What you need to know
- Google recently expanded Meet access to Gmail on the web.
- Now it's bringing that integration to its Gmail apps on iOS and Android.
- It seems very rushed.
It's no secret that Google is behind Zoom in the teleconferencing space, a market that's exploded since everyone started working from home in March.
To make it more accessible, it changed the Hangouts Meet name to just Google Meet, started adding features to make it work more like Zoom, and recently integrated Meet into Calendar and Gmail on the web. It also made most of Meet's features free for everyone, and launched a consumer version of the service that didn't require a G Suite account.
Now, Meet is getting its own tab in Google's Gmail apps on Android and iOS, making it easy to quickly schedule or jump into a call from the app itself. While on the surface this may seem like a logical step — many Google Meet calls originate as links in email chains, for instance — the integration itself feels rushed and largely forced on users as a way to shore up the active user base on Google Meet.
Google says disabling the tab is a one-step process through the app's settings menu, but the fact that it's an opt-out rather than an opt-in speaks volumes about the lengths the company will go to spur adoption of a service that, before the pandemic, was under-developed and relegated to enterprise accounts.
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Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central.