With Microsoft, Zoom, Slack, Webex and others upping their game and rolling out new features to support remote work, Google is hoping to boost its G Suite platform to rival Microsoft and Slack as the unified communications and collaboration software leaders with a redesign of Gmail for G Suite and deeper integrations between the tools, including videoconferencing app Google Meet.
The company hopes to bring all of its G Suite tools together and address the demand for remote work technology.
“We’re integrating core tools like video, chat, email, files, and tasks, and making them better together, so that you can more easily stay on top of things, from anywhere,” says Javier Soltero, vice president and general manger for G Suite, in a blog.
The new integrated experience allows users to quickly join a Google Meet call from a chat, forward chat messages to a Gmail inbox and create a task from a chat message.
Similar to Microsoft Teams, users can set their status to indicate their availability, like “do not disturb” and “out of office.”
Like other video and collaboration platforms, Google is also rolling out several new security features for Google meet that give hosts more control over meetings, like who can join or collaborate with them, Soltero writes.
The features will begin with G Suite for Education customers and will include knocking controls that prevent users from attempting to join a meeting once they’re ejected, and safety locks that give hosts the power to choose which attendees can chat or present in the meeting.
Soltero also detailed some features in the pipeline, including picture-in-picture video calls right in G mail and integrating Google meet into content tools like Docs, Sheets and Slides.
“Our goal is to provide an intelligent and seamless solution that gives everyone the ability to make a real impact, and the flexibility to work exactly where and how they want,” Soltero writes.
Google trails Microsoft Teams and Zoom in integrated hardware and hardware-included service packages, but partnered with ASUS in May to launch the Google Meet Compute System for videoconferencing and remote work.
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