Software

Google integrates Tasks app with Gmail and Google Calendar

Tasks is the latest Google app to get an update, as the company redesigns some of its key features.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Google has updated its Tasks app as part of a general revamp of Gmail and G Suite.
  • The new design and app features will be rolled out in the US and internationally throughout the year.

The new and improved Google Tasks was officially unveiled for the first time on Android phones after rumors of an update were leaked late last month. The app, which was revived after languishing within Google's ecosystem for years, will allow users to create a task list by pulling from Google Calendar and Gmail.

The update comes as Google revamps the web version of Gmail and adds a catalog of capabilities to its app suite. There are a number of task apps available, but Google is hoping to leverage its dominance of email and calendar apps into creating a seamless link between the different platforms people use. Google Tasks allows you to make lists and add due dates, all while keeping relevant emails and notes attached to each task.

Google will be rolling out new versions of Gmail and G Suite in the US and internationally over the next few months, but anyone can opt in to the new version immediately. Google Tasks will be added to the side panel menus on Android phones and the Gmail web app. You can find Tasks in the Google Play Store, or you can download it as an iOS app; it can connect to your Gmail account and calendar app if you want.

SEE: Cost comparison calculator: G Suite vs. Office 365 (Tech Pro Research)

Google's lead product manager for Gmail, Jacob Bank, said that the company was doing a "ground-up rewrite of our flagship product" by adding, securing, redesigning, and connecting more features.

For each task, users can input large amounts of information, and any dates associated with the task will show up in their calendar app automatically. Florian Goerisch, Google Tasks' product manager, told Wired that for this app, Google was aiming for efficiency and simplicity over time-consuming depth.

"Tasks is for to-do management. It is designed to help users manage lists of tasks and subtasks related to work, for example—emails to reply to, meetings to prepare for, and documents to review," he said. "We believe in the strength of a simple-to-use and straightforward tasks app. A tasks app shouldn't be complicated but should help you focus on getting your work done."

SEE: The future of Everything as a Service (ZDNet special report) | (download the report as a PDF) (TechRepublic)

Some users have questioned why pictures can't be added to tasks or why the app isn't attached to Google Assistant, but Goerisch said they would continue to mine for "additional features" that would make Google's applications even more seamless.

Also see

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Google Tasks app

Image: Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

About Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig is a freelance journalist based in New York City. He recently returned to the United States after reporting from South Africa, Jordan, and Cambodia since 2013.

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