Google has announced a new feature on its G Suite developer blog that will allow app creators to integrate features of their products directly into work-Gmail.
Called Gmail Add-Ons, the service is basically Chrome Extensions but for G Suite Gmail (in other words, not consumer Gmail, the one for people whose companies use it for business email). Add-Ons work across all devices, the idea being that you won't have to keep switching between email and work software on your PC or different mobile apps on your phone – you'll be able to do it all within Gmail.
The framework behind the product is pretty clever, allowing app developers to write a single integration that will instantly work for web, Android and iOS. Similarly, when a G Suite user installs an Add-On, it instantly works on all their devices.
The framework isn't even available to developers yet (though you can sign up for the preview), but Google already have three Add-Ons ready to show off: the ProsperWorks CRM tool, Intuit's QuickBooks for invoices, and Salesforce for, well, sales.
On the user side, we can expect to see native-looking Add-Ons appearing in the G Suite Marketplace later this year. If successful, hopefully it'll eventually come to consumer Gmail too. [G Suite dev blog]