About a month ago, Google shared their vision for the future of Gmail, which showed an email experience filled with Chat, Meet, and Rooms tabs. The focus for this new bloated experience was to bring an all-in-one location for you to get all of your work done without requiring so many external apps or having to leave Gmail.
That new vision for Gmail has started rolling out. Well, it’s rolling out to G Suite customers first, and even there it’s pretty limited.
To recap, Google is putting a new navigation bar at the bottom of Gmail on Android that will have tabs for Mail, Chat, Rooms, and Meet. The Mail tab is (obviously) for your Gmail, while Chat, Rooms, and Meet are a part of Google Chat and Google Meet. For many, the Meet tab has already popped up, whether you are G Suite or not. They are also integrating all of this into Gmail on the web too.
By selecting the Chat tab in the Android app, you’ll get to carry on your Google Chat conversations without having to open the Google Chat app. The same applies for Meet, where you can jump onto a video call from within Gmail. As for Rooms, well, that’s the group or topic or project area you would find in Chat, only now it’s located in Gmail too.
To get this new experience as a G Suite user, you’ll need your admin to setup your G Suite organization as “Chat preferred.” That will kill off the regular Hangouts app from working with your G Suite account and force everyone in the organization to adopt Google Chat (it has dark theme now!). This will allow Gmail to take on this new redesign, though.
Google says the rollout for the new experience will take about 15 days, assuming you have completed the task I just mentioned above.