• The Gmail app is getting even more useful for work, especially during the novel coronavirus pandemic, where more and more people have to work from home.
  • Google announced a major redesign for Gmail that will be available to G Suite customers.
  • The new Gmail app will integrate the Chat and Meet apps and will offer a Slack-like Room feature for real-time collaboration.

After leaking online on Wednesday, Gmail’s first significant redesign since the major makeover a few years ago was announced. Gmail is indeed getting a few awesome features that will satisfy the needs of many people who have been working from home for several months because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Things aren’t going to change anytime soon, as the health crisis is far from over. Several companies have extended work from home policies, and some of them switched to online work only. A steady internet connection and access to the right apps will make working from home a little easier, and Google aims to increase your productivity by placing some of those must-have apps right inside Gmail. The good news is that all users included covered under a G Suite subscription will have access to the redesign and new features. The bad news is that the commercial version of Gmail will remain as is

Google announced the new Gmail features over on the Google Cloud blog but also on G Suite Updates.

What’s basically going to happen soon is that each G Suite Gmail account will include direct access to several other apps that Google makes. Aside from Gmail, you’ll get a Chat tab for texting, a Meet tab for video conferences, and a Rooms tab, which is essentially a different form of chatting.

Gmail already offers Chat and Meet integration, but this new initiative will take things to the next level. Everything will be available directly in Gmail, whether you access it on an Android phone or iPhone, and on the desktop.

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Animation shows the new Gmail redesign available to G Suite customers. Image source: Google

Rooms is the only novelty here, a feature that lets you create chat rooms similar to what you might be doing in Slack or similar group chat apps. The feature will let you create rooms with members of your company, but also rooms with other third-parties.

Furthermore, rooms will include support for real-time collaboration on documents and to-do lists.

Gmail will also support third-party apps, including DocuSign, Salesforce, and Trello, just like you can expect on Slack and other similar services.

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New Gmail mobile app for G Suite customers. Image source: Google

Other neat tricks, including better search, “Do Not Disturb” and “Out of Office” modes, and support for pinning important rooms are also included in the package.

What Google is trying here is to offer a unified space for all the productivity apps you might need when working from home, and even the office. G Suite’s Gmail will include a built-in alternative to Slack, as well as Google’s Zoom rival. It’s actually not surprising to see Google consolidate all these resources under the same roof. The move will make plenty of sense to G Suite users who are already relying on Google’s productivity apps for work-related chores. Those people who prefer competing platforms might not transition to the new Gmail, just because it’s better. And there may be an argument from some of these competitors that Google is promoting its own apps and stifling competition.

You’ll have to be on G Suite to use them. Google will start rolling out the Gmail redesign gradually over the coming weeks. The following video preview goes through some of the new features Google announced.

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.