Google has announced that it is rolling out its Material Design 3 makeover for the rest of its Workspace apps, months after it refreshed the interface for Gmail. The services getting a fresh coat of paint include Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides — all of which are set to receive makeovers both in terms of cosmetic design and new features. Google is also rolling out some handy shortcuts for its Workspace apps. Another notable part of this update is the availability of new smart chips which Google showcased at its last Cloud Next event. The updates, according to Google, are set to roll out to Workspace users over the “coming weeks”.
In its latest Google Workspace blog post, the company doesn’t reveal details of the new design, but it is quite evident through the screenshots and GIFs that its long-pending Material You makeover will finally been released as part of this update. Material Design 3 brings subtle updates in the form of coloured toolbars, white containers for buttons, and coloured pill-shaped indicators for showing highlighted items. A lot of line separators have also been removed resulting in a cleaner overall appearance that looks spartan and clutter-free. The colours of the backgrounds, buttons and files and folders are colour-matches to go with the overall app theme.
Existing smart chips like tasks and date that can currently be added via an “@” in Docs will soon get a stopwatch-like timer as well. There’s a new invite template in Business blocks under the same menu, which will make it easier for a team to collaborate from Docs before it is sent, similar to what’s currently possible with an email template. Also being added to Docs are Emoji Voting chips which will let users express themselves better making it easier to get team consensus in a document they are collaborating on, whether that’s in a document or in a comment.
Google Sheets has also been updated with a smart chip data extraction feature which allows users to add information about people, files, and events, directly into a spreadsheet. There is also a smart place chip which can add locations to a sheet directly from the “@” menu. The company has also added new date shortcuts, to make managing timelines in Sheets as simple as typing “@today”, “@yesterday” or “@tomorrow”.
Meanwhile to Google Sheets will also get Finance smart chips which lets users embed Google Finance entities such as stocks, mutual funds and currencies directly into Sheets by using the “@” menu. This feature has already been released, according to Google.
All of the new smart chips which will be available to users in the coming weeks will make the “@” command very important. Google in its post also announced the availability of third-party smart chip capabilities which will allow users to pull information from partner applications including Atlassian, Asana, Figma, Miro, Tableau and Zendesk.
Google claims it has added a more streamlined interface by updating groupings in the toolbar, letting users find frequently used actions faster. Commonly used tasks or actions will also be quicker to execute, thanks to quick menus which will surface when a user hovers over a file, according to the company.
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