Earlier available for Google Workspace (Formerly G Suite), Google has started rolling out Google Chat for the regular users with a free personal Gmail account. With the impending death of Google Hangouts, there was a dire need for something as a replacement. Last year, they added the Google Meet tab (A Zoom alternative) to their Gmail app, letting users schedule meetings within the app. And now they are rolling out Google Chats in the same manner. Enabling Google Chat will allow Gmail users to chat or create rooms without leaving the Gmail app.
This Google Chat integration is a part of unifying the whole communication experience within Gmail. Previously, you will have to use the Gmail app for emails, Hangout for chats/communications and Meet for Meetings. With this availability of Google Chat within the Gmail app itself, you no longer have to shuffle between apps. Not just that, you can even access and share your Google Drive content directly within the Gmail app. Everything is under the same roof. Thus making your Gmail app a hub for all your communications.
I have enabled Google Chat inside Gmail app, and why you should too?
I never thought I would be so excited about a feature in an email app. But as I progressed with using this Google Chat feature on my Gmail app. I realized how many precious seconds we are wasting on so many different apps to communicate and collaborate regularly.
My usual workflow includes writing regular emails to clients, handing over the final work via Drive and scheduling meetings with them every then and now. Other than that, I use Slack to collaborate and communicated with the MrNoob team. Now with the whole Mail, Chat, Rooms and Meet thing integrated within a single app. You can do all this with just a single Google account and all that without ever leaving the Gmail app. And I appreciate that Google is bringing this feature out to the masses, rather than keeping it limited only to Google Workspace users.
With that said, let’s see how you can add this new Google Chat tab to your Gmail app.
How to enable Google Chat inside Gmail App?
1. Open Gmail app on your smartphone and then open its hamburger menu.
2. Inside the hamburger menu, scroll until you see the ‘Settings‘ option and tap on it to open the Gmail settings menu.
3. Now, you will see all your Gmail accounts. Tap on the one where you want to enable the Google Chat feature. Similar to the Google Meet feature, you’ll get the choice to allow the Google Chat tab on individual Gmail accounts inside the app. Suppose you want this feature enabled only on your work email; you can do that.
4. Inside your Gmail account settings, look for ‘Chat (early access)‘ under General and enable it by taping on the check box on the right.
5. You will get a warning as you do that, tap on ‘Try it‘ to continue.
6. This will automatically restart your Gmail app, and now you will see two new tabs, ‘Chat‘ and ‘Room‘, alongside the ‘Mail‘ tab and ‘Meet‘ tab at the bottom of your Gmail app. And there you have it; Google Chat is now available on your Gmail App. Start a conversation or hangout with your friends by creating a room. (no pun intended)
Do note that this feature is still in beta and has been rolling out as ‘Early Access‘. This means you may encounter bugs and issues using this feature. Rest assured, you won’t regret toggling this feature if you are some productivity workhorse and hate shuffling between this web of Google apps. However, if you face some significant issues, you can always turn this feature off to bring back the old simple Gmail app the way it always is. Here is how you can disable the Google Chat tab from the Gmail app!
How to remove the Google Chat tab from Gmail App?
Removing the Google Chat from Gmail app is just as easy as enabling it. To disable the Google Chat tab from the Gmail App.
Open the Gmail app, then to the Hamburger menu >> Settings and finally tap on the Gmail account, where you want the Google Chat tab disabled. Inside that Gmail account settings, uncheck the ‘Chat (early access)‘ option and wait for the Gmail app to restart itself. You will no longer have the Chat, and Room tab enabled on your Gmail account.
FAQ: New Google Chat feature inside Google App!
How to enable Google Chat feature on Gmail app on iOS?
Currently, you can only enable Google Chat inside Gmail app for Android. You might have to wait a little longer to see Google Chat feature on Gmail on an Apple device.
My status on Google Chat is set to ‘Available’; how to change that?
Like any chatting application, Google Chat lets you set your availability status, so other’s who are trying to reach you will know whether you are available to talk or not. You can either set your Google Chat status to ‘Available‘, ‘Do Not Disturb‘ or ‘Away‘.
To change your status on Google Chat, open the hamburger menu of your Gmail app, click on the current status to expand further and then choose from the options available.
Can I send messages to anyone with a Google account using Google Chat?
Yes, you can send messages to anyone with a Google/Gmail account using Google Chat. However, the other person needs to accept it before you can see whether the receiver has seen your message or not.
Can I use Google Chat on the web?
Yes, you can use Google Chat directly from the web since browser-based Google Chat is fully functional. Just head over to chat.google.com and access all your conversations directly inside your web browser.
I am getting chat notifications on the Hangout app as well on the Gmail app; what should I do?
If you are using Google Chat, you should uninstall Google Hangouts right away. Classic Hangout is already a thing of the past, and also, there is no need to keep two apps with the same functionality.