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Technology

Have a Gmail account? Now you can access some of Google’s most useful tools

As an individual Google user, you have a lot of options when it comes to productivity. By having a Google account, you can access your Gmail, plan things in the Calendar and chat with other Google users.

Setting up a business account through Google, you get a bit more features through the company’s G-Suite offering. This includes collaboration tools, setting up meetings and accessing premium business apps.

Late last year, Google rebranded G-Suite to Google Workspace and tinkered around with some of the features. The company has now revealed that several of the business-only features will be made available to individual users. Read on to find out how you can use them.

Here is the backstory

The idea behind Google Workspace is that a company can set up an account to manage things like Gmail addresses, collaboration tools like Google Docs and Sheets, and have video conferencing features. This is all done through a single platform.

Now, Google is making several Google Workspace functions available to anyone with a Google account. When it rolls out to your region, you will have the option to switch over to the newly designed landing page.

This means that you can now chat with friends or collaborators while simultaneously editing a Google Sheets document. All of this is done without leaving the Gmail webpage. The chat window moves to the left of the emails section.

You can turn on this Google Chat setting by:

  • On your computer, open Gmail.
  • At the top right, click Settings and then View all settings.
  • At the top, click Chat and Meet.
  • Next to “Chat,” to turn Chat on or off in Gmail, select Google Chat or Off.
  • Click Save Changes.

What is the difference between the new setting and the previous configuration? Well, as Google explains: “You get the same features in Chat and Chat in Gmail, but the integrated Gmail experience provides a central location to communicate with friends, family, or coworkers between emails.”

Other changes to Gmail

Google is also rebranding Chat Rooms to Spaces. This is still where you would set up a chat session with multiple people, but space is streamlined to integrate all the necessary applications.

Where Google Workspace is primarily for businesses, schools, and organizations, the company also launched a new Google Workspace Individual subscription. By getting the $9.99 per month offer, you enjoy all the Workspace functions but don’t have to go through setting up a domain or personalized email.

This won’t be available to everyone from the start, though. Only the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia and Japan have been earmarked for now.

“Building on the integrated Google Workspace experience now available to everyone, the solution provides premium capabilities, including smart booking services, professional video meetings, personalized email marketing, and much more on the way,” Google explained.

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