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Google Workspace Update Brings More Hybrid Work Features
Google this week announced updates across its portfolio of collaboration and communication apps, including its team collaboration app Spaces (previously named Rooms within Google Chat), its video meeting service Google Meet, Google Meet calling, and others, as well as new devices designed for Google Meet.
Spaces updates will roll out in the coming months and include:
- Updated navigation — Spaces, inbox, chats, and meetings will now be viewable from a single side pane.
- Discoverable Spaces — Users can make their Spaces and content discoverable to other team members. Admins can also set a default on discoverability across the organization, Google said.
- Ability to search everything in Spaces — Updated search capabilities will let users search all content within a Space and in other Spaces.
- In-line topic threading — Users can reply in-line to messages within a Space.
- Admin, security features — Admins will soon have more control over Spaces, including tools for content moderation.
Additionally, Google revealed several hybrid-inspired features to its various apps, which are:
- Companion mode for Google Meet — Available this November, companion mode will allow users to host and join a meeting from a conference room with their laptop and let them leverage the in-room audio and video capabilities without audio feedback. Live translation will also be available for Companion mode by end of the year, Google said.
- Location setting for Google Calendar — Google Calendar users can now set their location (home, office, etc.) for each workday within Calendar.
- Google Meet calling for Workspace — Google’s Meet calling service will be added to Workspace, which will allow users to make ad-hoc calls from chats, people cards, and Spaces.
Google also unveiled several new Google Meet devices from Avocor and two existing devices that are now Google Meet certified. First, Google announced two all-in-one video conferencing devices, the Series One Desk 27 and Series One Board 65. The Series One Desk 27 is a 27’ device designed for small shared spaces, while the Series One Board 65 is a 65’ device that can be fitted with an optional stand. Both devices feature built-in Jamboard collaboration capabilities, external display support, and the ability to connect with a laptop using a USB-C connection, Google said.
In addition to these devices, Google shared that mobile device provider Appcessori launched a mobile device speaker dock, the Rayz Rally Pro, which allows users to launch Google Meet automatically from the docking station. The device will be available this month for Apple iPhone and Google Pixel and cost $199.99, Appcessori said in a press release. Lastly, the Logitech Rally Bar Mini and Rally Bar are now certified for Google Meet.