Access Business Apps Directly in Inbox with New Gmail Add-ons

Create an add-on that contextually surfaces cards based on the content of a message.

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With so many to-dos, email is still mission control, now to help people to do more taks directly from their inbox without interrupting workflow, Google introducing a new way to work with favorite business apps directly in Gmail via new "Gmail Add-ons."

With Gmail Add-ons, rather than toggling between apps and email, the inbox contextually surface go-to app based on messages to do things faster. Since, the add-ons work across the web and Android, you just need to install them once to access on all devices. Simply, click the settings wheel on top right of the inbox, then "Get add-ons" to get started.

Availble in developer preview since earlier this year, these add-ons today extended to include all developers.

Now, anyone can extend Gmail to handle quick actions by integrating their app into Gmail Add-on, and then appears when relevant.

Gmail Add-on are built using native UI context cards that can include simple text dialogs, images, links, buttons and forms. Once written, the code will work on both web and mobile.

Watch the video below to see an add-on created to collate email receipts and expedite expense reporting. Per the video, the following three components are used to create app's core functionality:

  • getContextualAddOn()—entry point for all Gmail Add-ons where data is compiled to build the card and render it within the Gmail UI.
  • createExpensesCard() parses relevant data from the message and presents them in a form so your users can confirm or update values before submitting.
  • Finally, submitForm() takes the data and writes a new row in an "expenses" spreadsheet in Google Sheets, which you can edit and tweak, and submit for approval to your boss.

Additionally, to get started with Gmail Add-ons, check out the documentation.

Here's a list of Gmail Add-ons available to install today:

  • Asana: Turn communication with clients, customers and teammates into tasks that can be tracked with your team in Asana, all from your inbox.
  • Dialpad: Message or call colleagues on your device, any time. Automatically view recent communications or save a new contact straight from Gmail.
  • DocuSign (coming soon): Sign and execute contracts, agreements and other documents directly in Gmail using the DocuSign add-on.
  • Hire: Add candidates, manage candidate information and upload resumes without leaving Gmail. You can access full job applications from the Hire add-on.
  • Intuit QuickBooks Invoicing: Create and send professional invoices directly in Gmail. Let customers pay you online and track invoice status and payments no matter where you are.
  • Intuit QuickBooks Invoicing Gmail Add-on

  • ProsperWorks: Easily access prospect or customer data, and log activities from calls, demos and meetings. You can also scan related opportunities, tasks and events.
  • RingCentral: See the online/offline status of RingCentral contacts, review recent call history, make outbound calls (requires RingCentral for Mobile) and view and send SMS messages.
  • Smartsheet: Add email content and desired attachments directly to Smartsheet without leaving Gmail.
  • Streak: Add email threads to deals, view enriched contact info and quickly respond with snippets directly from Gmail with the Streak add-on.
  • Wrike: Create Wrike tasks from emails, view and update task details, and send and receive
  • If you're a developer, you can also easily create add-ons for your app or your organization—write your add-on code once and it will run natively in Gmail on web and Android right away.
  • Trello: Turn email into actionable tasks in Trello to give your team a shared perspective on the work that needs to be done.
  • Trello Gmail Add-on

About The Author

Deepak Gupta is a IT & Web Consultant. He is the founder and CEO of diTii.com & DIT Technologies, where he's engaged in providing Technology Consultancy, Design and Development of Desktop, Web and Mobile applications using various tools and softwares. Sign-up for the Email for daily updates. Google+ Profile.