Google Workspace, nee G Suite, has some very cool new options incoming in the near future. If you use Workspace at your company (and/or you have some Google-branded hardware around your home), you’ll soon be getting access to interesting new ways to work remotely.
One intriguing addition looks to be the “second screen” meeting capability shown above, which will allow you to see meeting participants on one screen (like a TV via Chromecast) while using your laptop or smart display for other functions. The live caption feature available on Pixel devices will be enabled in Workspace meetings in English, Spanish, German, Portuguese, and French to start, and a splitscreen option on mobile is also planned. Calendar is getting the ability to break up work hours into more variable chunks without needing multiple entries (for those who don’t do a conventional 9-5 work day), and the option to share locations and availability with colleagues. A new Focus Time tool will help minimize notifications and distractions for assigned periods.
Google is also planning on introducing Workspace Frontline, a new tier specifically designed to link between conventional working teams and frontline workers, like firefighters, police, and emergency medical services. Customized AppSheet apps and enhanced data security will be part of this, though there’s no indication of when these services will be rolling out.
If you’ve come to rely on Google Assistant voice commands around your home or in your day-to-day work, you might be frustrated that its powers are mostly limited to your personal Google account. Starting today, that changes: Assistant now has access to Google Workspace accounts, giving it the ability to use and alter information in Gmail and Google Calendar. The feature was previously in beta.
You can now use the “hey Google, when’s my next meeting” command without painstakingly importing your work calendar to your personal account, or even dictate a quick email to someone in your work contacts list. Don’t rush to try it, though: the feature is rolling out to Google Workspace accounts over the next two weeks, and it’s off by default (your Workspace administrator will need to enable it first). It should work on phones and smart speakers alike, though it’s still technically in beta for the latter.