In a bid to take on Microsoft Teams and Slack, Google has announced the integration of Google Chat, Rooms, and Meet into Gmail for G Suite.
It is becoming more apparent that the new ways of working – brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic – are here to stay.
Work is all about virtual meetings, remote collaboration, and flexible work hours these days, and the tools we use need to adapt, as people are starting to feel overloaded with too much information and too many tasks spread across different services.
“Instead of learning another tool,” explains Javier Soltero, Vice President & GM for G Suite, “we need the tools we already use to be even more helpful, and work together, in an integrated, intuitive way.”
That’s why Google is introducing “a better home for work” through G Suite – integrating its core tools and making them better together. As a result, users will have video, chat, email, files, and tasks in one place – making it much easier for them to stay on top of things wherever they are.
To begin with, Google recently brought the ability to join video meetings straight from your inbox, with the integration of Meet into Gmail on the web, Android, and iOS. Furthermore, Google also recently made Meet free for all. Last month, Google also brought Google Chat into Gmail on the web, to enable more seamless communication without having to switch tabs.
Soon, Google Chat will be integrated into Gmail on Android and iOS to make it much easier to get more done from one place.
Google Chat rooms will soon have access to shared files and tasks, making them a much better solution for longer projects. Users will get faster access to shared chat, important documents, and to-dos, all in one place. Chat also lets users create rooms that include people outside their company – freelancers and other contractors, or consultants, turning groups into a cross-organizational tool.
Rooms are getting real-time collaboration features like the ability to open and co-edit a document with team members without ever leaving Gmail.
This brings better collaboration opportunities, as teams can chat about changes to documents in real-time, or assign (or mark complete) tasks, without switching screens.
“This new integrated workspace also makes it easy to access your favorite third-party apps, including DocuSign, Salesforce, and Trello, so you can get updates and take action within any kind of conversation—across Gmail, Chat, and rooms,” explains Soltero.
Google’s new integrated experience will help people “work more fluidly,” as they can now quickly join a video call from a chat, forward a chat message to their inbox, create a task from a chat message. Google has also expanded Gmail’s powerful search capability to include Chat, making it much easier to find anything in one place.
If you’d like to try this new integrated workspace, you can sign up here. Google will expand its availability to more customers in the next few weeks.
In the future, Google says it is looking to expand its integrated workspace with features like picture-in-picture video calls in Gmail, the integration of Google Meet into Docs, Sheets, and Slides, and more.
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