23 June 2021
Google has finally announced the expansion of Workspace to everyone. It means the company's collaboration-focused offering can now be used by anyone, as long as they have a Gmail account. It was originally announced in October last year but was limited to paying customers until now. Its plan was always to expand it to free users which has now been completed.
It is important to note that free Google Workspace users will not get access to all the features and capabilities. Some of them will continue to be exclusive to paying subscribers i.e. premium users. The announcement does not mention what would be the cost for those features but we should hear about that soon. These extra features will include smart booking services, professional video meetings, and personalized email marketing among others.
The basic functionality of Workspace will remain unchanged. It will allow free users to collaborate on projects in a more efficient and convenient manner. It brings a tighter integration among different Google offerings like Gmail, Chat, Docs, Sheets, and Slides. It also eliminates the need for switching among different services as it makes it possible to check through all of them from a single place.
To get started, users will have to enable Chat support within Gmail. It can be done by visiting Gmail settings where you will need a new setting for Chat and Meet. It is a toggle that will be disabled by default. A user will need to turn it on to be able to make use of the integration.