Today, Google has announced certain changes in its Workspace suite of apps and services including availability for anybody with a valid Google account. Google said that there are currently over three billion Workspace app users.
With the new announcements, it seems a lot of people will soon have the option to switch over to Google’s more modern system of Gmail, Docs, and Chat. All these apps will be integrated into a single tab more easily. Google is now offering the setting to turn on Google Chat from Gmail.
This means Google Chat messaging would be an option for everyone now. Interestingly, Google Chats include everything starting from direct messages to chat Rooms. In Google’s own words, this evolution is the “evolution of Rooms in Google Chat to Spaces.” It is to be noted that Space is essentially the same thing as a chat Room but Google wants to separate them in terms of Gmail, Chat, and Meet.
Google said it is bringing a handful of new features like improved message threading, more emoji reactions, user roles, moderation tools, and “discoverable” spaces in the new integration such that it can compete Slack and Discord at once.
Frankly, it\s like too many similar offerings with minor changes in terms of the interface but it seems that’s Google’s messaging strategy. According to Sanaz Ahari, senior director of product at Google, the key idea is to let users switch between “modalities” of communication more flexibly. He said, “If you start something with an email and then you want to upgrade it into more real-time interaction between a group — or even for a project — you’re able to do that and you can keep the context. Then you can all seamlessly upgrade into a meeting at the same time.”
Google is launching a new tier called “Google Workspace Individual” at $9.99 per month. It will give the user more Workspace tools. For example, when Workspace users say yes to a meeting, they will be able to indicate whether they want to attend the meeting remotely or in the reserved meeting room.
Google also announced that it will bring the Companion Mode feature by September this year. This feature encourages people in the meeting room to turn on their cameras so that remote workers don’t feel left out. The company also announced that by September, it will bring a progressive web app for Google Workspace.
In the past few months, Google has updated Workspace multiple times. This indicates, the company is trying its best to give some serious competition to Microsoft. Google’s strategy is not just in terms of product improvement but also in terms of more tightly integrating them together.
Meta: Google announces new changes to its Workspace suite.