Google has unveiled a significant overhaul of its Workspace online collaboration suite of tools as it looks to make working online simpler than ever.
The company wants to make it easier to bring together the myraid of services in Google Workspace, including tools such as Google Docs, Meet, Slides and Sheets, as much of the world moves towards a new era of hybrid working.
Google has now revealed a new "smart canvas" approach which should mean the various apps and services tie together much more seamlessly, hopefully meaning less issues for Workspace users everywhere.
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The smart canvas looks to bring together the most vital parts of your various documents and files so users aren't constantly hunting around for key parts of information.
Going forward, using the @ key will allow users to tag not just other users, but files and links in other Workspace apps - such as linking to a Google Meet call within a Docs file.
Google hopes this flexibility will work in a variety of ways - so you can either jump straight into a Meet call within Google Docs, or quickly share a document within a call using the button in the latter.
The new smart objects, which Google is calling chips, will initially only connect with other documents, contacts, and meetings - although the company seems keen to expand this further in the future. Hovering over a smart chip will bring up a pop-up outlining how it can be engaged with - and typing in an @ will then bring up the menu of possible options. Once you've selected the exact function you need, pressing enter will create a new smart chip.
"As smart canvas drives the next era of collaboration in Google Workspace, we remain committed to providing a solution that’s flexible, helpful, and that fuels innovation for organizations in every industry," Google Workspace Director Erika Trautman wrote in a blog post announcing the news.
"On the frontlines, in corporate offices, and across the countless workspaces in between, Google Workspace will continue to transform how work gets done."
Google Meet updates
The platform will now offer a new Companion Mode where each user has their own video title, hopefully making large-scale meetings with multiple presenters less confusing.
A new Customized View allows presenters to rearrange the different participant window, makign them more engaged with people's reactions, and there's also support for both Live Captions and real-time transcribing, including live support for Google Translate.
All users will also be able to create their own polls, Q&As and chats, and Google Meet will now also support noise cancellation, automatic lighting and zoom adjustments, giving a much better overal view.
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