Gmail now from the past already is a very powerful email client, offering useful features and direct integration with Google’s other services, like Google Drive. As always, there’s been room for improvements and according to the latest news report, Gmail will be getting support for native, business-focused third-party add-ons.
Native add-ons are nothing new for Gmail, as an options such as Boomerang have been able to tie into Gmail for a while now to enhance its capabilities, but nevertheless, those are generally powered by Google Chrome extensions. Today, Google has announced that Gmail will add support for native add-ons, though, Google is changing that by adding native support for add-ons at the same time.
Now, the biggest difference here is that, instead of working only in specific conditions, the add-ons will work all over the board, including on mobile apps on Android and iOS. Currently, this feature is pretty much focused on the enterprise user base, but it’s starting off strong with three powerful integration’s – Intuit, SalesForce, and Prosperworks. For example, we see a user compose an email in Gmail, check contact information from ProsperWorks, and then eventually setup and send an invoice in QuickBooks, all without leaving the Gmail application.
To say so, G Suite users won’t immediately be able to take advantage of the new native add-on support as standard. As Google introduced the developer preview of this feature addition to give developers a chance to test out creating a third-party add-on. Likely that end up being multiple third-party add-ons available once they officially rollout, and even more once the feature has been live for a little while now, Google has already worked with a handful of various businesses to test the third-party add-on support out within Gmail.
In addition to Intuit, Google also worked with Salesforce and ProsperWorks to integrate add-ons for their email services as well, all of which developers who sign up for the preview should also get access to for testing. Also read: You Can Now Receive Email Attachments Up To 50MB In Gmail
Third-party add-ons would be very beneficial and useful functionality for everyday Gmail users, but for now, only if developers are creating the content. For developers who create an add-on, it only has to be written once and Google certifies that it will work across the web, Android, and iOS platforms from the start, so they won’t have to write multiple add-ons to accommodate all users. This solution will save developers time and should get more developers into it as they won’t have to do as much work to reach a larger number of users. Also read: Gmail For Android Update Now Adds Shortcuts, Support For Exchange Tasks, Long Press Feature And More
At this point in time Google hasn’t mentioned an exact date or even a time frame other than “later this year” for when third-party native add-ons support will go live, but they did say that they expect to start sending out early invitations to developers interested in the near future.
Update X1: Google says that these apps will be contextual, meaning that will only appear based on the message being sent. Rather requiring companies to partner directly with Google to take advantage of the feature, Google is going further to keep reins over this as it won’t be opening up a marketplace for developers to create and distribute add-ons.
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