Last year, Google officially announced the possible additional features to be added to Gmail. This includes Chat messaging and group Rooms together with the already existing video conferencing app, Google Meet. And now, it is officially available not only to Workspace users, but to personal Gmail accounts.
As reported by The Verge, Google is adding this feature and extending it now to more IOS and Android users. However, this feature is still under the testing phase therefore the availability might not be present for all accounts. It may also depend on your account settings.
How To Turn It On?
For you to know if it works for you account, here is what you can try:
- Open the side menu and scroll down to Settings
- Find the option that says “Chat” (early access) which is under the General settings
- Just simply flip the toggle to turn the feature on.
- Click on “Try It”
- Go to this link https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#settings/chat
- You will see that Classic Hangouts is the one selected, change that to Google Chat (Early Access)
- Make sure to save changes to enable this feature
Google has thought of an easier option for users to send messages to their contacts. This was possible before with Hangouts, however, it has slowly become inactive and unused as time goes by. This prompted the action of Google to transition Hangout to Chat as described by an article of The Verge.
As you enable the feature, Google will be giving you easier access to all things you need in just one screen. Gmail now has four main parts. It includes Mail, which is the main function of it. And you are probably familiar with it already.
You also have the Chat option which will make it faster for you to send messages to individuals or smaller groups of people. You also have Rooms, if you need to communicate or collaborate to more than one person or to a larger group of people. This comes with a function of sharing files and tasks. And lastly, your Google Meet. This is an easier path to creating a new meeting or maybe joining one.
‘Home For Work’
All of these latest updates and changes within the past months have been for the purpose of Google to make Gmail their new “home for work”. Users have been using computers for their work and other tasks. And Google wants to make their Gmail a one-stop-shop for everything that users may possibly need. They aim to get users to have everything done in one page and not use multiple tabs or programs anymore.
Take note that this is not yet available for the IOS application. For Enterprise accounts, you may need to ask permission from your admins. For personal Gmail accounts that seem to not give you this option, make sure that your Gmail is updated to its latest version. Let us know in the comments if this works for you!