The rebranding of the four-year-old G Suite now called Google Workspace follows Google’s recent moves to unify its various productivity and communication apps into a single integrated interface for email, chat, video, voice and content management. The new interface is now generally available to paid Workspace customers, and will be rolled out to consumer and education uses in the coming months.

The name-change along with the introduction of new color icons for Gmail, Drive, Calendar and Meet apps — plays into Google’s vision for Workspace as a hub for teams, according to Javier Soltero, Google vice president and head of Workspace.

The company also unveiled a change to Workspace pricing. In addition to the existing Business Starter ($6 per user/month), Business Standard ($12 per user/month) and Enterprise (pricing on request) levels, a Business Plus tier has been introduced. At $18 per user/month, this includes various upgrades over the Standard tier, such as enhanced security and management, more storage per user, and an increase to the maximum number of video meeting participants.

Highlighted Features;

  • Ability to create documents directly from within Chat rooms. That allows coworkers to collaborate more easily on Docs, Sheets and Slides without switching screens
  • Linked previews containing details of content in another app are available today, while “smart chips” — pop-ups that suggest actions when a user @mentions a colleague — will be rolled out
  • Meet “picture-in-picture,” a feature first announced in July that brings video chat windows into Docs, Sheets and Slides.

The updates to Google's suite of apps can help the company in its push to gain market share from Microsoft, as well as fend off competition from rival vendors offering more targeted software and apps