Gmail is being given a major overhaul to make your working life a lot easier after the internet giant revealed it is bringing many of its G Suite applications together for quicker and easier access to different tools.
Google is hoping the redesigned Gmail will also become a major collaboration and discussion hub thanks to a new feature called Rooms – topic-specific chat rooms similar to Slack Channels. Rooms will be a space where colleagues can share tasks and calendar invites, while also discussing work in real time.
Google Meet, the company's dedicated video conferencing platform, was added to Gmail in April this year and will continue to stay where it is, but will make a new picture-in-picture mode available without leaving Gmail.
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Google Docs is also being integrated into Rooms, and you'll be able to open a full document in a side-by-side pane next to an ongoing conversation. The feature aims to make real-time editing and collaboration simple, again without leaving Gmail.
You'll also be able to share files and assign tasks right from the email platform, making Gmail a one-stop productivity shop.
The integration isn't just limited to Google's own G Suite applications. Third-party apps like DocuSign, Salesforce and Trello will also be available within the new Gmail.
The company will also be rolling out new security features for Chat and Meet, so users can better control who participates in video calls. Unwanted attendees can be locked out and will then also be prevented from rejoining a call. Google has said that anti-phishing protection will also be rolled out in the coming weeks.
The Gmail redesign is currently being tested by select companies, but will soon be rolled out to all G Suite users. Whether these changes will be available to consumer Gmail users as well is unclear at present, but Google has confirmed that the security updates to Chat and Meet will be implemented for everyone.
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