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You can now use Google Workspace and Google Chat without an enterprise account

With this, it means you can use more Google services without switching between apps.

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Image: KnowTechie

Google is opening up its Workspace suite of apps and services to everyone with a Google account, so you no longer need an enterprise account to use the new, integrated versions of Gmail, Docs, and Chat. Google says that means it has over three billion users of Workspace, with most of that probably coming from Gmail users.

Now, while inside Gmail, you’ll get the chance to open up Chat, show a “smart canvas” for collaboration, and work on Docs. Google’s aim here is to keep the context of important information while the task is worked on, whether that starts from an email or from inside a group chat.

The bundling of services also makes it so you won’t have to switch between separate apps, although you can keep doing things that way if you prefer.

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Image: KnowTechie

To turn on Google Chat, head into the settings of Gmail and you’ll see a new “Chat and Meet” tab which will let you enable it. You can choose if Chat shows up on the right or left of your email inbox, letting you create direct messages or chat Rooms for group chats.

To add to the confusing mishmash of services, Rooms are being rebranded as Spaces (no, not that Spaces). It’s basically the same thing, with Spaces becoming a new top-level communication style next to Gmail, Chat, and Meet. Think of it as a Slack-lite and you’re most of the way there, with message threading, emoji, user and moderator roles, and ‘discoverable’ Spaces.

Oh, and if you hate having to work in your browser, Google is finally bringing a Progressive Web App for Workspace that should be here in September.

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