Gmail is getting more features to compete with Slack and Teams

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As more people grapple with working from home in the COVID-19 era, they are looking for platforms that allow them to do more. It is part of the reason why the likes of Slack and Teams has been adding more features in recent weeks. Now Google is doing the same for its G Suite users, announcing a number of new integrations for its Gmail app.

The additions will see Gmail integrate a number of Google’s collaboration-focused tools and platforms into its mail client. It makes sense for Gmail to serve as the hub for those working from home, and now it will serve as the central location for the workplace setup.

“G Suite now intelligently brings together the people, content, and tasks you need to make the most of your time. We’re integrating core tools like video, chat, email, files, and tasks, and making them better together, so that you can more easily stay on top of things, from anywhere,” explains Javier Soltero, VP and GM of G Suite.

Looking at the mobile interface for this solution, the iOS and Android versions of Gmail will feature four new icons on the bottom of the screen, with the browser-version of the client showcasing them on the left.

The first icon is mail, and the next three are Google Chat, Rooms and Meet, with users being able to launch and interact with each of three in a more seamless manner. You’ll also be able to share files and documents between the different platforms in one central location.

“This new integrated workspace also makes it easy to access your favorite third-party apps, including DocuSign, Salesforce, and Trello, so you can get updates and take action within any kind of conversation—across Gmail, Chat, and rooms,” adds Soltero.

Whether this is enough for Gmail to compete with the likes of Slack or Teams remains to be seen, but it’s clear that more online platforms are putting collaboration top of mind for those working from home.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.