Google wants to make Gmail your new “home for work” by consolidating email, Chat and Meet in one browser window, as well as a mobile app. That said, the company will maintain standalone messaging and video calling applications, with Google Chat testing a web client redesign.
Google Chat today is available to paying Workspace customers, while personal accounts can access it per call if invited. The current web interface is a page drawer grouped by Pinned, Chat (single user or group messages), Rooms and Bots. The selected call is displayed to the right of a fairly standard chat application setup.
The conversion is largely the same, but simplified with the left panel showing only Chat and Rooms, as well as Gmail̵
Anchored at the bottom of the screen, starting at the right, they can be minimized so that only the contact name is displayed. You can do everything here, from adding emoji to uploading photos, as well as browsing Drive files and sending a Meet request.
In addition to being very familiar to longtime Gmail users, it’s an effective way to talk to multiple people at once. For example, it would be very convenient to have one room in the main screen and several anchored windows, so that constant switching is not necessary.
Elsewhere, this new user interface allows you to shrink the sidebar so that only profile avatars are displayed. The full one is displayed when you hold the cursor over. The search field has been moved to the top line, with “Active” right next to it.
This redesign of the Google Chat network has not been rolled out and will appear on a personal account. It can be part of the company’s plan to transfer personal Hangouts accounts to Chat before you reach your corporate customer.
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