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Google just made a huge change to Gmail and the entire G Suite

Published Oct 6th, 2020 6:50AM EDT
Google Workspace
Image: Kyodo/Newscom/The Mega Agency

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  • Google made a significant change to its suite of productivity apps for business: G Suite is now called Google Workspace and comes with additional features.
  • Google Workspace will include the same apps G Suite users use for work, with improvements tailored to the new working from home environment that the novel coronavirus pandemic forced on the world.
  • Aside from the Workspace rebrand, Google announced additional improvements, including new app logos, a new UI, and improved support for real-time collaboration.

The wide variety of online tools make working from home a lot easier than it sounds. The pandemic didn’t invent the concept, and plenty of people have been doing it for years. But the novel coronavirus health crisis forced governments to impose several measures that can curb the spread of the illness. Social distancing was one of them, which escalated to full lockdowns in the pandemic’s early months. Millions of people lost their jobs in the process, but the lucky ones got to transition from the office to working from home. That’s the new reality for millions of people, and it’s not necessarily a better experience. Working from home comes with all the home and family-related challenges.

Google wants to help its G Suite customers manage working from home better with its productivity apps and increase productivity. And Google just announced a few major changes to its productivity apps, including a welcome rebrand.

Of all the apps that Google devised over time, G Suite had the least friendly name. It was never clear whether it’s a Google product, or what its purpose was. G Suite is now going away in favor of a much better brand choice that makes it clear that the products are all about work: Google Workspace.

Google Workspace
Animation shows the new Google Workspace user interface. Image source: Google

Google Workspace will still include access to the same apps G Suite users have become accustomed to, whether it’s Gmail, Google Docs, or Meet. But Google announced a few additional improvements that are supposed to increase productivity and improve real-time collaboration while working from home.

Google Workspace will include Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slide, Meet, “and many more,” Google said in its announcement, revealing the various new features it’s been working on. You’ll soon notice that several of these apps have received new logos of their own, part of the Google Workspace rebrand — the following clip shows the various changes in action:

Workspace users will get a new user interface that will incorporate everything you might need in one place, and the UI is now “generally available” to all paying customers. Regular consumers will get some of that new UI experience soon, thanks to the integration of several services, including Gmail, Chat, Meet, Docs, and Tasks.

Google Workspace
New Google Workspace feature: Preview links in the same tab. Image source: Google

Workspace customers will also be able to “dynamically create and collaborate on a document with guests in a Chat room,” part of Google’s effort to make it easier for businesses to interact with their customers in Chat and Drive.

Docs, Sheets, and Slides will now let you preview linked files without having to open the document in a different tab. Furthermore, @mention inside a document will trigger a smart chip featuring contact details, provide context, and suggest actions. The three apps will also support Meet picture-in-picture, so you can see and hear the people you’re working with on a document in real-time.

Google Workspace
New Google Workspace feature: Google Meet picture-in-picture support inside various apps. Image source: Google

Google released a new promo clip for Workspaces that previews some of the features above:

Finally, Google said that it will offer more tailored Workspace subscriptions tailored to smaller businesses. The new Workspace prices are available at this link. The new user privacy and security features for Google Workspace are available here.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.