Productivity enhancing add-ons are going to be coming to Gmail later this year. At Google Cloud Next today, the company announced that developers will soon be able to create add-ons that allow users to immediately jump to another app from within Gmail to complete a task or perform another task. The idea is to increase productivity as you can stay within one app, Gmail, yet complete other tasks from another app.
The example used was from Intuit where someone could send an invoice to a customer right from within Gmail. Using Machine Learning to figure out that the email was about a bill, users will be able with a tap to move into Quickbooks to create and send the invoice without ever having to leave the mail app itself. Salesforce would be another example as you could add a contact to your contacts list within SalesForce right from Gmail.
A big theme at Google Cloud Next this year has been around productivity both as individuals and as an enterprise. Add-ons are a part of that message. No longer as
a user would you have to bounce around from app-to-app to complete a task or, worse, forget about it as you are triaging email.
The Developer Preview for the add-on functionality is going to be released soon with a full roll out expected later this year. While the focus is clearly aimed at enterprises, it would be great to see consumer level apps & services leverage this feature too. The idea of getting a reminder to pay my water bill and the ability to jump to my banking app to schedule it is quite appealing.