Alphabet Inc’s Google on Tuesday announced Google Workspace as the new name for its package of business tools including email and document editing, replacing the G Suite brand introduced in 2016.
In 2016, Google gave its Apps for Work a refresh by adding new features and renaming the entire collection into the simpler and decidedly more gangsta ‘G Suite.’ To be clear, G Suite is Google’s paid collection of apps, meant for business use and educational use, including Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Hangouts and more.
The rename then may have been because the ‘Google Apps for Work’ was just too confusing, since the term was often abbreviated to the vague ‘Google Apps.’ hence, the need for a more suitable name. However, Google says the new name better reflects its mission to “help people everywhere work and innovate together, so businesses can move faster and go bigger.”
This year rebranding was also introduced the same time the company announced the launch of new features that integrate the various services, such as the ability to have a video chat with co-workers display in a small box at the corner of a document-editing window.
Research and analysis made it known that the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated sales of online business tools and forced vendors like Google and Microsoft Corp to refashion their offering in an effort to virtually mimic office routines, such as coffee breaks.
According to Javier Soltero, Google vice president, the new name reflected that “work isn’t happening in a physical space that’s called an office anymore.” The new features also will be available in the coming months to consumers who do not pay for Gmail, Google Docs and the other tools. Google said it has 2.6 billion accounts, including paid and free ones, that are active each month across those services.
What’s New in G Suite
The newly integrated workspace brings user’s favorite G Suite apps closer together. This workspace is available to Gmail on the web and Android.
According to the company Gmail will now feature four distinct components:
- Mail, which has not changed and is the same Gmail experience users know and love.
- Chat, which allows users to message individuals and small groups directly.
- Rooms, which are spaces that include shared chat, files, and tasks to help groups more easily work on projects.
- Meet, which features upcoming meetings that you can view and join.
In addition, this launch will also allow user’s to be able to open and co-edit documents with their team without leaving Gmail. This will make it easier for them to collaborate directly within the context of where they are doing their work at that moment.
Google also introduced several new tools to help user’s prioritize and stay focused. They can now:
- Assign group tasks.
- Get notified about task updates in rooms.
- Pin important rooms so they’re easier to find and access.
- Set your availability to “Do not disturb.”
- Better protect your time with status notices in Chat like “Out of office.”
- See files shared in a room.
- See integrated search results and toggle between Email and Chat results on the web.
- Start a new meeting or see your upcoming meetings under “Meet” on the web.
Above all, for admin usage, Google said all these features will be launched to all domains with Chat preferred enabled. Chat preferred can be enabled at the organizational unit (OU) or domain level. Google also said it is advisable migrating your organization all at once to avoid any disruption.
Note, certain features included in this launch require specific services to be enabled in the Admin console.