G Suite has been Google’s collection of professional productivity resources for more than a decade. As the way people work has changed, so has G Suite. Google rebranded the service as “Google Workspace” to signify this transition.
What Was the G Suite?
G Suite started in 2006 as a way for companies to use Google products on their domains for a monthly fee.
Instead of managing their network storage, email server, and other tools, G Suite has encouraged companies to use Google’s suite of cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools to back up their business.
The initial toolkit included Gmail, Google Talk, Google Calendar, and Google Page Creator. Over time, it has grown to include Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Google Drive, Google Chat, and Meet.
All of these tools are available free of charge to users, but they lack some features. G Suite users include custom domain email addresses, cloud storage, admin tools, 24/7 customer service, and more.
What is Google Workspace?
Google Workspace is continuing the evolution of G Suite. In fact, it’s not even the first name change. The service was originally named “Google Apps for Your Domain.” Then, the search giant cut it short to “Google Apps” until it was officially renamed “G Suite” in 2016.
Google spoke about how the name “G Suite” had the connotation of a very conventional working setting. When the idea of a workspace evolved, Google felt the name needed to invoke that shift.
At its heart, Google Workspace is the same service like G Suite. It’s the culmination of many improvements introduced by Google over the years. Separate tools have deeper integration with one another. Instead of jumping between Gmail, Docs, Meet, etc., it’s all accessible in one central place.
New Features in Google Workspace
Workspace is more than mere rebranding. Google also revealed several new updates for the platform. With Workspace, Google strives to merge several communication approaches into a single interface.
Google Workspace will see Meet, Chat, and Rooms more closely connected with other applications. This is excellent news for anyone who is continually flipping between email, instant messaging, audio, and video calls. Other future features include the ability to create documents directly from Chat. Users can then work on these papers in the chat room.
According to Google, users of Workspace will also be able to preview linked files in Docs, Sheets, and Slides. This makes it easier to work together on a document without having to open it in a new tab.
You may also access contact information within Workspace documents to enable more streamlined collaboration. Whenever you @ anyone in a document, Workspace will fire a smart chip.
This popup will show contact information, plus helpful tips such as initiating a video call or sending an email. This requires connections outside of the organization.
In July 2020, Google announced its plan to deliver Meet picture-in-picture to Gmail and Chat. This allows you to see and hear the people you’re dealing with.
Google has also revealed in the coming months that it will be carrying out Meet’s picture to Workspace’s Docs, Sheets, and Slides. This is another useful change for companies who use the platform to work together remotely.
What Google Workspace Means for G Suite
If you have a G Suite subscription, you may have already received an email from Google outlining the impact this transition would have on your company. Usually, this tends to include migrating clients to Google Workspace as soon as possible.
However, if you have an annual or fixed term plan, your G Suite service will continue until your renewal date. G Suite Enterprise customers will also be immediately moved to the latest Google Workspace Enterprise Plus package. At the time of writing, none of G Suite’s applications had been removed.
In the world today, the rebranding of G Suite as a completely remote working solution makes sense. Both Google and Facebook have told workers that they will not be coming to the office until July 2021 at the earliest. Meanwhile, Twitter, Square, and Microsoft are all giving their staff a permanent opportunity to work from home.
There is also evidence to suggest that 92 percent of workers already wish to be able to work from home. This may explain the motivation of Google to rethink its offerings as a remote working platform.
Google Workspace vs G Suite Pricing
When it comes to pricing, Google Workspace follows a model close to G Suite. The cheapest package, Business Starter, is $6 a month. Customers needing additional storage and resources for larger gatherings should opt for the Business Standard option, which costs $12 per customer per month.
This puts Google Workspace at a similar price point as competitor remote work solutions, notably Microsoft 365. Microsoft is selling a Business Basic plan priced at $5 per user per month, and a Business Standard Plan for $12.50 per user per month.
Google Workspace does, however, add a new payment tier. Workspace Business Plus is priced at $18 per user per month. It includes different improvements to the Standard package, including improved security, more storage, and an increase in the maximum number of attendees per meeting.
Again this is comparable to other popular remote working solutions. In particular, Microsoft is introducing a Business Premium package valued at $20 per customer per month.
It is worth noting that the new pricing plan extends exclusively to business customers. According to the Google Workspace Admin Help area, there is no adjustment in pricing for Google’s education and non-profit offerings.
G Suite is now Google Workspace. Google looks poised to merge its separate apps into a more cohesive UI with a renewed emphasis on remote collaboration.
Google Workspace also offers a range of additional features, including the ability to preview linked files in Docs, Sheets, and Slides. It also offers access to a smart chip that includes valuable contact information and picture-in-picture mode for various applications.