Google is rolling out a new update for its Gmail app (opens in new tab) on both Android and iOS that lets users make instant calls through the Chat tab without needing to create an invitation link first.
First announced earlier this year, the feature now lets you start in-app one-to-one calls by simply tapping on the phone or video-camera icons in the top right corner of the chat screen.
The worldwide rollout of this new feature started yesterday (Dec. 6), but not all users are yet able to view or take advantage of the update. At the time of this writing, we weren't able to test it out ourselves, although we're hoping to do so as soon as the feature becomes available.
Users were already able to start calls within the Gmail app, but until now, it required first creating an invitation link in Google Meet. This wasn't exactly convenient for quick one-on-one catchups. The latest Gmail update should make things a lot more user-friendly and you won't need to jump between different apps.
According to Google, once the update is installed, you will be automatically redirected to the Gmail app even if you start a call through the separate Google Chat app.
It seems the tech giant is trying to turn Gmail into its main communication hub. Screenshots provided by Google show that the update will refresh the tabs located on the lower part of the screen to reflect Mail (email service), Chat, Rooms and Meet.
If you've already downloaded your Gmail update and are trying to figure out how to give someone a call through the Gmail app, we're going to walk you through it now.
How to make calls in Gmail
First, launch the app and tap on the 'Chat' tab, then select a group or an individual you'd like to call. Next, locate the phone and the video icons in the top corner of the chat. Tap on the preferred method of calling, and that's it!
You can also join an existing call by tapping on the phone or video icon that you can see within the one-on-one chat. The Chat tab also allows you to see if you've got any missed calls with another user. You should be able to see a red phone or video icon under another user's or group's name.