Gmail update provides premium features for all users
Millions of Gmail users around the world are treated to a free upgrade designed to make it easier to access some of Google’s other popular services, including Chat and Rooms. Google first revealed these upgrades last year, but they were reserved for people with a Workspace account. The latter is a paid account used by companies to enable their employees to use Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Meet, Google Docs and other services within the company.
Fortunately, you don’t have to work for a large company with a hefty direct debit to Google every month to get your hands on these features now. Also known as an ‘integrated workspace’, the changes are now coming to all Gmail users, including those with a free personal account.
The Chat and Rooms integration is designed to bring instant messaging to your Gmail window so you can quickly send a message instead of composing an entire email. All your Gmail contacts are automatically available for SMS in the chat window.
Similarly, Rooms is designed so that friends and family can work together without having to close Gmail and start another web app.
Once updated on your smartphone, at the bottom of the home screen you will find all the new tabs with four sections including Mail, Google Meet (the equivalent of Zoom) and the new interface for Chat and Rooms.
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What the new Gmail update looks like on your phone
If you want to start a quick chat with a friend or contact, simply tap on the “Chat” option with a floating window that then opens, allowing you to send instant messages. The same happens with “Rooms” with this option that allows a number of people to join a conversation at the same time and share files and documents at the same time.
If you want to give this new upgrade a try, you’ll need to enable it manually, according to the team at 9To5Google, it is not yet available as a standard option.
To access it, you need to enable Chat “Early Access” on all of your devices, including Google accounts.
Enable new Gmail with Chat, Rooms ~
• Open Settings (at the bottom of the navigation drawer)
• Tap personal Gmail account
• Under General, select ‘Chat (Early Access)’
• Click on ‘Try it’
As we mentioned earlier, this update is an early preview so it may not work for everyone. It’s unclear when Google will push the full upgrade to all users, but hopefully it won’t take too long.
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