At long last, Google's promised Gmail update for Android users is here, rolling out just a week after it went live on iOS. The new update is aimed at making video calling more intuitive and easier to access by integrating Google Meet with the Gmail app, and is in the process of rolling out on Android now.
In a nutshell, after the update, users can jump straight into a Meet video chat from within Gmail, for a seamless transition that will make using additional video calling apps seem like a bit of an unnecessary rigmarole by comparison.
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As Google outlined last month (opens in new tab) after the update, users will see an additional tab in Gmail called 'Meet' which can be used to join a meeting or to kick off a new one. As Google says, this dedicated tab means that "users can join secure video meetings directly in Gmail without needing to open another app on their phone."
If the tab isn't present in your Android app, don't fret, as it's still rolling out (opens in new tab). Once it's live, you'll be able to flit between Gmail and Meet in the Gmail app, as well as viewing scheduled meetings at a glance.
As Google explains, clicking on a Meet link on your Android or iOS device will take you to the Gmail app to join the meeting. If you're already in the Meet app, you won't be redirected to Gmail.
Of course, if you'd prefer not to see the Meet tab in your Gmail app, you can simply hide it in the settings.
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There are plenty of competing video chat apps there, with Zoom taking off during the pandemic, leading to larger companies offering what would usually be premium features to users for free in order to compete.
This has been the case with Google too; Meet has been a business-focused tool that was made available to users with personal accounts in order to keep up with the plethora of video chat apps that gained popularity during lockdown. As restrictions lift, Google is pivoting back towards separating G Suite users' experience, and beginning on September 30, Meet video calls will be limited to just one hour for non-business accounts, so make the most of those long conversations while you can!
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