Google Chat in Gmail rolling out instant & link-free 1:1 Meet calls, similar to classic Hangouts

Back in September, Google previewed how Chat will let you make one-on-one Meet calls without having to use URLs. Similar to classic Hangouts, this feature is now rolling out in the version of Google Chat inside Gmail.

When you’re messaging someone from the Chat tab, you will soon see buttons in the top-right corner that let you start an audio or video call. This immediately initiates the call instead of inserting a meeting/invite link in the chat that the other person can click to join. As we noted before:

This makes sense for group meetings — with video links now normalized — but feels somewhat excessive when you’re just talking to one person. Direct “Google Meet calling” is the company’s attempt to make “meetings more spontaneous.”

Meanwhile, active calls are marked by a blue banner at the top of the screen that notes the person and duration. You’ll also see a “Meet icon in the chat roster,” while missed calls will be marked in red. 

For the moment, instant Meet calling is only available for one-on-one conversations and requires the Gmail app even if you have the standalone Google Chat client installed. Rolling out now for Android and iOS, it’s coming to both personal and Workspace accounts.

As some teams begin to return to the office, while others remain distributed, we hope this makes it easier to connect with your colleagues in the hybrid work world. This feature will allow you to seamlessly switch between chat to a video or audio call when needed, helping you collaborate and move your work forward.

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