Google told us a couple of weeks ago that we would soon see a Meet tab added to the Gmail app on Android and iOS to better help you join all of those meetings you have lined up. Now, in a set of slides discovered that were likely to be unveiled next week at Google’s Cloud Next ’20 event, we are seeing what could be a full overhaul to Gmail that expands beyond Meet integration.
The slides show major changes coming to both Gmail on the web and its mobile apps. The big focus is on Gmail being a “new home” for you to work, so that means built-in Meet, Google Chat, and your Chat Rooms, along with email.
To understand how that might look on your device, the image here shows that Google will have to update Gmail with a new bottom bar for each of those areas. There are Mail, Chat, Rooms, and Meet tabs that will get you to Gmail, your chats, rooms where you and colleagues might discuss topics, and to video calls.
What we don’t yet know is if this will only be for Gsuite customers or if everyone can have some part of this. Because for now, Google Chat is still very much a Gsuite-only service. Should Google add Chat to Gmail and not let everyone in, the bottom bar for non-Gsuite owners might then only have Mail and Meet tabs, which would look odd and not make for a good use of that space.
You have to wonder then if Google is planning to open Google Chat up to everyone next week. They probably should, since Chat is still a supported app and is the replacement for Google Hangouts.
Oh, on the web, accessing each of these areas will happen off to the left side, where there will be shortcuts for the four areas. Tapping or clicking into each will then use space that would have previously been reserved for Gmail to show you chats, rooms, and video calls.
Thoughts on a new, more bloated Gmail experience?