Gmail Turns Into a Productivity Application: Combining Google Chat, Rooms & Meet

Gmail Turns Into a Productivity Application: Combining Google Chat, Rooms & Meet

135 - Gmail has announced a major design reshuffle for G Suite users to transform applications from just email services to a one-stop solution for planning projects and communicate with colleagues. With this major update, Gmail now competes directly with other productivity applications such as Slack and Microsoft Teams.

Under the "better home for work" initiative, G Suite wants people to work on projects, chat, and exchange files without leaving the application. This is why Gmail integrates video, chat, email, files, and tasks so you can more easily stay on top of things in your workplace, from anywhere.

All modes of communication at one place: Email, Chat, Video

Gmail finally brings the three main pillars of communication, through which most of us start our workday in one place - our inbox.

Gmail has integrated Google Meet video meetings in the inbox, on the web, Android, and iOS. Now users can communicate smoothly through Google Chat in Gmail for the web without the hassle of switching tabs. Soon, Chat will arrive in the Gmail app for Android and iOS too.

Google has also introduced more collaboration features in the Chat room by adding files and shared tasks that can be used for long-term projects. Besides, with Chat you can also create spaces that include people outside your company, such as clients or consultants, so that groups are not only cross-functional but also cross-organizational.

Real-time collaboration has also been added to Rooms where multiple users can open and co-edit a document without leaving Gmail.

Video chat while working on a doc inside Gmail

You can now quickly join a video call from a chat, forward a chat message to your inbox, create a task from a chat message. This will prevent switching between apps which usually interrupts workflow and focus.

Moreover, there are new tools to help you prioritize and stay focused. Users can now:

  • Pin important rooms so they’re easier to find and access
  • Set your availability to “Do Not Disturb”
  • Better protect your time with status notices like “Out of office”

Enhanced security for Meet and Chat

In the coming weeks, new security capabilities for Google Meet will be rolled out that give hosts, even more, control over meetings, such as who can join or collaborate within them.

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Knocking controls: Once a call participant is removed, they won’t be able to attempt to join the same meeting again by knocking, unless the host re-invites them.

Safety locks: Hosts can now decide who can chat or present in the meeting.

Rivaling productivity apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams

The latest updates indicated that Gmail is heading towards rivaling productivity apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams. But whether Google can make it to the forefront by redefining the productivity suite is something yet to be seen.

Also, given how focused this redesign seems to be on enterprise users, I doubt that Google would bring the same changes for general users.

These changes are currently in beta and they will be rolled out officially for G Suite users later this year.

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