Google Workspace update brings Assistant, other integrations

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While we’re probably still referring to it as G Suite, Google rebranded its productivity platform into Google Workspace late last year. After months of listening to feedback on how enterprises and individuals have been using it, they’re now bringing a major update to the entire space and the apps that are connected to it. Probably the most important thing with this update is bringing access to Google Assistant to Workspace services but there are also some integrations to look forward to.

When the update rolls out, you will now be able to use Google Assistant on your Workspace apps. You can check your schedule, send a message to your team, and other productivity tools you may need. It was previously available in beta but will now start rolling out to users first on mobile devices and later on for other devices. It will still remain beta for smart speakers and smart displays for now. Admins will also have to turn on the “Search and Assistant” service for individual users to be able to use Google Assistant.

Workspace will also now have support for things like segmentable working hours, recurring out-of-office entries, and location indicators. These are useful tools to have if you need to have a semblance of balance between work and personal time as well as letting people know about your work hours and working locations. These indicators will show up in Calendar, Meet, Chat, and Gmail and should work seamlessly across Workplace.

You can also add a Focus Time event on your Workspace wherein you can schedule blocks of time when you will need to, well, focus. Distractions aka notifications will be limited during these times that you block off. You’ll also have Time Insights if you need to assess how you spend most of your time when you’re supposed to be working. For those who use their smart displays like Google Nest Hub Max for meetings, you can also now set up your laptop as a second screen. You’ll get a picture-in-picture mode as well so you can mutli-task and do other important things while in a meeting.

Google is also adding a tool for frontline workers called Google Workspace Frontline, including building custom AppSheet apps from Google Sheets and Drive. These tools will help frontline workers digitize and streamline their work, whether they’re collecting data from the field or managing customer requests from their place of work.

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