Google has announced that a major update for the Gmail app is bringing a bunch of new features to it, including Google Spaces. You now get the ability to make and receive voice and video calls in one-on-one chats using the Gmail app. Users will now be able to call people using Google Meet directly from their Gmail mobile or Web apps. When calling through Gmail, the other person will see the Gmail app ring on their phone and not the Google Meet app.
Google says that Meet will also get the ability to make and receive VoIP calls in the future. Further, Google is also beginning the rollout of its Spaces feature. Spaces are the central place for team collaboration in Workspace, and starting today, Spaces are live for all users.
Google Spaces is tightly integrated with Google Workspace tools like Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Meet, and Tasks. With Spaces, teams can share ideas, collaborate on documents, and manage tasks from a single place. Moreover, Google is also bringing more features to Spaces, including Streamlined Navigation, Discoverable Spaces, Enhanced Search, In-line topic threading and more Robust Security & Admin features.
Google Meet Calling, Companion Mode
Next in line is Google Meet calling. It is a seamless experience of initiating a video or audio call between participants, complementing more structured, scheduled video meetings. It will come first to one-to-one chats within the Gmail mobile app.
Google Meet is also getting a new feature called Companion Mode. With Companion mode, one can host or join a meeting from within a conference room. This can be done using their laptop while leveraging the in-room audio and video. This functionality lets a person share content, access the meeting chat and whiteboard, initiate and vote on polls, or post a question in Q&A as they would do from their homes. The Companion Mode will start rolling out in November.
By the end of the year, live-translated captions will be available in Meet and through Companion mode. The languages supported with the initial launch of the feature would include English to French, German, Spanish and Portuguese, with many more languages coming in the future.
Series One Room Kits Devices
Google also launched two new all-in-one video conferencing devices under its Series One Room Kits, along with the above announcements. The Series One Desk 27 is an all-in-one 27” device suitable for small shared spaces or your desktop. The Series One Board 65 is an all-in-one 65” 4K device. It can be paired with an optional stand for configuration flexibility.
Both devices feature collaboration capabilities with the Jamboard app built right in, and each can be used as an external display. Additionally, the company has introduced certified third-party devices to complement the new Google Meet features. These include the Logitech Rally Bar Mini and Rally Bar, both of which are Google Meet-certified.