Google's new, integrated Gmail looks a lot like Outlook

The new Gmail UI experience will roll out soon, Google says.

Credit: Google

A...simpler Google? Yes, from the company that brought you chat app after chat app, Google said Wednesday that it planned to integrate Gmail, Chat, Rooms, and Meet into a unified interface—that looks a lot like Outlook.

That should come as no surprise. Javier Soltero, who led the Acompli email app that was later acquired by Microsoft, integrated a calendar, a file picker, and even a focused inbox years before Microsoft Outlook did. Those features eventually became part of Outlook. Now Soltero, the vice president and general manager of Google’s G Suite, has tidied up Gmail as well.

Last month, Google brought Google Chat into Gmail for the web. According to a blog post Google published today, Chat will “soon” be joining Gmail on Android and iOS as well. The interface should be extremely familiar to mobile Outlook app users, though while Outlook includes a calendar, search, and email icons at the bottom of its mobile app. Google has all four of its key collaboration apps at the bottom of the new Gmail interface. (Weirdly, Google Calendar still hasn’t made an appearance.) 

google meet integration mobile Google

Gmail’s mobile app, displaying the new UI.

The idea, Google said, is to eliminate the need to formally “switch” apps, such as you have to do from Gmail, to say, Twitter. That’s less of an issue on the Web, but more important when working within various mobile apps. There, “switching” between apps means navigating the app interface. “With quick access to shared chat, important documents, and to-dos in one place, it’s easier for everyone in a group to stay on the same page,” Soltero wrote.

video chat google Google

Users will be able to “roam” between apps without ever switching out of Gmail.

That enables fluid workflows back and forth. Chat is now inside Gmail, and document collaboration is within Chat—complete with comments on how to take a project forward. That can be done within a specific room within Rooms. You can join a video call with Meet from a chat, or create a task. Gmail’s search now includes Google Chat as well.

google meet integration Google

Google also showed off what this might look like on the Web, too.

What’s next? Features like picture-in-picture video calls right in Gmail, the integration of Google Meet into our content tools like Docs, Sheets, and Slides, and more, Google said. Google’s also placing better security “locks” into Meet and Chat, allowing the host to decide who can chat and be present in the meeting, and keep attendees banned from a Google Meet meeting from sneaking back in. 

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Mark Hachman

Mark Hachman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?