Javier Soltero, general manager of Google Workspace, speaks during an online-only Google developer conference in May. Photo by Bloomberg
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Google Responds to Remote Work Boom, Microsoft With Workspace App Improvements

Photo: Javier Soltero, general manager of Google Workspace, speaks during an online-only Google developer conference in May. Photo by Bloomberg

Like other companies, Google had never seen anything like the demand for its video-calling and other productivity tools until the pandemic, which suddenly turned a big chunk of the population into remote workers. The surge also helped Google staffers figure out some issues with those same products.

To address those limitations, Google is privately testing an array of new features for its collection of productivity tools, Workspace, that it’s likely to release this year. One of the features lets people say in their RSVPs for meeting invitations whether they will attend in person, dial in or join by video, and whether they plan to have their cameras on, according to a person involved in the work. Another will let Workspace users easily share their meeting availability with people outside their organizations, which would compete with Calendly, a popular tool from a startup that automates the creation of calendar appointments, the person said.

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