Google is making major updates to its G Suite productivity tools that will see a deep integration of Gmail, Chat, Meet and Rooms on the web and on mobile, as well as other tools like Calendar, Docs, Sheets and Slides.
This integration will be available in G Suite early adopter program initially. Later there will be a wider roll-out.
The G Suite team has been working on this project for about a year. The company had fast-tracked the Gmail/Meet integration as its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During today’s time in the lockdowns and closures users are constantly switching between different modes of communication- email, chat, voice, or video. Using this update, the company is bringing all the communication modes together, with Gmail being the central point for the time being as most users end up using Gmail for hours.
The basic idea is to constantly switch between different modes of communication, be that email, chat, voice, or video. These updates are specific to G suite for now and Google has also announced some more features here. Chat rooms are going to get shared files and tasks that will also allow users to assign tasks and invite users outside the company into the rooms.
Google planning this move as a better home for work and in practice, it means that users will not just see deeper and reliable integrations between products, like a fill calendaring and file management experience in Gmail, but also be allowed to have a video chat open on one side of the window while constantly editing a document in real-time on the other without having to switch to another web app.
G Suite VP and GM Javier Soltero said, “The overall idea here is not just to bring all of these tools closer together to reduce the task-switching that users have to do.”
He added, “We’re announcing something we’ve been working on since a little bit before I even joined Google last year: a new integrated workspace designed to bring together all the core components of communication and collaboration into a single surface that is not just about bringing these ingredients into the same pane of glass, but also realizes something greater than the sum of its parts.
He also said, “The degree of integration across the different modes of communication, specifically email, chat, and video calling and voice video calling along with our existing physical strength in collaboration will be enhanced but easier.”
As per the company, it’s the next logical step for Google after it already pushed Google Meet into Gmail this past May.
Just like on the web, Google also revealed some of its plans when it first announced its latest major update to Gmail for mobile devices in May, with the integration of Meet in the form of a new bar at the bottom of the screen to switch between Mail and Meet. With this, it is expanding to include native Chat and Rooms support as well. For now, these updates are specific to G Suite, although similar to Google’s work on bringing Meet to consumers, the company plans to offer this work experience to consumers too.