Google has announced new Workspace features as part of its ongoing efforts to develop the company’s office and communications software. The Gmail app is getting new design and features that indicate that Google sees it as the central hub for all of the company’s communications apps.
First of all, we note that Google has added the ability to make calls from Gmail. This feature is implemented through integration with the Google Meet service. When fully deployed, users of the standalone Google Meet app will also be able to make calls. The fact that Gmail was the first service where Google decided to host a calling feature shows how important an email service is for integrating the larger workspace changes.
Essentially, Gmail is becoming the equivalent of Microsoft Outlook, which is the hub for several services. If Outlook combines mail, calendar and contacts, then Gmail includes mail, personal and group chats, video conferencing and calls. Email is now just one of several tabs inside the Gmail app, which has grown significantly more functional in recent years. According to available data, in the near future the ability to make calls from Gmail will appear for corporate Workspace clients, after which it will become available to all users of the application.
In less significant changes, the calendar now allows you to send meeting invitations with your own location. In November, Google plans to launch the so-called “companion mode”. It is a system that allows you to join a virtual meeting on your laptop in parallel with the main room. Google is also expanding its list of Meet-compatible hardware. These are Series One branded devices such as One Desk monitors and One Board digital whiteboards.