Google showed off how Chat will let you make one-on-one Meet calls without having to use URLs back in September. This feature is now rolling out in the Gmail version of Google Chat, just like it is in classic Hangouts.
Google Chat in Gmail now allows you to make 1:1 audio and video calls, according to a blog post. The company has made the update available only to mobile users on Android and iOS platforms, and it is limited to 1:1 chats only. This means you’ll only be able to make audio and video calls with specific users from your chat list. In Gmail’s chat roster, you’ll also see missed calls and details on current calls.
When you’re using the Chat tab to message someone, you’ll notice buttons in the top-right corner that allow you to start an audio or video call. Instead of inserting a meeting/invite link in the chat that the other person can click to join, this immediately starts the call.
Users who have enabled Google Chat in Gmail will now see the phone and video icons in the top-right corner of a 1:1 chat as a result of the update, which was first announced in September. You can make an audio or video call by tapping on any of these icons, depending on your preference.
An ongoing call will be indicated by a blue banner at the top of the screen in Gmail. It will include the caller’s name and duration. In the conversation and chat rosters, Gmail will display a red phone or video icon to indicate missed calls.
All users with personal Google accounts, as well as Google Workspace, G Suite Basic, and Business customers, will soon be able to use the new calling experience. To make and receive calls, both the caller and the receiver must have the most recent version of Gmail.
“As some teams begin to return to office, while others remain distributed, we hope this makes it easier to connect with your colleagues in the hybrid work world,” Google wrote in the blog post. “This feature will allow you to seamlessly switch between chat to a video or audio call when needed, helping you collaborate and move your work forward.”
The Gmail calling update happens to coincide with Google’s transition from Hangouts to Google Chats. While the change was initially intended for Google Workspace users, it is gradually becoming available to all users as the Hangouts service is being phased out.
After going to General > Chats from the settings menu on the Gmail app, turn on Show the chat and spaces tab to enable Google Chat.
Even if you have the standalone Google Chat client installed, instant Meet calling is currently only available for one-on-one conversations and requires the Gmail app. It’s available now on Android and iOS for both personal and Workspace accounts.
As some teams begin to return to the office, while others remain distributed, we hope this makes it easier to connect with your colleagues in the hybrid work world. This feature will allow you to seamlessly switch between chat to a video or audio call when needed, helping you collaborate and move your work forward.— Google