Google is bringing its chat features to the Google Calendar app with a new update. Users will now notice a chat icon on their calendar entries, allowing them to send a message to event participants without leaving the app.
The company said in a post that the new Chat feature will only apply to members of your group or organization. This is a necessary privacy-related feature to ensure outsiders don’t make it to your conversations.
The Calendar app will still have the email icon right next to the new Chat button
Google wants to make this the preferred choice of communication inside the Calendar app. However, the company is still keeping the email icon next to the new Chat button, offering the choice to send emails if you really want to. The new Chat icon will appear close to the list showing the event attendees.
Integrating Google Chat within Calendar isn’t particularly surprising, going by what Google has done in the past few months. For instance, the Gmail app can now do practically everything, including making voice and video calls. While the Calendar app isn’t quite there yet, we don’t see why it can’t get the same treatment.
It seems like the Chat feature has already started rolling out on September 20 for web users. Google specifies that it could take up to 15 days for the feature to be visible. Mobile devices will start seeing the new Chat icon from October 4. The Chat feature will be accessible to all users, including G Suite Basic and Business customers.
This follows Google’s recent announcement to launch a new version of the Google Chat progressive web app or PWA. This is aimed at bringing legacy Chat PWA users to the new version of the app. Google said at the time that this would only impact some customers who are still using the older Chat PWA.
In any case, switching to the new version is mandatory, as the existing version turns inactive on September 27. To make the migration easier, Google will provide constant reminders and prompts on the app home screen, encouraging users to update their Chat app.
These changes come ahead of the slow demise of Google Hangouts. The company started signing out free users of Hangouts in August, effectively forcing them to use the Gmail app for chats. However, the company said that enterprise users have until the end of the year to make the switch.