As remote work setups become the new norm among many organizations, with Microsoft allowing its employees to work from home permanently, it makes sense for tech giants to invest more in their collaboration tools. Google, for its part, has regularly rolled out updates to its suite of services such as Meet in an effort to make distant teamwork easier for customers.
Today, another Google service received a bunch of updates designed for remote work. Google Workspace services are now accessible via Assistant for everyone. Previously available in beta testing on the then G Suite (now Workspace), the new feature allows you to join meetings, manage your Calendar events, or send an email using your voice. For now, it's live on compatible mobile devices while access through Nest smart speakers and smart displays remains in beta. If you want to join the beta testing, you can sign up here.
The tech giant is also rolling out Workspace Frontline over the next few weeks to give frontline workers the ability to collaborate with corporate teams via Gmail, Chat, Docs, Drive, and other apps as part of this suite. In addition, enterprise teams will be able to develop custom AppSheet apps in Sheets and Drive to help frontline workers perform their tasks using digital means and gain access to important information on any device.
Google is also expanding second-screen options on Meet. You can join chats, polls, and Q&As on any device such as Nest Hub Max. Workspace's live stream feature is also adding support for polls, Q&As, and live captions, with compatible languages including English, Spanish, German, Portuguese, and French at launch. Meet for mobile will also support tile view to let you see more people at the same time on smaller screens, as well as split-screen, picture-in-picture mode, background replace, polls, and Q&A. Additionally, Chat, Calendar, and Jamboard are now available to Workspace Essentials customers, allowing them to schedule team meetings and collaborate within an organization.
In the coming weeks, Workspace is adding a number of features that will help users focus on important tasks and avoid distractions with the Focus Time feature. They can also share their availability and location across Calendar, Meet, Chat, and Gmail. And with Time Insights, Workspace users can keep track of their time spent on projects. This feature is visible only to employees.
Finally, Workspace is set to receive additional security tools. With Expanded Data Regions will, customers can select where they want their data to be stored, while Assured Controls allow them to manage provider access.