This weeks announcements at the Google Next conference didn't stop at Google Cloud Platform (GCP). We were given several exciting announcements for G Suite that all users can get excited about. From new applications like Currents, to third party add-ons to improve your collaborative ecosystem. This post will cover some of my favorite upcoming changes.
This is the announcement that many G Suite users have been waiting to hear! The ability to share and collaborate within Sheets, Docs and Slides cannot be overstated. Google makes it easy to share worksheets with anyone for editing and commenting in real-time. With office editing, G Suite users can utilize the collaborative power of Docs while editing Microsoft Word files. This achievement doesn't stop at Word, G Suite users will also be able to collaborate within Excel and Powerpoint files as well. Microsoft Office files shared with G Suite users can be opened and edited without changing file types. Sharing with Microsoft Partners has been streamlined, thanks to Google. G Suite users can expect to see this change take effect starting May, 6th, 2019.
Connected Sheets (beta):
A focus of this year's Google Next conference was lowering the barrier of entry for AI and big data. G Suite users will be able to link BigQuery data directly to Connected Sheets. This will allow users to analyze and manipulate BigQuery data in a familiar format. No more SQL scripts necessary! Don't worry about the size of the data either, Google has built Connected Sheets to handle 10 billion rows of BigQuery data. Connected Sheets is bringing massive data to capabilities anyone with spreadsheet experience.
Gmail Security Sandbox (beta):
Administrators for Enterprise users have received a new security tool. A sandbox environment is something that many administrators will already be familiar with. In general terms, the Security Sandbox for Gmail will detect any malicious attachments by “testing” them within a secure environment. Attachments are opened in the Security Sandbox as if an end-user had clicked the link on their own. If the Security Sandbox detects no malware, the email will continue to the intended user. Administrators will sleep easy with an added layer of email security. Users may notice a short delay in email delivery while the sandbox is in use, but this is a small price to pay for added security.
I still have many questions about Currents, myself. At first look, Currents seems like Google's answer to Microsoft Yammer or an internal bulletin board. The Google+ replacement is designed encourage organization wide communications. Time will tell how companies utilize this new tool. If you’re interested in using Currents right away, administrators can request access to Currents Beta version now.
G Suite Add-ons (beta):
The push to improve collaboration doest stop at G Suite for Google. Using the new Add-ons toolbar in any of the major G Suite applications users can incorporate their favorite third-party applications with ease. Working in Slack at your organization? Respond to messages or send emails to a slack channel without ever leaving G Suite by using the Slack Add-on. Drobbox, Trello, DocuSign and Box already offer G Suite Add-ons with many more to come.
While this certainly isn't the most important announcement for G Suite at Google Next, it is something that I appreciate. The days of searing white applications are slowing down. Gmail now offers a Dark Theme that looks great and saves your eyes. Keep an eye out for more G Suite apps following this pattern.
This is not an expansive list of G Suite improvements announced at Google Next. The list includes my favorite announcements. I failed to mention Advanced Phishing and Malware protection improvements for Gmail. Did I miss something you are excited for? Let me know in the comment section.