Google Workspace updates could make virtual presentations less of a trauma

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Google Workspace is receiving a slew of quality of life updates that should make the lives of presenters and participants easier in a hybrid working setting.

As announced at Google Cloud Next ’22, big changes on the horizon for the suite of online collaboration tools include presenter video feeds being embedded within Google Slides content, and allowing Google Meet companion mode to be used across any device a presenter chooses.

Supported AI-powered webcams from Huddly and Logitech will also now frame and track presenters in physical meeting rooms, helping remote attendees keep up with the conversation. 

 New Google Workspace features

As part of the changes, Google Meet will now transcribe meetings automatically, and presenters will be able to control their slides and run Jamboard sessions (Google’s digital whiteboard tool) directly within Meet, as well as place conference rooms into breakouts.

But it’s not just Google Meet getting some long-awaited improvements. Google Chat users will also be pleased to know that the app is getting several features that, until now, have perhaps made Slack and Microsoft Teams more robust communications platforms for businesses.

These include threaded conversations, custom emojis, and one-way spaces for key announcements to be seen across an organization.

New APIs for both apps will mean users will be able to start meetings and send messages across a number of third-party apps, with Google stating that the first to see support will be Asana and LumApps.

But that’s not all. A new software development kit (SDK) for Meet apps will allow developers to embed applications directly into Google Meet itself. The first supported add-ons will come from Figma, allowing users to collaborate on designs, and FigJam digital whiteboards, from within Google Meet.

With these changes, Google might just have taken the unintuitive sting out of Workspace. But only time will tell if it encourages businesses to migrate from other collaboration tools.

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