Google’s Chat and Rooms feature is now open to all Gmail users, with the aim of making Gmail your “Home for Work.” Previously, this service was only open to business customers, but Google is now making the integrated workplace feature accessible to personal account holders as well.
The aim is for users to be able to complete all tasks on a single page without having to click between tabs. ‘Chat’ and ‘Rooms’ are two additional tabs that have been added to the current ‘Mail’ and ‘Meet’ tabs. Individuals and small groups will contact each other in “Talk,” whereas “Rooms” are for broader communications of shared chat, data, and activities. The Rooms tab functions similarly to Slack.
When a user triggers this setting, it will appear in the Android app’s bottom bar, where the Meet and Mail tabs are currently located. The sidebar with the four parts will appear on the side of the page by default on Gmail’s Web client, which can be hidden by clicking on the double-arrow button.
These new additions provide the same capabilities as Google Chat’s standalone version. When users have access to the new functionality, they will be able to uninstall the standalone chat app if they wish. This new tab integration will be open to all Android app users as well as Gmail web clients, although there is no word about whether it will be available to iOS users.
Follow the steps below to allow this configuration in your Gmail Android app:
1. Launch the Gmail application.
2. Tap Menu (3 lines) and then Settings in the top left corner.
3. Choose a user account.
4. To toggle Chat on or off in the Gmail app, check or uncheck the ‘Show the chat and rooms tab box.’