Ever since the coronavirus pandemic struck, the definition of work has changed, and companies like Google, Slack, Zoom, and Microsoft had to move quickly to adapt to a much bigger work-from-home force. Google has already introduced tons of features to make remote work easier (shamelessly advertising as much in Gmail), but now it has also decided that it's time for a rebranding. It's paid business work tool collection G Suite is now Google Workspace, and it packs a slew of new icons and even more remote collaboration features.
The most visible change regardless of whether or not you're a G Suite customer is the updated brand identity, complete with new icons for the company's core productivity tools: Gmail, Drive, Keep, Docs, and Calendar are now all comprised of Google's signature brand colors that we've seen in many other app icon redesigns. Slides and Sheets have received much subtler updates. Google confirmed to us that these icons are also rolling out to the consumer versions of the apps.
Google Workspace isn't just a rebranding, though; it also brings a few new features along. For one, the revamped Gmail experience that Google teased in July is now available for everyone. It allows you to stay in Gmail for anything related to Google you could imagine, including document editing, Chat, Meet, calendar, project management, etc.
There are also a few smaller changes that make collaborating across different Google products easier, including:
- Linked previews: Available today, linked previews in Docs, Sheets, and Slides allow users to preview the content of a link without leaving the original document, saving time switching between apps and tabs, and allowing more time to get work done.
- Smart chips in Docs, Sheets, and Slides: Beginning to roll out today, when you @mention someone in a document, a popup will display details providing context and even suggest actions like sharing the document. By connecting users to relevant content and people right in Docs, Sheets and Slides, Google Workspace helps users get more done from where they already are.
- Doc creation in rooms: In the coming weeks, Google Workspace will enable users to dynamically create and collaborate on a document (Docs, Sheets, Slides) within a room in Chat, without ever having to switch tabs or tools. This will reduce complexity and help ensure all team members have visibility into relevant project work.
- Meet picture-in-picture across Docs, Sheets and Slides: Back in July, Google announced it’s bringing Meet picture-in-picture to Gmail and Chat, so users can see and hear the people they’re working with while collaborating. In the coming months, Google will roll out Meet picture-in-picture to Docs, Sheets, and Slides, meaning users will get the benefit of those nonverbal cues that come with actually seeing someone’s face when collaborating in real time.
If you think that all of this doesn't affect you anyway since you're not using G Suite, don't worry: Google says that in "the coming months we’ll also be bringing this new experience to consumers to help them do things like set up a neighborhood group, manage a family budget, or plan a celebration using integrated tools like Gmail, Chat, Meet, Docs, and Tasks," so stay tuned.
While the G Suite website is still live, it now only allows you to sign up for the new Workspace, which has its own website over at workspace.google.com. The price for admins remains the same, with a Business Starter plan at $6 a month per user and a Business Standard tier at $12 a month per user. There's also a new Business Plus plan at $18 a month per user, allowing for more video meeting participants and attendance tracking as well as enhanced security and management controls. You can check out the details on Google's Workspace page.
Google Workspace will also be available to G Suite for Education and G Suite for Nonprofits organizations in the coming months.
Updated with pricing and Google confirmation that the new icons are also coming to consumer apps.