Back in April, we reported how Google was readying Chat and Meet functionality directly inside Gmail. Video conferencing was announced for the Android and iOS apps last month, and Google Chat now looks to be following.
About APK Insight: In this ‘APK Insight’ post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.
A few weeks ago, Google officially showed the Gmail mobile apps gaining a bottom bar for quick access to both “Mail” and “Meet.” The interface is quite odd (and empty) given that there are only two items.
Version 2020.06 of Gmail today readies the Meet integration, but also has onboarding strings for “Chat” and “Rooms.” The former is for one-to-one conversations, while the latter is aimed at group collaborations. There are two pairs of introductory prompts depending on whether you’re using a consumer or enterprise account. This suggests Google is pushing this new Gmail to all users.
<string name=”chat_onboarding_consumer_title”>Chat one-on-one</string>
<string name=”chat_onboarding_consumer_description”>For ongoing conversations and quick replies, chat with your contacts</string>
<string name=”chat_onboarding_enterprise_title”>Chat about it</string>
<string name=”chat_onboarding_enterprise_description”>For quick replies, connect with anyone you work with over chat</string>
<string name=”rooms_onboarding_consumer_title”>Share and plan together</string>
<string name=”rooms_onboarding_consumer_description”>Bring together who matters and stay organized with mark unread, shared files, and more</string>
<string name=”rooms_onboarding_enterprise_title”>Take groupwork to the next level</string>
<string name=”rooms_onboarding_enterprise_description”>Keep projects organized and on track with shared chat, files, and tasks</string>
Meanwhile, the “inbox_onboarding” strings for “what’s new in Gmail” directly advertise how “There are more ways for you to connect and collaborate without switching apps.” Google’s pitch looks to be centered around having one app for communicating.
<string name=”inbox_onboarding_consumer_title”>See what\u2019s new in Gmail</string>
<string name=”inbox_onboarding_consumer_description”>There are more ways for you to connect and get more done</string>
<string name=”inbox_onboarding_enterprise_title”>See what\u2019s new in Gmail</string>
<string name=”inbox_onboarding_enterprise_description”>There are more ways for you to connect and collaborate without switching apps</string>
Onboarding prompts for Meet are quite straightforward:
<string name=”meet_onboarding_nonsolo_consumer_title”>Talk about it live</string>
<string name=”meet_onboarding_nonsolo_consumer_description”>Video meetings with live captioning and screen sharing for up to 100 people</string>
<string name=”meet_onboarding_nonsolo_enterprise_title”>Talk about it live</string>
<string name=”meet_onboarding_nonsolo_enterprise_description”>Stay connected and productive with secure video meetings</string>
The Google Meet integration has yet to widely roll out, and sticks out less if Chat is also joining Gmail. End users should be able to disable both tabs/services. This results in feature parity with Gmail on the web, and lets you just use a single app for similar tasks.
Meanwhile, the consumer strings above suggest that Google is planning to bring a free version of Chat to free accounts sooner than later. This would go hand-in-hand with deprecation of classic Hangouts for all users. Other signs of a consumer deprecation include: