Google has made several changes to its workspace suite of apps and services. The changes mean that most of these apps and services will now be available for free for all users that have a Google account. The search engine giant notes that its workspace apps have over 3 billion users. However, it is likely that Gmail, the most popular free email app, accounts for the biggest number of users.
Moving forward, people who have a Google account will now get the opportunity to switch over to the more modern suite that includes apps from editing documents and even Google Chat. You will also have the chance to integrate all these apps into one single tab for easy access. However, users will still need to activate these new apps manually.
For example, to activate Google Chat in your Gmail account, you will need to head to the settings page of your Google account and do so. In the past, the chat app was a paid service that was only available to enterprise clients. But the new changes by the search engine giant means that Google Chat is now available for all.
Google Chat is also coming with a series of improved new features. The company notes that it has made improvements in message threading and users will also get access to more emojis. In addition to this, the tech giant will be introducing new tools in chat including moderation tools and others. In a sense, although Google Chat remains a messaging app, it looks and feels more like a workspace.
Many experts argue that this is Google's answer to similar apps like Slack and others. Google feels that this approach will give its users more flexibility that allows them to switch from communication to collaboration.
According to Sanaz Ahari, Google’s director of product, the new workspace is so fluid that users can easily transition from a simple chat on Google Chat to real-time interaction and even project management without getting out of the app. The company has also said that it intends to launch a better and improved user interface for the app this summer in an effort to make it easier for people to use.
Google has lagged behind other tech companies like Microsoft in visual workspaces. However, over the last few months, the tech giant has been making a series of changes to Google Workspace in an effort to compete. But the strategy for the company goes beyond improving its products under the Workspace brand.
Google is aiming for full integration between some of its key apps. The search engine giant is relying on Gmail to do this, an app that has billions of users. Moving forward, Gmail users will start to get prompts that Google hopes will bring more Gmail users into other Workspace products.
But despite this, Google will still need to convenience a lot of people to make the jump. After all, there are already established workspace services out there and, likely, most Gmail users who need these visual workspaces are already signed up somewhere.