G Suite: Mail, Chat, Rooms and Meet come together in new Gmail experience

The revamped Gmail experience combines popular G Suite services within the Gmail app, simplifying collaboration and multitasking.

How to get started with G Suite shared drives

Google has started rolling out its new integrated Gmail experience for G Suite customers that brings together Chat, Mail, Rooms and Meet in a single interface.

SEE:  TechRepublic Premium editorial calendar: IT policies, checklists, toolkits, and research for download  (TechRepublic Premium)

The update, first announced by Google in July, is currently on its way to Gmail on the web and for Android users, and sees Gmail overhauled with four distinct tabs for Google's chat, messaging and email services. The idea is that G Suite customers can access all of the platform's core communication components from one place, cutting out the hassle of having to regularly switch between different Google apps and making it easier to collaborate with fellow G Suite colleagues.

The experience will largely be familiar to anyone who has used Google services before: Mail provides the typical Gmail experience, while Rooms provides a space for colleagues to share files, chats and tasks related to group projects.

Chat and Meet are, of course, Google's respective messaging and video-chat applications, both of which have become key components of Google's G Suite offering since remote working became widely adopted. Google said the integrated G Suite experience helps users "stay focused, be productive, and collaborate more effectively -- no matter what your workspace looks like". Presumable, it's also been designed to keep users within Google's own services and make them less tempted to hop onto a rival platform - for example, Zoom - for the sake of convenience.

Google has introduced additional new tools to keep work flowing smoothly . For example, G Suite users can now co-edit documents with colleagues without leaving Gmail, as well as assign group tasks. Rooms containing important work can be pinned, and users can enable reminders to alert them when tasks get updated.

To make it easier to pick up lost conversation threads, G Suite now offers integrated search results that allow customers to filter both Mail and Chat results. G Suite users can also toggle their Chat status to 'Do not disturb' or 'out of office' when they need time to focus or relax, respectively.

The new G Suite features will launch to customers that have the 'Chat preferred' setting enabled, which replaces the classic Hangouts experience in Gmail and can be toggled at Admin level. The rollout will be delivered in two phases, starting with rapid release customers from 12 August followed by scheduled release customers from 1 September.

G Suite customers on iOS will also receive the new Gmail experience, but at a later date. Google recommends these users keep an eye on the G Suite Updates blog for information. 

Also see