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Google Updates Gmail App To Make Voice, Video Calls

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Lawrence Agbo

Lawrence is a young journalist based in Nigeria and loves creating SEO-focused content that drives b...

Google has announced a new feature that will roll out a larger Workspace update and add direct calling via Google Meet to the Gmail mobile app.

Google said it's eager to make Gmail users the go-to hub for more than just messages. Users will get to ring up coworkers and other contacts for a quick one-on-one when email or a scheduled meeting won't do. The feature will also send a "chip" to users' computers if they'd rather answer on the larger screen.

Google has presented the function as a rough equivalent to “spontaneous” office calls in a hybrid work environment where some employees are at home. And before you ask – yes, the Meet app will eventually add this calling feature as well.


The Workspace substitute also embraces a larger remodified Gmail that makes it a hub for other activities. Users will see Google's promised "spaces," a renamed and expanded version of Rooms chat channels with full threaded messages and the option of making spaces visible in search. You can therefore expect easier navigation between email, chats, spaces and Meet, not to mention improved admin and security tools for managing communications. Business users should see these changes starting today, but regular Gmail owners will see updates later. However, regular Gmail owners will see updates later.

Other customizations include options to specify whether you are in the office or virtual on a given day (important for scheduling meetings) and a Meet companion mode that allows you to use a conference room’s audiovisual hardware. Google is also expanding its Meet hardware ecosystem. There are two new Series One devices (third-party devices designed to fit Google’s goals), including the Series One Desk 27 all-in-one and Series One Board 65 4K collaboration cards. Several gadgets are Meet-certified as well, such as Logitech’s Rally Bar and Rally Bar Mini room solutions as well as the Rayz Rally Pro speaker dock.

Google's intentions for Gmail are fairly clear. Much like Microsoft Outlook, it's becoming a portal for all official communication, not just email and the occasional meeting. That's not surprising when Google is directly competing with Office. At the same time, it does raise questions about support for dedicated apps. What need is there for other clients when Gmail apparently does it all? Still, you might not mind if it saves you from switching apps and possibly losing concentration.


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