Here’s some welcome news for Gmail users: Google is adding support for third-party add-ons that can integrate directly into the service. There are plenty of services that add functionality to Gmail already, of course, but they typically do that through a browser extension.
With this new capability, which Google announced at its Cloud Next conference in San Francisco today, users will be able to install these add-ons from the G Suite Marketplace. That’s the same marketplace that already hosts add-ons for Google’s other productivity tools like Docs and Sheets. It’ll take a bit before this goes live, though. Google says this new feature is coming “later this year.”
Users who install one of these new add-ons will be able to use them on the web and in Google’s mobile Gmail apps (though there’s no mention of Inbox, Google’s next-gen e-mail client).
Developers who want to write these add-ons can write them once and they’ll run on all of these platforms. The company worked with Intuit, Salesforce and ProsperWorks on trialling this feature, but developers who want to give it a try can sign up for a Developer Preview here.
While the company is currently aiming add-ons at its business users, consumers without a paid G Suite subscription will be able to install them, too, though developers will be able to choose if they want to make their extensions available to consumers or only paying G Suite customers.