During week two of Next OnAir, Google shared some interesting new updates they’ve made to G Suite as well as plans for upcoming new features.
The new and improved version of Gmail creates a more integrated workspace for G Suite users by incorporating and allowing users to use Meet, Voice, Chat, and Doc management all from within Gmail itself. This is geared toward saving the time you typically waste switching from between apps, resulting in a more seamless solution.
Google is also allowing you to choose your communication channel based on the context of your conversation. You can now seamlessly jump into a call from a chat or create a room from an email. This flexibility give teams the ability to collaborate more easily and change venue depending on how they work.
The persistent sidebar function on the right side of the Gmail browser, which is consistent across G Suite, gives you quick access to third party apps. This enables you to switch between Meet, Voice, Chat, Calendar, and much more.
Connected Sheets allow enterprise users to connect sheets to BigQuery, allowing users to process intense loads of data, in real time.
Additional Features Coming Soon
Google also shared a number of items that are on their roadmap including:
Docs will soon enable users to directly @mention teammates to get feedback or suggestions as comment badges. With upcoming editing features, users will be able to edit Office documents right in Docs with no conversion necessary which enables all Docs features.
New features in Slides will allow AI to predict insights in real time for users. This includes Smart Fill data, intelligently detecting patterns, suggesting formulas, and Smart Cleanup which will help with accuracy and organizing
But by far the most compelling changes are the updates that are coming to Meet.
Better Backgrounds: Google will soon allow users to blur their existing background using AI, as well as having the ability to replace their background with an image of their choice.
Meeting Attendance: Meet will soon add a feature that will enable the host to see meeting attendance so they'll know everyone who is in the meeting.
Q&A: Audiences will be able ask questions without interrupting the speaker or presenter, as well as providing a platform where you can host a Q&A right from Meet.
Breakout Rooms: Meet will also soon allow users in a call to split into breakout rooms, for multiple, smaller focused calls.
Polling: This allows meeting organizers the ability to gather and share real time results while still performing the task at hand.
Hand Raising: Google also is releasing a hand raising button, allowing users to press a button to notify when they want to speak or ask questions.
Jamboard Integration: Jamboard offers a collaborative whiteboard experience that helps teams visualize their ideas.Later this year, Google Cloud will be bringing the Jamboard experience directly into Meet. Staying on one platform, your team can sketch ideas on a virtual whiteboard, then drop in images, add notes and pull assets from anywhere on the web.