One-on-one voice and video calls are now rolling out for Google Chat inside the Gmail app on iOS and Android, Google has announced. The feature was first announced in September, but as of December 6th it’s started rolling out for anyone with Google Workspace, G Suite, or personal Google accounts.
It’s previously been possible to start calls from within the Gmail app, but until now it’s involved sending an invite to a Google Meet video conferencing call, which feels excessive for a one-on-one conversation. Going forward, however, there’ll be simple phone and video icons in the top right of every one-on-one chat which can be used for calls.
It’s a simple addition, but it’s one that furthers Google’s goal of making Gmail the central hub for all its communication services. In fact, Google’s post says you’ll be redirected to the Gmail app, even if you start a call from within the Google Chat app. As my colleague Dieter Bohn pointed out in September, emails now take up just one of the four tabs in the current Gmail app, alongside Chat, Spaces (Google’s Slack-style messaging service), and Meet (its video conferencing service).