Our 5 favourite Google Workspace Updates of the past quarter

by Charlotte Verbrugghe, on Oct 20, 2020 12:21:38 PM

From video conferencing to virtual agents to remote work security, Google Workspace provides organisations with the tools they need to keep moving forward during this unprecedented time. Google Workspace makes it easy to get things done from anywhere with secure video meetings, chat, and document collaboration apps. Google announced some exciting updates in the past quarter to its set of intelligent productivity and collaboration apps. To help you better track the full breadth of these Google Workspace launches, here are our 5 favourite updates of the past quarter.

5 Google Workspace updates of Q3

New updates & features to work more efficiently from anywhere

COVID-19 continues to be the catalyst behind many changes in 2020. The impact of COVID-19 creates a lot of new challenges. It requires that we adopt new ways of working & that we use collaborative tools to get work done safely and securely.

With the growing importance of digital workplaces, organisations are making decisions about communications and productivity tools that will affect their organisations for years. Let's take a closer look at one of the most popular digital workplace tools: Google Workplace.

Google Workspace is here to help you stay connected. But what is  Google Workspace? What about G Suite? Does it still exist? 

Bye-bye G Suite, Hello Google Workspace 

Google Workspace Logo

The past few months have brought a flurry of changes to Google’s productivity apps. The transition to a less siloed model, according to Google, is now codified under the new Google Workspace branding. Long live Google Workspace!

As Premier Google Partner we want to make sure you receive updates on new features or changes that matter. So we want to inform you of 5 key updates in Google Workspace via this article.

1. A new look and feel & features for Google Meet
2. Google Admin Console
3. Google Drive
4. Integrated Gmail experience
5. New Google Sheets features & collaboration features in Editors

1. A new look and feel & features for Google Meet 

Video conferencing with Google MeetGoogle Meet is one of the Google Workspace apps that got the most new features in the past quarter. This isn't a surprise due to the current circumstances. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt our daily lives, video conferencing has become an integral part of our professional lives. 

Google Meet continues to be among the most popular videoconferencing apps

Let's take a look at a couple of these new features that make Google Meet even more powerful.

  1. Host collaborative brainstorms with new digital whiteboarding integration in Google Meet. You can now create or open an existing jam while on a Meet video call. 
  2. The duration of a call is unlimited (up to 24 hours)
  3. Q&A: you are now able to ask questions while not disrupting the flow of the meeting.
  4. Polls: create polls to identify topics that need more discussion or test if the participants understand the content of the meeting.
  5. Improved video quality in low-light conditions: make a video call from anywhere, even with suboptimal lighting
  6. Background blur: Meet will intelligently separate you from the background & blur your surroundings
  7. Less audio distraction: Meet filters out disruptive background noise.
  8. Tiled layout view: see up to 49 people at the same time in the auto and tiled layout options.
  9. Present only the content you want to show participants in the video conferencing call by choosing your entire screen, a specific window, or a Chrome tab. 
  10. New user interface (UI) of the Google Meet mobile apps for Android and iOS

Discover all the Google Meet updates that are designed to facilitate different forms of workplace communication in this blog article. We're already looking forward to the new Google Meet features that will be released in Q4.

 

2. Google Admin Console

From now on you can push device updates and settings to manage Windows 10 devices more quickly. You can also see which apps are installed on your managed Windows 10 devices.

Push your updates quicker than before on Windows 10 managed devices

Updates to your Windows 10 managed devices will be pushed quicker than before, as long as the device is connected to the internet. This will help ensure devices are updated and in compliance faster and that critical security updates are applied quickly.

The list of apps installed on the device gives you detailed information on the installation date, current version, and more.

Join our online event on the 28th of October & learn how you can now manage your Windows 10 devices through Google Workspace.

Deep dive in how you can manage your Windows 10 devices

3. Google Drive

Google DriveStore, access, and share your files in one secure place. A major update in Drive will let you give access to specific folders & files anytime, anywhere from your desktop and mobile devices. Another major update is that

Folder sharing in shared drives now generally available

Collaborate with people who are not using a Google account in Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Sites.

Here’s what people can do with folders after you share it with them:

  • If they're signed into a Google account, people can open, edit, delete, or move any files within the folder. People can also add files to the folder.
  • People can see the folder and open all files within the folder. They can only view the content in the folder that's shared with them.

Choose who to share with

 You can share a folder with specific people. This is how:
 
  1. On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
  2. Click the folder you want to share.
  3. Click Share Add approver .
  4. Under "People," type the email address or Google Group you want to share with.
  5. To choose how a person can use the folder, click the Down arrow Down arrow.
  6. Click Send. An email is sent to people you shared with.

You can also give other people a link to your folder so that you don't have to add all the email addresses.

Share with a Google Group

The good news is that you can also share files and folders with more people. You will have to create a Google Group & add members to the group. They will then gain permission to the files and folders that the group can see or use. This is how it works: 

  1. Create a Google Group.
  2. Add members to the group.
  3. Share the file or folder with the group.

Google Drive trash items will be automatically deleted after 30 days starting

The retention policies for items in the Trash in Google Drive has changed. Any file that is put into a Google Drive trash will be automatically deleted after 30 days.

How was it before?

Previously, trashed items would be retained indefinitely until the trash was emptied by the user.  

4. Integrated Gmail experience 

GmailGoogle started to roll out the new integrated Gmail experience to Google Workspace customers. Google is bringing together all the main applications you need in order to collaborate quickly and efficiently with your team members. 

From now on you can for example create a chat room with your colleague and in the chat:
    • Send messages
    • Add tasks
    • Add files and open them in-chat
    • Add a Google Meet, Google's video conferencing solution

This integrated workspace experience brings Chat, Meet, and Gmail together on desktop and mobile. 

Better home for work

This launch creates a better home for work that intelligently brings together the people, content, and tasks you need to make the most of your time. You’ll be able to:
 
  • Spend less time switching between apps
  • Choose the right channel for what you have to do
  • Search emails and chats from one place
  • More effectively collaborate on a project

Open & edit documents from Gmail

Open and co-edit a document with your team without leaving Gmail. This makes it easier for you to collaborate directly with your colleagues on a specific project, whether you're at home on your desktop or in the supermarket on your mobile. 
 

5. New Google Sheets features & collaboration features in Editors

Google Sheets

Google added some new features to help you customise chart text and numbers in Google Sheets.
 
Specifically, you can now:
  • Immediately click on almost any chart text element and update its content and style.
  • Set advanced number formatting options on both your data labels and axis labels, including the option to conditionally format by color.
  • Use the new contextual sidebar editing. This makes it easier to format individual data labels, legend items, and single data points.

From now on you can collaborate with people who are not using a Google account in Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Sites

Visitor sharing generally available. This means you can share items with non-Google accounts, so they can view, comment, or edit content in Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Sites using a secure pincode. 
 
This feature was previously only available in beta. The setting to control sharing with people who are not using a Google account is in your Admin console.
 

Smoother collaboration with partners

Google Workspace users often work with partners outside of their company. These external users, or “visitors,” don’t always have Google accounts, making it more difficult for these users to collaborate seamlessly and securely. 
 
This new feature ensures smoother collaboration with partners.
 

Conclusion

We can't wait to see what Google is working on next in Google Workspace. Stay tuned for the next updates next quarter! You can also follow our Youtube Playlist never to miss out on a new G suite update.

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We can help you choose the right Google Workspace plan and support your business with additional services, including training, integration and apps modernisation. 

Contact us 

Topics:video conferencingDigital WorkplaceGoogle Workspace

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