In a recent development, Google has announced that it is bringing some changes to its Workspace suite of apps. Notably, as per The Verge, the company is making Google Workspace and Google Chat available to everybody.
Meaning, anyone with a Gmail account can access Google Workspace and Google Chat, officially. This is pretty significant as Google claims Workspace apps are used by over 3 billion users! Yes, billion with a “B.”
This new change will allow Gmail users to switch over to a more modern and sophisticated system for Gmail, Docs, and Chat. Users will now see all these features integrated into a single tab.
As noted, users can now open the Chat window on the left side, while the right side is occupied by the spreadsheet. The new changes are also seen to be related to the company’s “Smart Canvas” push.
FYI, “Smart Canvas” interlinks or integrates Google’s various apps into one tab using “Smart Chips.”
There is a new toggle to turn ON Google Chat within the Gmail Settings menu
Google Chat can now be turned on via a new toggle available inside the Gmail Settings menu. As already mentioned, all Gmail users will be able to access it.
Users can now use the direct message feature or join Chat Rooms. However, Google has introduced new terminology for this one. As per Google’s announcement, “evolution of Rooms in Google Chat to Spaces.”
But don’t get confused by a new name. Basically, Spaces is similar to a chat room. It is just a new fancy name to make it sound like something new and exciting.
Besides, Google is not just doing the talking here. It has also introduced new features such as improved message threading, newly added emoji reactions, user roles, tools for moderation, discoverable Spaces.
By the looks of it, it seems like Google wants to project Chat Rooms, i.e. “Spaces” as a competitor to Slack and Discord groups. Google is promising a streamlined interface by this summer for Spaces.
Further, the company has also launched a new tier called “Google Workspace Individual.” It costs $9.99 per month, and it unlocks more features, Workspace tools without the need for an own domain or custom email address.
Finally, Google is also introducing enterprising options. This will allow companies to use their client-side encryption for data, add trust roles for Drive files, and more.