Google foresees Gmail Add-ons as allowing users to complete tasks and workflows right from their inbox without having to switch between apps.
For many of us, email is mission control—the prompt to generate an invoice, prepare a presentation or follow up on a sales opportunity. With so many to-dos, imagine if you could complete these tasks directly from your inbox without interrupting your workflow.
Gmail Add-ons can “contextually surface your go-to app” based on the contents of a message. On Android, there is a new bar at the bottom of the screen that lists “Available add-ons.” Tapping, will launch a panel that takes up about half the display. In the desktop web app, Add-ons are accessible through a new right-hand rail, with a panel sliding out.
Launching a task app Add-on would pre-fill details of the reminder based on the email, with users able to quickly edit details without having to leave Gmail. Add-ons conveniently sync between clients and devices.
Google worked with a number of partners earlier this year and as such a number of Add-ons from major services are already available at launch: Asana, Dialpad, DocuSign, Hire, Inuit QuickBooks Invoicing, ProsperWorks, RingCentral, Smartsheet, Streak, Trello, and Wrike. However, any third-developer can create one.
To get started on the web, Add-ons can be accessed by clicking settings in the top-right corner and “Get add-ons” in the menu.