Millions of Gmail users set to miss out on its biggest upgrade in years

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Google has confirmed that its hugely popular Gmail service is about to get one of its biggest upgrades in years. The changes, which include a refreshed look and much better integration with Google’s Chat and Meet platforms, will start slowly rolling out to certain users on February 8 2022. Sadly this blockbuster revamp will only be available to business users for now meaning millions of consumers who rely on this service won’t be able to make use of the upgrade.

However, if your work email is with Gmail then you can begin trying it from next week. Although a full launch isn’t expected until later in the year, those wanting to give the upgrade a try can opt-in to test out the new experience before it’s released to the masses.

Google says that it’s made the changes to make it easy to move between critical applications such as Gmail, Chat and Meet in one unified location.

Once enabled, users will be faced with a new design with an updated navigation menu that makes it easy to switch the Gmail inbox and other important conversations. There’s even an option to jump straight into video Chat meetings without having to switch between tabs or open a new window.

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Another nice update is new notification bubbles which Google hopes will make it easier to stay on top of what immediately needs attention.

When working in Chat and Spaces, users will be able to view a full list of conversations and Spaces within a single screen, making it easier to engage with contacts.

Along with adding new features in this initial release there’s more to come with Google promising that the search menu is getting improved over the coming months.

This will allow users to see email and chat results making it easier to find what they need by eliminating the need to search within a specific product.

Confirming the upcoming changes, Google said in a blog post: “We hope this new experience makes it easier for you to stay on top of what’s important and get work done faster in a single, focused location. Further, this will help reduce the need to switch between various applications, windows, or tabs.”

This update will be available to Google Workspace Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Fundamentals, Education Plus, Frontline, and Nonprofits, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers

Sadly it’s not yet available to Google Workspace Essentials customers.

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