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G Suite is now Google Workspace with new icons, new Meet and Chat features

This week Google announced that G Suite is now Google Workspace, reflecting on the focus on offering a "better home for work". 

Google Workspace offers three different tiers for smaller businesses (Business Starter, Standard and Plus) with fewer than 300 users. These overlap with the previous G Suite tiers (G Suite Basic, G Suite Business). G Suite legacy free edition isn't mentioned, and isn't likely to change.

Along with the new name and new features are new colorful matching icons. I'm not a big fan of the design, but at least now it looks like a related suite of products, rather than a bunch of unrelated apps. 

Current G Suite customers can keep their current plans for now, and Google will be providing additional information about the transition to Google Workspace “over the coming months”.  G Suite Enterprise is now Google Workspace Enterprise Plus, and G Suite Essentials is Google Workspace Essentials. G Suite for Education and G Suite for Nonprofits are not changing (yet).

Read on for details about the new features coming to Google Meet and Chat. If you are a current G Suite customer, or considering signing up, compare Workspace editions to see what other features each plan offers.

Google Chat

Google Chat is currently only available to G Suite and Google Workspace accounts. External users, including people with personal Google accounts, can be invited to a Room or to chat 1:1.

Starting today, there are two new features available in Chat:
Also, coming soon, you will be able to "dynamically create and collaborate on a document with guests in a Chat room." 

Chat is also getting new security features to decrease the likelihood of abuse, spam and phishing.
  • New audit logs for admins to help "identify potentially malicious behaviors in Chat that could indicate phishing or data exfiltration, for example".
  • Classifying "spammy or abusive" Chat rooms. 
Google has not announced when Chat will be generally available to personal Google accounts.

Google Meet

Google Meet video conferencing is one of the collaboration tools in Google's new "home for work". The idea is that you can actually collaborate "face to face" with Meet picture-in-picture in Gmail, Chat, Docs, Sheets and Slides. And imagine:
This is especially powerful for customer interactions where you’re pitching a proposal or walking through a document. Where before, you could only see the file you were presenting, now you’ll get all those valuable nonverbal cues that come with actually seeing someone’s face.
Picture-in-picture will be available in the coming months.

There are also new security features that should help prevent malicious people from interrupting your meetings.
  • Meet will automatically detect abusive display names or codes, and then disallow users from joining.
  • Meet will "classify users that were marked abusive and ejected from prior meetings, and prevent similar users from joining your meetings in the future."
  • Google Workspace admins will be able to see audit logs of reports of abuse within Meet by users in your organization.
And there are new in-meeting features coming soon, including breakout rooms, hand raising, attendance tracking and more. 

Google Meet offers different features depending on what type of G Suite (or Google Workspace) account you use. 

Free personal accounts

Meet features for free personal accounts are not changing,  other than the new Meet icon.
Google Workspace Business Starter Edition

The Google Workspace Business Starter edition has the same Google Meet features as G Suite Basic. 
Google Workspace Business Standard Edition

Google Workspace Business Standard edition has similar Meet features as G Suite for Business, but offers recording to Google Drive (formerly Enterprise only), and will be getting new features in the near future.
Note: Google Workspace Essentials has a similar set of Meet features, but does not include Gmail, Google Calendar or some other Workspace features.

Google Workspace Business Plus Edition

Google Workspace Business Plus edition is new. Google Meet features include:
  • Up to 250 participants
  • The features available to Google Workspace Business Standard Edition
  • Attendance tracking (soon)
Google Workspace Enterprise Standard Edition

Google Workspace Enterprise Standard Edition is new. It's designed for organizations with at least 300 users. Meet features include: 
Google Workspace Enterprise Plus Edition

G Suite for Enterprise is now Google Workspace Enterprise Plus Edition (that's a mouthful!). Meet features include: