(Pocket-lint) - In a lengthy announcement on its cloud blog, Google has announced new changes and integrations coming to its G Suite services. A major part of those changes for consumers and workers will see deeper integration between Gmail, Chat and Meet.
A huge part of this move is to make it as easy as possible for people to work effectively from home. So instead of having multiple tabs and windows open for all the various Google Chat, Meet and Docs apps, you can work in all of them from one space, whether you're using Gmail on the web or Gmail apps for iOS or Android.
One of the first parts of this move is to integrate Chat into Gmail for iPhone and Android, allowing you to chat directly within the app, as you can already do from Gmail in a desktop browser. Google Meet video calls have already been added in the past.
Within Chat, you'll find integrations for other services, like Docs, so you can share tasks and files, with the integration allowing you to collaborate easily, in real-time with other colleagues. Again, without leaving the app.
Chats aren't just limited to members of the same workfoce either. You can invite people from outside the organisation to join and feedback too. So if you have outside consultants or contractors that need to be involved in the work, you can have them as part of the chat.
As well as that, this new focus on workspace integration will also give you easy access to popular third party work apps like DocuSign, Salesforce and Trello (among others). So you can use those services within Chat.
As you can tell by now, the aim is to make it as seamless as possible to do all of this within the same space. Google notes, as an example that "you can quickly join a video call from a chat, forward a chat message to your inbox, create a task from a chat message—everything connects together in a way that makes it easy for you to manage the flow of your work and get more done."
To make it easier to find what you're looking for, Google is also enhancing Gmail search tool, allowing you to search Chat messages too.
In future, Google notes it will be bringing updates to enhance security too. Google Meet hosts will have better control over meetings, allowing them to decide who can join and collaborate.
Phishing protections (similar to those in Gmail) will be built into Chat to protect users from inadvertently giving up information to sources they shouldn't. When you click on a link in Chat, it will scan that link before opening it, making sure it's safe.
Future updates will also bring picture-in-picture video calls right in Gmail, plus Google Meet being integrated into Docs, Sheets and Slides.
On the whole, it seems Google is trying to make sure you can make those most of those real-time chatting and communication apps from anywhere within its suite of apps, and it can't come soon enough in our mind. Exciting times ahead for G Suite users.