In an effort to create a more "deeply integrated user experience," Google has overhauled G Suite and rebranded it as Google Workspace earlier this week. The new Workspace has all of the old beloved programs - Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, etc., but has improved on how its productivity services blend and work together.
Google Workspace now offers a more fluid experience; for example, users can create and collaborate on a document, but also discuss real-time changes in a chat room with a preview without needing to juggle between multiple programs. Google Meet picture-in-picture mode is now available for Docs, Sheets, and Slides, which allows colleagues to work collectively on a single document.
Tagging coworkers in documents comes with added features now, too: giving someone an @ mention now brings up a menu that has contact details, suggested actions, and provides additional context. While Google Workspace is available immediately to all current G Suite customers, not all new features are available at launch. Google has also added "Business Plus," which features custom and secure business email, 250+ participant meetings and the ability to record and track attendance, 5 TB cloud storage per user, and more.
This transition, according to Google, is the product of years of incremental evolution and evaluation. “10 years ago, when many of our products were first developed, they were created as individual apps that solved distinct challenges," Javier Soltero, VP and GM of Google Workspace, wrote. "Over time, our products have become more integrated, so much so that the lines between our apps have started to disappear."
According to Soltero, the change to the suite was spurred, in part, by the global pandemic that suddenly saw millions of people working from home. "Teams need to thrive without meeting in person, protect their time to focus on the most impactful work, and build human connection in new ways."
For the time being, Google Workspace is available only for business customers, though the new features will start to arrive to consumer offerings over time.
Do you use a lot of G Suite for collaboration, especially when working from home? Let us know your thoughts!