- Google has announced a major update to Gmail for G Suite users that will bring several of its services under one roof to take on Microsoft
As Google continues to consolidate its various products, the company has announced a major update to Gmail for G Suite users that will bring several of its services under one roof.
The update, which leaked early, brings a new integrated workspace for G Suite users by making Google Chat, Meet, and Rooms all easily accessible within the Gmail app.
These will all appear as tabs along the bottom in the mobile app, and along the side of the screen vertically on the web app, and allows users to run multiple tasks without bouncing between windows.
The aim here is to turn the Gmail app into a robust collaboration tool, as in a pandemic where demand for productivity tools is inevitably high, Google fights off Microsoft Teams and Slack.
For example, you’ll be able to open and co-edit documents with colleagues without switching screens while you’re in a room. You will also be able to do stuff such as forwarding a chat message to your inbox or joining a chat video call.
Google also handily opens access to select third-party applications within the workspace and calls Trello, DocuSign, and Salesforce as three examples.
This is the next step in what has been Google’s growing consolidation. For G Suite customers the company introduced Talk to Gmail last month. It began to roll Meet into Gmail in May, in an attempt to fend off Zoom. Ironically, Google doesn’t appear to focus too much on the name of Gmail, but instead refers to the project as a “new home for work in G Suite.” But Gmail is already a massively successful company app, and having all the other resources under one roof makes a ton of sense.
Javier Soltero, who poached Google from Microsoft last year to head up G Suite, made the announcement, signaling more serious ambitions to take the battle to its rivals.
This week’s update is being made available in an early preview and will be progressively rolling out later this year to G Suite users.
The aim is much clearer now: to make the communication apps from G Suite the focal point and organizing principle for all those other products. Outlook’s tabs are fax, file scan, and calendar. In Gmail, all the tabs are about tools for communication.