All sorts of Google services have started to get additional side panel integrations. Calendar began showing Maps information for events last month, Docs, Sheets, and Slides got access to third-party plugins just a few weeks ago. Now, Gmail will show your Google Contacts in the right-side panel of your inbox!
Due to roll out over the next two weeks, the new add-in will show you an individual’s contact information and whether or not you’ve emailed them before with a ‘Work history’ section. Additionally, if you’re a paying Workspace customer, their team, manager, office, and desk location will also show in their contact card. You can call all of this up just by clicking on their contact image inside of email correspondences or by clicking the Contacts icon on the side panel when it appears.
Lastly, there are buttons for emailing, creating a calendar event with that person, and launching a Google Chat or Meet. Honestly, third-party plugins have always done this in Gmail, and I’ve often wondered why Google themselves have never offered it. In my opinion, it makes a bunch of sense to have tighter integration between Gmail and Google Contacts and to offer powerful management tools for your contacts right from within your inbox.
Neither Workspace Admins nor end users will need to do anything in order to begin seeing this new feature appear. Instead, they need simply to wait patiently while Google stages the rollout. They began doing so yesterday and it may take slightly longer than 2 weeks for everyone to see it. Not only will the new Contacts side panel update be available to all Workspace tiers, but it will also begin showing for regular Google Accounts as well, which is exciting!