Google is once again reshuffling its portfolio of productivity apps.
On Tuesday, the company announced Google Workspace, which is a new name for all of Google’s productivity apps, including Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides and Meet.
If that sounds familiar, that’s probably because Google Workspace was previously called G Suite. So why the change?
According to the company, Google Workspace isn’t just a new brand identity (even though that’s a big part of it), but it will also offer a deeper integration between individual apps, helping “teams collaborate more effectively, frontline workers stay connected, and businesses power new digital customer experiences.”
Some of these integrations have already happened — remember when Google put Meet into Gmail — but more are coming soon.
“In the coming months we’ll also be bringing this new experience to consumers to help them do things like set up a neighborhood group, manage a family budget, or plan a celebration using integrated tools like Gmail, Chat, Meet, Docs, and Tasks,” read the blog post by Google Workspace VP and GM Javier Soltero on Tuesday.
Some concrete examples of upcoming integrations include dynamic collaboration on a document with guests in a Chat room, or getting a preview of someone’s contact details when you mention them with an “@” somewhere in your document.
On the brand identity side, the most noticeable change will be the new Gmail logo, which is no longer an envelope, but a colorful “M” instead. The company also thinks that Google Workspace is a better crown name for its apps, as “G Suite” doesn’t include “Google.”
There are some changes to the pricing, too. The cheapest plan is called Business Starter, costs $6 per month/per user, and gets you business email, video meetings for 100 participants, and 30 GB of cloud storage per user. If that isn’t enough, you can step up to Business Standard, which costs $12 per user per month, and gets you 150 participant video meetings and recording, as well as 2TB of cloud storage per user. Business Plus costs $18 per user per month and gets you 250 participants video meetings plus the benefits of recording and tracking attendance, and 5 TB of cloud storage. Finally, if that isn’t enough, you can contact Google for a customized Enterprise plan.
One of Google’s biggest strengths has always been smart integration between its various products and services, and now the company is taking dozens of little steps towards making these integrations deeper and making the workflow more natural, especially when working in teams. The company obviously takes aim at Microsoft Office, which is still king of the space. The branding change will likely irk some users, as Google has launched, rebranded and merged so many products over the past couple of years it’s hard to keep track, so let’s hope Workspace is here to stay.