This Gmail update just made it harder than ever to avoid video calls

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Avoiding video conferencing meetings can now be more difficult than ever as Google has made it a lot easier to join a video or audio call via Gmail.

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The company has announced that users can now start or join meetings and audio calls from 1:1 chat in Google Chat in Gmail on Android and iOS.

Google announced the new addition in a blog post, writing, “As some teams begin returning to the office while others remain distributed, we hope this will make it easier to connect with your colleagues in the hybrid work world.” ” “This feature will allow you to switch between chats to video or audio calls when needed, helping you to collaborate and carry on with your work.”

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Going forward, Gmail users will now see a phone and video icon in the top right corner of the 1:1 Google Chat window, which, when clicked, will initiate a direct call with the contact.

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To join a call, all you have to do is select the phone or video chip in the 1:1 chat window, and during the call, you’ll see a banner of the person you’re calling with, in the call chat roster Period and Meet icon.

Missed calls will be indicated in the conversation and chat roster with a red phone or video icon.

The feature is hosted as part of Gmail, so if you choose to join a call from the Google Chat app, you’ll be redirected to the Gmail app. If the Gmail app is not installed on your device, you will be asked to download it from the Google Play Store or App Store.

The feature, which will be rolled out to all Google Workspace customers as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers by default, is currently only available for 1:1 meetings. This means there are no group calls at the moment, but given the ongoing popularity of video calls, it may not be far away.

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