From now on, both iPhone and Android users can now access the Google Chat feature via the Gmail App. Available to both corporate and free Gmail users, the new Chat and Rooms tabs are now placed alongside the existing Meet and Mail tabs that you might already be familiar with.
As it stands, this is still a test feature, so getting access to it can take a bit of work, and it may not be available to your depending on your account settings (my colleagues and I were able to enable it on personal accounts, but not our work accounts). If you can get it working, though, you’ll be rewarded with a new tab at the bottom of the Gmail app, giving you access to your IMs.
To enable the feature on iOS or Android, open the side menu and scroll down to Settings. If you have multiple accounts, select the one you want, then look for “Chat” under General. Flipping the toggle will turn it on (after you restart the app). Chats is also available as a separate app, but it’s a lot more convenient when integrated into a single app.
Gmail now has four main sections. “Mail” and “Meet” have been in place for the past few months. “Chat” is where you can message individual and small groups, while “Rooms” — like their Slack equivalents — are dedicated to larger conversations with shared chat, files, and tasks.