Tech Bites #11
This week we’re looking at Google’s rebranding of G Suite to Google Workspace, Apple Store news and updates to popular workplace instant messaging app, Slack!
G Suite rebrand, now Google Workspace
Google has announced a complete overhaul of its office apps this week. Formerly G Suite, the apps will now fall under ‘Google Workspace‘. The apps that fall under this umbrella – Gmail, Docs, Meet, Sheets, and Calendar – have also received new icons and new features designed to make them integrate better with each other.
The Verge reports “As an example of the new features, a Chat window can spawn a new document for everybody in the group without needing a new tab. And in Google Docs, instead of chasing each others’ cursors around or opening up a chat window, you can immediately just start a video call right in the same window for everybody who’s active in the document.” Google Workspace plans can be trialled for 14 days before committing, and Google says that it has plans specifically tailored for larger enterprises which include extra security features and flexible cloud storage options. Google has also stated that it has no intention of reducing support for third-party apps, such as Slack or Zoom, so no worries there!
Apple stops selling third party headphones
Apple has stopped selling third party headphones and wireless speakers from Bose, Logitech and Sonos. They have also circulated a memo to their stores this week to do the same. Rumours suggest that this is in anticipation of Apple launching their own new audio products, including potentially Apple’s first over-ear headphones.
According to a report from Bloomberg, Sonos’ shares fell by as much as 7% in the wake of the news. The article also says that Apple has been working on a smaller version of the HomePod speaker. Apple made a similar move in 2014, pulling FitBit from its shelves before launching the Apple Watch.
The popular workplace messaging app Slack will be getting a raft of new improvements before the end of the year, according to their CEO Stewart Butterfield. No definite date has been provided as of yet, and it is possible these features could be rolled out gradually or as part of a beta.
Discord-like push to talk channels will be added. Think of it as an always open phone call which team members can jump in and out of. Another feature is Instagram-like stories. These aren’t intended to show your avocado breakfast, rather, Slack hopes that this will cut down the need for daily stand-ups, or provide a way to give quick status updates on projects.