Google announced a major redesign Gmail on Wednesday, which aims to extend the application beyond the email service and expand it into a center for planning projects and chatting with colleagues.
The update makes Gmail compete more directly with other productivity applications of other competitors, including Slack and Microsoft, whose product name is Teams.
- The search giant wants people to work on projects, chat, and exchange files without leaving the app.
The idea is to centralize Google’s independent services (such as Google Docs, Drive, and Calendar) in one place.
The new design displays four tabs at the bottom of the user’s screen: “Mail”, “Chat”, “Video Call Party” and “Room”.
The latest function “Room” is similar to “Relax Room”, it enables people working in the same team to collaborate in real-time. In the Google version, people can chat, exchange files, and edit Google documents without switching tabs.
Javier Soltero, head of the GSuite department of Google’s productivity applications, said in an interview: “The task of combining them is to make them larger than the sum of the parts.
The redesign Gmail was carried out at the same time as global companies facing the coronavirus pandemic turned to work remotely. The company has closed its offices and relies on productivity software to keep employees connected.
Social alienation is also good for Google products. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in April that the use of Meet has surged. He said the service added 3 million new users every day during the pandemic and 2 million new users a few weeks ago.
Pichai said the service has 100 million meeting participants every day. Google also added a “meeting” button to Gmail in April and redesigned to make the integration more prominent.
However, Google’s critics may be wary of the search giant’s use of its platform size to push people to other products, while other competitors have no advantage. For example, Gmail, with more than 1 billion users, puts Meet first, rather than competitors like Zoom.
In a report in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Google was also accused of preferring YouTube in search results over other video services.
Federal and state officials are conducting antitrust reviews of the company to investigate the company’s market dominance.
Soltero said on Wednesday that Google has a long history of product integration, and Gmail’s redesign Gmail is designed to make these crossovers have a more cohesive experience.
The updated app also has other features, such as suspending notifications, assigning tasks, and applying “do not disturb” filters.
Google is testing the redesigned application with several companies before launching the service more widely next month.