Google is now reportedly prepping a plethora of new updates, including some to its Assistant, for its enterprise-focused Workspace offering. The changes are intended to make the platform, previously known as G Suite, better well-suited for productivity.
The biggest change to Google’s Workspace within the confines of the updates is its Assistant AI improvements. Namely, that Google Assistant is now ready to work in Workspace. Now, users can use Google Assistant directly to join in on meetings, check work scheduling and events via the calendar, and send messages. All with voice and without having to open up the requisite applications, windows, or pages.
How are Google’s Workspace and Assistant getting better at getting the work done?
Secondary to Assistant, Google is making some significant headway with its Meet video chat app too. The company now allows chats, polls, and Q&A sessions to be joined on any device with a display. So Google’s camera- and AI-enhanced Nest Hub Max, for instance, is now a viable device for those activities.
That new feature is being included alongside live captions, as well as the polls and Q&As noted above. With live captions available in English Spanish, Portuguese, and French to start. On mobile, Meet’s tile view is available now too, so users can see more of their coworkers or clients all at once. Even on a smartphone. That’s stacking atop split-screen and picture-in-picture support being added with the update.
And when it comes to getting more work done, Workspace is improving there too. That includes the ability to mark out blocks in working hours so that colleagues know when to schedule meetings. And recurrent out-of-office time can be set too, with meeting requests declining automatically. As implied by that, Chat, Jamboard, and Calendar are going to appear directly in Workspace Essentials too.
Meanwhile, the new Focus Mode event type will follow on that by letting users determine when they’ll be available in a more limited capacity. In short, the mode limits notifications that arrive during set periods. Tacking onto that, Google’s new Time Insights will help users see a breakdown of how they spend time at work.
Finally, Google is adding a new Workspace Frontline tool. That will provide frontline workers with collaborative features for building custom AppSheet apps in Sheets and Drive in order to “streamline and digitize” work done at the front end.
When is this coming?
Many of the Meet-based changes appear to be arriving sooner rather than later. But, of course, none of these changes would amount to much of an update if there weren’t some new security features coming as well. In addition to those listed above, Google is also adding Expanded Data Regions. That will allow Workspace to choose the geographic location where data is stored. Conversely, Assured Controls will help customers decide how to control provider access.
In terms of availability, Google Workspace Frontline will arrive sooner than at least some of the Assistant changes. Specifically, within “the coming weeks.”
Google Assistant in Workspace is available now but only in beta for smart displays and speakers. Although it is already available on mobile devices.