Google has updated its Gmail app to include two new tabs for Google Chat and Google Rooms. This creates a single app for all your communication needs, or a “home for work”, rather than having to swap between different apps.
While the functions have been available for a while for business accounts, the new tabs are only just appearing in updates for free Gmail users on both Android phone and iOS. The Chat and Room tabs are still in an “early access” mode, which needs to be switched on in the settings before they appear. This is a Beta version and comes with a warning that you may experience bugs.
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With the Gmail app now able to be used as your default mail app in iOS, you really can now use this as your hub for all chats, emails and video calls – provided your friends are also on Gmail. While I’m still a fan of Outlook’s Focused tab, the Gmail app is a fast and very useable option. And if you regularly use Google chat, having it in the same place is a plus.
To activate the Chat and Rooms tabs, first make sure your app is up to date, then:
- In the main collapsible menu, go to Settings
- Select your personal Gmail account
- From the General section, hit the radio button next to Chat (early access)
You’ll be asked to close the app before it takes effect.