Google LLC today announced that it’s enhancing Google Workspace with a set of new features designed to save time for users.
The features, which will roll out over the coming weeks, were first previewed at the company’s Cloud Next event last year. Many of the new capabilities take the form of so-called smart chips. Originally introduced in 2021, smart chips provide the ability to embed interactive elements such as data tables and charts into documents.
Google Docs is receiving two new smart chips. The first enables users to embed a virtual stopwatch in documents to track the time, while the second provides a pre-packaged calendar invite template. After users fill in the invite template, they can click a button to automatically sync it to their Google Calendar.
Customers with more advanced requirements will gain the ability to create custom smart chips. A software team, for example, can create a smart chip that generates a to-do list of development tasks.
Third-party software providers can likewise customize the capability. Google Docs will soon receive so-called partner smart chips that display content from popular enterprise applications such as Atlassian, Asana, Figma and Tableau. The Tableau smart chip allows users to embed complex data visualizations directly in a Google Doc.
Google is also extending the Google Docs feature set in other directions. The search giant is rolling out the ability to embed an upvote button and emojis in documents. Additionally, it’s adding improved support for templates: users now have the option to create placeholder fields in a Google Doc that can be replaced with different data points later on.
“We believe these improvements in Workspace will help you and your team get more done in less time—through an intuitive set of capabilities in the apps you already use every day,” Vishnu Sivaji, the director of product management for Google Workspace, wrote in a blog post today.
Google Sheets is likewise receiving a new set of smart chips as part of the update. The new additions will enable users to embed data about stock tickers, mutual funds and currencies into a spreadsheet. Clicking the stock ticker smart chip brings up a pop-up panel that displays the current share price.
The update also introduces an integration with Google Maps. If a spreadsheet field contains the name of a location, users can click it to bring up a pop-up panel that shows the location on a map.
“Place smart chips let you bring relevant locations into Sheets for streamlined management of project deliverables,” Sivaji explained. “You can easily preview a Google Maps link directly in Sheets for things like tracking logistics or event planning.”
Google is launching the new features alongside several changes to the Google Workspace interface. Among the main highlights is a streamlined Google Drive search bar. Thanks to the update, users can now filter documents by criteria such as file type.