Out of Office Feature in Gmail and Hangouts Arrives!
Google can do anything, as you all know it better. This time Google has introduced ‘out of office’ feature in Gmail and hangouts for its G Suite users. Google is trying to make things easier for you if you are out of the office or on a vacation. If you are a G Suite member, you can now mark ‘out of office’ on your Google Calendar and rest will be handled by Google itself. It will inform people reaching out to you even before they send a mail or ping on Hangouts.
This new feature is available on Gmail and Hangouts. In both these apps, a banner that is positioned right in the compose window or the chat window respectively will tell the user is ‘out of office’ and will be back on the particular date. This banner comes right after you enter the recipient’s name on the compose window or if you try to open their chat.
“These notices will start showing up itself when anyone whose calendar you have access to has an out of office(OOO)event scheduled”
You can also disable sharing of availability information to other G Suite apps by going to Calendar settings and then to ‘Access permissions’. You have to only deselect “Show calendar info in other Google apps, limited by access permissions.”
“Remember, this feature will be on by default and can be disabled in the Calendar settings like stated above if you do not require this”
This new feature is essentially to help you get more personal time away from regular work, while for a sender, it will be helpful to let them know that the person to whom they are sending the mail, isn’t available to reply.
Out of Office Feature in Gmail Release Date:
The company stated that this feature will be released for G-Suite users(Google’s enterprise customers)only. This feature is scheduled to be rolled out globally on 16 September. This ‘out of office’ feature is also expected to be released soon for common Gmail users (Gmail account) and in the Gmail app.
This new feature is being rolled out in phases to users. It is scheduled to first hit instant mails and then will come to scheduled emails as well. This feature was first announced at Google’s Cloud Next 2019 conference in April, as part of other cool new features announced for G Suite users.
“For the unknowns, Hangouts is still on its death knell though”
Back in 2017, Google had announced that it will break Hangouts into two separate apps — Meet and Chat. The company said, first G Suite users will be transitioned to the two apps and then the classic Hangouts users will be transitioned. But due to the feedback from the users, Google has changed its decision of transitioning the users and it postponed it to June 2020.
Let’s see what happens in the future. Till then you must enjoy this new out of office feature! You can also see the official Google blog post announcing this new feature from this link.
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