Taking on Zoom and Slack? Google Gmail redesign integrates Chat, Meet & collaboration

Google Meet Gmail

Google is making its popular Gmail app more of a productivity powerhouse. The Alphabet subsidiary is incorporating more applications into the business version of Gmail so that users don’t need to switch to other apps or browser tabs, It could help keep employees satisfied with the company’s business software and not want to adopt alternative services, such as Slack or Zoom.

Google seemingly has a big Gmail redesign in the works that could let you collaborate with colleagues, work on Google Docs, and talk over Google Meet all without leaving Gmail. Leaked images of the redesign were spotted on Google’s website for the Google Cloud Next ‘20: OnAir event by Twitter user Tahin Rahman (via Android Police).

In the redesign, there are now tabs for Mail, Chat, Rooms, and Meet. The Chat tab looks to take you to your conversations with people, while Rooms appear to be spaces for topic-based conversations, similar to Slack channels. The Meet tab shows your upcoming Google Meet meetings and suggestions for who you might want to contact. (The Meet tab might look familiar — Google already announced in June that it was coming to Gmail’s iOS and Android apps.)

That’s an important consideration for building up the cloud business that augments Google and Alphabet’s advertising core. The coronavirus hurt Google’s ad revenue in the first quarter, but as schools and offices closed, people began to lean more on digital services that could help them continue to communicate, which led to greater adoption of Google services like the Meet calling service.

Now Meet will be accessible inside of Gmail for business customers, along with Google Docs and the Google Chats service for team communication. In 2018 Google did something similar to Gmail, enhancing it with stripped-down versions of Google Calendar and the Google Keep to-do list app.

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