Google is integrating Chat Messaging and group Rooms with Gmail, similar to the existing Google Meet integration on the Google email platform. The Chat and Rooms integration is already available to enterprise users, but now Google is rolling out this “integrated workspace” for personal Gmail accounts as well. Google says that it wants to make Gmail you “home for work,” with the goal being letting users get everything done in one page without having to keep switching between tabs. After the integration, Gmail now has four tabs – Mail, Meet, Chat, and Rooms. While “Mail” and “Meet” have been in place for the past few months, “Chat” is where users can message individuals and small groups, and “Rooms” is like Slack – dedicated to larger conversations with shared chat, files, and tasks. These four tabs appear on the bottom bar on Android and on the web, the Gmail sidebar is split into four sections. These options can be hidden by clicking the chevron.
Functionality of the “Chat” and “Rooms” tab are same as the standalone Google Chat app where users are able to delete the dedicated client. Many free Google accounts can enable the new Gmail and Chat integration today on both Android and web, with the experience not yet available on iOS. Enterprise accounts will need permission from the admin to use the new integration. Android users need to make sure they are on the latest version of the Gmail app. To get access to the new integration, users need to enable Chat “Early Access” on each of their Android devices and the web, as well as Google Accounts.
How to Turn on New Gmail With Chat, Rooms
Android users need to open their Gmail app, go to Settings > Personal Gmail Account > General > Chat (Early Access) > Try It > Gmail will relaunch with tutorial and prompt to turn off notifications from standalone Google Chat app.
On the web, users need to visit mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#settings/chat, then select ““Google Chat (Early Access) instead of “Classic Hangouts,” then click the Confirm pop-up box.