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Google is on a quest to make workplace collaboration more engaging, anticipating that better communication leads to more creativity and ideas. In light of this objective, Google announced several changes to its Workspace suite of productivity tools at the Google Next 2022 conference.

Unsurprisingly, many of the changes involve Google Meet, the company’s primary videoconferencing service. Meet’s companion mode has been extended to mobile devices, among other new features.

Companion mode, which was previously exclusively accessible on laptops and desktops, provides a second meeting screen that allows users to interact more efficiently using technologies like screen sharing and chat, as well as perks like adaptive framing, automatic transcriptions, the ability to control Slides from Meet and more.

Smart Canvas

Google introduced Smart Canvas in 2021 to make Docs, Sheets, and Slides more interactive. With features like ‘smart chips’, pageless mode and automated summaries, one of the primary goals of Smart Canvas is to dissolve the borders between various apps.

Google is expanding these capabilities with the introduction of Smart Canvas custom building blocks in Docs, allowing users to easily create their own templates. Furthermore, the new Google Docs Variables feature allows users to create standard data components, such as a customer name or contact number, and change values across the document by adjusting a single value in one place.

What else is new?

Additionally, Google revealed a slew of new Workspace integrations and developer tools that creates new ways to utilize its products alongside third-party applications.

For example, Google is expanding the smart chips feature to its network of partners, allowing them to view and interact with rich third-party data without switching tabs. Atlassian, Asana, and Tableau Software are among the companies developing new connectors to use these capabilities.

Google is also adding client-side encryption to Gmail and Calendar, which will help companies strengthen data privacy while fulfilling data sovereignty and regulatory obligations.