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What is Google Workspace and is it worth it?
Google’s apps power modern offices near and far, including ours here at Android Authority. The name G Suite probably brings Gmail, Drive, Meet, and more to the front of your mind, but Google made a significant change in 2020. G Suite is now Google Workspace to reflect the modern office, and here’s what you need to know.
The changes aren’t scary, but we’ll guide you through everything that Google changed. If you previously had G Suite at your company, you’re already working with Google Workspace, and you may not have even noticed. Let’s get into the finer details.
What is Google Workspace?
In simplest terms, Google Workspace is the G Suite with a better name on top. It packs all of the productivity tools you know and love, and you can customize your Workspace to fit your business. Some of the available add-ons include customer support, cloud storage options, and added security.
See also: The best business apps for Android
Part of Google’s rebrand is also to do with new communication features. You have to communicate to have an effective workspace, and Gmail’s chat, calling, and content management features are new essentials. Best of all, most of these updates are already available for the majority of Google Workspace customers.
Google also used its rebrand as a chance to update its icons. You’ll notice a complete set of new, four-colored icons for properties like Gmail, Drive, Calendar, and Photos. They may take some getting used to, but it does help to unify the platform.
What does Google Workspace include?
Like the G Suite before it, Google Workspace packs everything you need for a productive and connected office. It includes Gmail, Meet, Drive, Calendar, Chat, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Keep, Sites, Forms, and Currents. You’ll also find App Scripts and Cloud Search on the list of included apps. Those of you worried about security will be able to tap into Admin, Endpoint, Vault, and Work Insights.
Google Workspace also has new collaborative Chat features to make life easier. The idea is that it will be easier to create and develop documents inside of Chat, whether you’re part of an organization or not.
Many people have found their work-life balances more than a little skewed thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Workspace should help you work a little less. When you link a file in Docs, Sheets, or Slides, you’ll be able to preview the file in a convenient little window. It’s easier to communicate with other users, too, thanks to improved “@mentions.”
The apps included with Google Workspace also come with extra goodies that set them apart from the free versions. For example, Gmail is ad-free, which goes a long way to keep you focused. Meet also packs some extra features and a higher participant limit, depending on your plan. You can bring in external participants with no problem, and you won’t even need to install a plugin.
Once you set up a company calendar, you can manage meetings, vacations, and more in one central location to make life easier. The Workspace version of Google Drive also offers extra storage space and shared drives for your most complicated projects. You’ll find other features tucked away into each of Google’s Workspace apps, so it might be good to explore before you sign up for a plan.
How much does it cost?
Google’s Workspace rebrand also brings four distinct pricing tiers into play. They’re aimed at small, large, and enterprise-level businesses, with the specifics listed below:
Business Starter — $6 a month
Google’s Business Starter tier is for the smallest and newest companies. It’s ready for up to 100 people in video meetings, and each user has access to 30GB of storage. You can create custom business emails with added security and management controls. Business Starter also offers standard support from Google.
Business Standard — $12 a month
The next tier kicks your video meeting limit up to 150 participants. You’ll also be able to record those meetings, and each user gets 2TB of storage (just a little more than 30GB). Business Standard has the same custom email options as above and essential customer support from Google. You can pay extra if you want enhanced support, too.
Business Plus — $18 a month
If 150 attendees aren’t enough, Business Plus jumps you up to 250 video conference attendees. You can still record meetings, and you can track the attendance of your team as well. Cloud storage gets a nice boost to 5TB, and your email support comes with eDiscovery and retention options. You’ll have to get to Business Plus for Vault and Endpoint support, but enhanced customer support still cost extra.
Enterprise — Custom pricing
The last tier is Google Workspace Enterprise. It’s the most expensive option, but you’ll have to go right to Google’s sales team for your own rate. It adds extra email security features, including S/MIME encryption, and your video meetings can support noise-cancelling and in-domain live streaming. There are no more cloud storage limits, and you get enhanced customer support for no extra fee.
Is Google Workspace worth the money?
So if Google Workspace is just G Suite with a fancy new name and some new features, is it worth the cost? Yes, we’d have to say it works well, and it’s worth the price, especially in a remote workplace. If you don’t have a central office for meetings, there are plenty of ways to stay in contact with your team through Workspace. You could cobble together other apps like Slack for messaging and Zoom for meetings, but you’re looking at extra fees for each platform.
The mix of features in Google Workspace is a great value, no matter your company size. If you have a small company, Business Starter and Business Standard offer plenty of storage and ample video calling options. The good news is that all Google Workspace plans come with a two-week free trial, so you can give the platform a shot if you’re not quite ready to commit.