Gmail add-ons are handy for adding quick access to tools you would ordinarily have to leave the email app to employ. At its Cloud Next conference today, Google announced that it’s changing how you’ll access those features. Right now, Gmail third-party add-ons are typically installed through a browser extension, but soon users will be able to browse and activate them just like those additional tools you can tack on to Google’s other apps like Docs and Sheets.
Today, Google introduced a developer preview of the new functionality that will offer access to whatever the add-on does across desktop, Android and iOS Gmail apps. This also means that you’ll only have to install the add-on once and it will be available when you’re in the office or need to complete a task from your mobile device. Those browser extensions that you may already be using don’t really translate to the standalone Gmail apps.
The company says that Gmail users can expect to install add-ons from the G Suite Marketplace “later this year.” It has already been working with some companies to develop a few business-focused integrations that include easy QuickBooks invoicing and access to SalesForce contacts. While these may not be too enticing for us regular Gmail users, it’s highly likely some more consumer-facing tools will arrive soon enough.