Google integrated its videoconferencing service, Meet, into Gmail back in April. Now the company is working on bringing full Google Chat functionality to its popular email app on Android. That’s according to 9to5Google, which claims that it found hints about the upcoming feature by decompiling the latest version of the Gmail app on Android.
While the Google Meet integration is yet to go live in Gmail on Android, version 2020.06 of the app now carries onboarding strings for ‘Chat’ and ‘Rooms’, suggesting that it might only be a matter of time before both Google Meet and Google Chat will be part of the Gmail experience on Android. The basic ‘Chat’ functionality will be for one-on-one conversations, while ‘Rooms’ will be for group collaborations.
The strings also suggest that the functionality will be available to both enterprise and retail users. Which isn’t surprising, given that Hangouts, which was replaced by Chat earlier this year, was available to all Gmail users. While Hangouts is yet to be fully deprecated for consumers, Google plans to do that in the coming days. So it only makes sense for the company to make its successor available to all users.
Meanwhile, Google Meet is not yet widely available in the Gmail app on Android and iOS. Google started rolling it out back in June, but most users are yet to see it in their accounts. Given that it was rolled out on the web weeks ago, one would hope that Google would roll it out to all users on Android and iOS soon enough, so that the service can achieve feature parity across all platforms.