to teamwork a little easier. Of example, the difference between rooms and Chat is a bit confusing before you know that Rooms are intended to be more permanent spaces for discussing projects. Google brings lightweight versions of other G Suite items to Rooms: each will have its very own spaces for various tasks and files allocated to them.
Much as Microsoft is exploiting its dominance of Office 365 to get its customers to join Teams, and Google is simply exploiting the success of Gmail to promote its own teamwork tools. For customers of G Suite who want to live completely within Google’s tool ecosystem, the new integrations will make coordinating their shared work easier. It could end up just being a series of unwelcome add-ons for everyone else which is becoming increasingly difficult to escape.