How to activate and use Google Chat

Real-time collaborative chat, as illustrated by apps like Slack, has become a common way for coworkers and friends to communicate, particularly since so many of us started working from home last year. Google appears to have noticed this and is aiming to compete with Slack by integrating two elements from its Workplace software suite — Chat and Rooms — into its basic Gmail interface.

You can hold casual or formal conversation sessions with your friends and groups of friends using Google Conversation. The former can be done between two people or among a number of people in a group conversation, as Google describes it. The latter is performed via a Google-created space called a Room.

What’s the distinction between them? According to Google, chat is just a way for two or more people to connect without any formality — for example, if you wanted to quickly discuss where you were going to meet for lunch, you’d start a group chats with your friends. When the conversation is ended, it’s over.

A Room, on the other hand, is intended for more detailed talks. Each room has its own name, maybe joined and left at any moment, sends out notifications, and allows users to share files. It’s ideal for business meetings, party planning, or any other activity where you want to keep the conversation going for days, weeks, or even months.

If this sounds appealing, the first step is to enable Google Chat for your Gmail account. For the time being, you’ll have to do it individually on your browser and on your mobile device.

Activate Chat using a smartphone app.

Tap the three-line icon in the upper-left corner. From the drop-down menu, select “Settings.”

Select a user account to use.

Select “General.”

If you have an Android phone, check the option next to “Show the Chat and Rooms tabs.” If you’re using an iPhone or iPad, turn on the “Show the chat and rooms tab.”

To utilize the Chat feature on an iPhone or iPad, you’ll need to manually close and reload Gmail.

Chat and Rooms icons have replaced the Mail and Meet icons at the bottom of the screen.

Chat can be enabled under the Settings’ General section.

There are now four icons at the bottom of your Gmail page.

In your browser, chat should be enabled.

Go to the settings page of your Gmail account (the gear icon in the upper-right corner)

From the drop-down box, select “View all settings.”

From the top menu, select “Chat and Meet.”

Read Also: Google Duo Setups And How To Use Google Duo

Choose from “Chat,” “Classic Hangouts,” or “Off.” Go ahead and try Chat if you want to.

By default, chat appears on the left side of your Gmail screen, but you may choose to have it appear on the right.

By the way, “Chat and Meet” in Gmail allows you to hide the Meet area.

From the drop-down box, select “Save Changes.”

Go to your browser’s settings and look for the “Chat and Meet” section.

Your Gmail interface will be refreshed, and you’ll most likely see a pop-up welcoming you to the “new Gmail.” Instead of the Meet and Hangouts boxes on the left-hand side of your Gmail screen, you’ll see a Chatbox, a Rooms box, and a Meet box. Any contacts with whom you had previous Hangouts conversations will appear in the new Chatbox; click on their names to see those earlier conversations in a little pop-up window in the lower left. (Note that any previous Hangouts banning will not be transferred over to Chat.)

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to utilize Google Chat, you might notice some other minor changes as a result of the refresh. To begin, a handful of quote bubbles will replace the Google Hangouts icon that looked like a quote mark at the bottom of your left column. The former huge “Compose” button in the upper-left corner will be replaced (for reasons I don’t understand) by an inconveniently little pencil icon. By clicking the option to the right of the search box, you can now pick to be active, away, or undisturbed; you can also enter your own status.

Read: The Google Hangouts Video Calling

Start a discussion on the internet.

Start a new Chat by clicking the “Find a chat” link in the Chatbox, or by clicking the Plus sign in the corners of the Chat or Rooms boxes. In both cases, a drop-down menu will display.

If you simply want to speak with one person, type their name into the top field, and you’ll be sent to a mini chat window. (You can make it bigger if you like.) If you want to talk with more than one person, choose “Group conversation.” You’ll be able to make a list of people with whom you’d like to chat after that.

From the same menu, you may also start a room (more on that later), browse existing rooms, and search for message requests (in other words, search for previous requests for chats from other people).

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