Gmail rewamped and Gmail quadrupled
As you probably know (and if you don’t, you should), Google has revamped Gmail to offer us a whole – and we mean a whole – new rendition of it.
And, having learned a few things about it, we can surely confirm that there’s more than just cosmetic changes to this latest version.
First, it’s no longer just an email software. It now includes video, virtual rooms and chat capabilities. Yes, you will now be able to hold video conversations over it (brace yourself, Zoom, you’ve just got another rival on the videoconferencing field). And yes, this improved and expanded GMail – GSuite, in fact – is now available not just on the web browser, but on Android gadgets as well. The Apple iOS-compatible version is also promised, but the company hasn’t yet told us when exactly will it happen. Still, there is no reason to doubt that we’ll see this version soon enough: after all, it is clear that Google strives to make its latest integrated suite to become as universal as possible.
Now, let’s go over the elements of this new experience that is in store for you. To the mail component, Google has also added three more – that would be Rooms, Meet and Chat, formerly known as Hangouts. The latter will, apparently, go after such competitors as Slack chat, whereas the Meet, evidently, is meant to battle another Microsoft’s product – the Teams collaboration space – for the potential clientele. As you see, the alterations and improvements Google has made to its mail software are very real-time-communications-oriented, bringing about a lot of mechanisms of split-second contacts that involve all kinds of interaction – written, spoken or visual.
Which actually makes it a very timely upgrade, considering the current health situation. It appears that this already too drawn-out global pandemic will, most likely, force many of us to work remotely for quite a long while yet. So all types of virtual communications, from conferencing to chats and virtual classrooms, are going to be in even higher demand than before for who knows how long. So it was a smart idea on Google’s part to, firstly, widen the assortment of such communication channels on offer, and, secondly (and, perhaps, even more importantly), to intertwine them all together.
To wit, the company now presents its customers with some new (and rather inventive) ways of communication remotely, on top of the traditional ones.
For instance, several users in different places now will be able to work together on the same document, which, of course, will increase synchronization of their work. No more those pesky error messages, informing you that “the file is not accessible” because someone else has already opened it. Yes, henceforward you can edit any document together with your colleagues, if the need arises.
The options and features of the aforesaid, newly-named Chat have also been usefully expanded. For example, now it allows you to send messages both to individuals and to the groups.
And if you want to share your chat with someone else, head towards that one component that so far remains rather Google-specific. If other components, as we already mentioned, will compete with other makers’ products on the market (Meet against Zoom, Chat against Slack chat and so on), G-Suite’s Room appears to be something in its own right. And yes, with it, chat-sharing has become a possibility. In fact, it will let you share pretty much everything, tasks and even files included. Talk about flexibility of work coordination. The distance has just stopped being an obstacle to the collective brainstorming.
Which brings us nicely to that very interlacing of the G-Suite communication channels that we mentioned above. Because, on top of that all, with the G-Suite you can do all the listed things – from co-opening your files to co-editing them – even while staying in GMail. That’s right, no switching. Meaning that the online collaboration will be not just flexible, but seamless as well. And the physical single working space will extend to the virtual world. Or rather, has extended already.
And don’t think that, having concentrated on all these novelties and improvements, Google developers took their eyes off the factor of security. The G-Suite includes multiple means of user protection, and quite solid ones, at that. For starters, there is the so-called “advanced safety look” that gives the meeting host the powers to choose how the participants can join the conversation: they can be invited over the phone or through a calendar. Plus, the hosts will now have more say about who can ask to join in the first place. And GMail has extended its defenses against phishing to Chat as well.
Finally, returning to the cosmetic side of things (it may not be all that substantial, but it still matters too, and it’s nice to know that the company hasn’t forgotten about it). Those in favour of traditions and consistency, will be glad to know that as far as the overall GMail look is concerned, there have been no drastic changes. The mail component will look (and work) just like you remember it to. You will just have an easier time switching between applications, and will be able to search not just your inbox, but chat rooms too. Hardly a reason to complain, don’t you think?
- G Suite: Collaboration & Productivity Apps for Business – Google
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G Suite Tutorial for Beginners | Introduction & Getting Started with G Suite for Small Business [Video]
Video uploaded by Stewart Gauld on July 7, 2020