Google Chat inside the Gmail app for iOS and Android now supports one-on-one voice and video calls, according to the company.
The functionality was first revealed in September, but it’s now available to anyone with a Google Workspace, G Suite, or personal Google account as of December 6th.
Starting calls from within the Gmail app was previously available, but it required sending an invite to a Google Meet video conference call, which seemed overkill for a one-on-one conversation.
In the future, though, every one-on-one conversation will have simple phone and video icons in the top right corner that may be used to make calls.
It’s a small change, but it helps Google achieve its objective of making Gmail the hub for all of its communication services.
According to Google’s article, even if you start a call from within the Google Chat app, you’ll be sent to the Gmail app. Emails are now simply one of four tabs in the current Gmail interface, among Chat, Spaces (Google’s Slack-style messaging service), and Meet, as my colleague Dieter Bohn noticed in September (its video conferencing service).