Add-Ons Are Coming to Gmail in 2017

Gmail is about to get a lot more flexible as Google has announced that “Add-ons” will be rolled out to the email service by the end of the year.

Currently available in the form of a developer preview, Google claims that these “Add-ons” will be built in App Scripts using a newly-designed “Card” system that allows developers to combine different UI components. On top of that, developers would only need to build their integration once as these add-ons would run natively on both the web version of Gmail as well as the Android and iOS Gmail app.

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In terms of execution, the add-ons for Gmail appear to function much like add-ons for Google’s other apps such as Docs. For the web version of Gmail, clicking on an installed add-on will cause said add-on to appear on the right hand side of the screen. For Android and iOS devices, these Add-ons will open a new window on their devices. Furthermore, users will only need to install these add-ons once before being able to access them across the web and mobile device platforms.

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As Add-ons for Gmail is currently in development, there are only three functional add-ons available for those who have access to the developer preview. The first is “Intuit QuickBooks”, an add-on that lets users generate and send invoices, as well as confirms invoice status from Gmail.

The second is “ProsperWork”, an add-on that checks the contact info of people on email threads against the information stored in their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. The third is “Salesforce”, an add-on that lets users look up existing contacts, add new ones, and associate email threads with one or more existing opportunities in Salesforce.

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No timeline has been given as to when Add-on for Gmail will be going live, but Google has mentioned that all Gmail users will be able to install Add-ons through the G Suite Marketplace later this year.

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