Expect to see a new look and user interface for your Gmail in the next few months as Google tries to make it easier for those working from home to communicate with their teams and officemates. They unveiled the new look during the Google Cloud “Cloud Next ’20 OnAir” streamed event. Based on what they showed, we’ll be seeing Gmail, Google Docs, Chat, Rooms, Meet and other Google apps work together in just one interface to truly have one ecosystem for all your communication needs even as you’re away from your office.
The Gmail redesign aims to make it “your new home for work” as you will be able to switch between the apps easily. The mobile app system in particular shows a single row of buttons at the base of the Gmail app showing Mail, Chat, Rooms, and Meet tabs. This will be a more accessible way to get to the necessary apps that have notifications in them, especially if you’re the kind of person that can’t stand having unread notifications in your device.
The new system will also prioritize “nudging” and “elevating” important elements, which Gmail has also been doing the past few years. This time around, it will also highlight rooms, those nudges for your neglected chats, and other things that you may be overlooking as you go about your work and your team collaborations. You will also be able to open Google Docs from the Gmail app itself and work on the files from there, view shared files, see your tasks, and chatting and video chatting at the same time.
Google Meet will also be getting upgrades as it’s still trying to dethrone Zoom or at least get a bigger share of the pie. You’ll get features like Q&A, “hand raising” features, attendance, custom backgrounds, etc. Another future update will bring Meet to the Nest Hub Max and you’ll also finally get breakout rooms as well as a digital whiteboard that integrates Jam and Meet. Hopefully, all these will be easy to manage in the app as that’s one of the advantages of Zoom as well.
Since in the near (and maybe far) future, remote work is probably how we’ll be living for a while, these updates to Gmail and the whole Google eco-system is probably a much needed one. They did not say when the update will be rolling out but we can probably expect it really soon.