Google just introduced Google Meet integration into the Android Gmail app, allowing you to jump from your inbox to your next video call quickly and easily -- before you can even think about a Zoom meeting.
This feature has been in development for some time, but Google is now in the process of launching it, as announced by its G Suite blog (via Engadget). The rollout will be taking place over the next two weeks, so don't be concerned if the update has yet to appear on your own Android phone. For example, it hasn't appeared on my OnePlus 8 Pro yet, despite having the updated version of the Gmail app.
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We first heard that this Gmail/Google Meet app fusion was coming last month. iOS users already saw this functionality go live for them last week, and users of the web app have likely noticed the new tab since Gmail's update that took place in May.
However with the introduction of the feature to Android, now basically all smartphone users around the world can now benefit from this integration, making it much more convenient for users without access to a desktop or laptop.
In case you can't see any changes yet, the update adds a new tab at the bottom of the Gmail app which allows you to join or create a meeting. It also displays any meetings you have scheduled for that day in case you need a summary of what's coming up.
Outside of the app, when you click on a Google Meet link, your phone will now open up Gmail instead of the Meet app.
If you don't want the tab there taking up valuable screen space, then a quick trip into the settings will allow you to hide the tab.
This will be a big benefit to users of G Suite, Google's business-focussed service that allows unlimited length Google Meet calls. Personal account users can also use Meet, since Google made the service available for non-enterprise users several months ago to help people manage with isolation during coronavirus lockdowns. However, from September 30th, personal account users will only be able to make Meet video calls for a maximum of one hour.