What you need to know
- Alongside a massive shakeup for its smartphone lineup, Google's been cleaning house across its lineup this week.
- It's consolidating its branding across platforms with an emphasis on adding 'Google' to everything, renaming everything from Play Movies and TV to G Suite this week.
- The company also killed off Daydream, its struggling VR platform.
What a month so far! If you watch Google as closely as we do, you're bound to have noticed the last few days have seen a lot of activity from the company. Not only did Google launch its next-gen smartphones on September 30, eschewing the Pixel line's flagship status in lieu of a more affordable $699 starting price, it's also consolidated its branding across various platforms, making sure to put the "Google" name left, right, and center.
Here are all the ups and downs from Google this week.
G Suite is now Google Workspace
First, G Suite is now Google Workspace. That's not all, though, because almost every one of the
G Suite Google Workspace apps are also getting a fresh coat of paint, courtesy of a new four-colored brand identity. Check out the new icons below:
The changes to Google Workspace go beyond just the surface level, though, with Google Workspace boss Javier Soltero boasting that the revamped platform "gives people a familiar, fully integrated user experience that helps everyone succeed in this new reality" of doing work.
To that end, the different apps are now more integrated than ever before. Meet, which was already integrated with Gmail and Google Chat, can now also be accessed within Docs, Sheets, and Slides to make live collaboration easier.
Thanks to link previews, you can also quickly check out Docs, Slides, or Sheets documents in any of the other apps without needing to open the file in its own tab. And you can even create and collaborate on a document with others within Google Chat, all in real-time.
The (re)birth of Google TV
In the same vein, the Play Movies and TV app is now Google TV. In a circular scheme that's bound to give you a headache, the new user interface for Android TV is now called Google TV, which gets all the more confusing when you consider the fact that the predecessor to Android TV was also called Google TV! It's OK, though, because the new Chromecast with Google TV is one of the best Android TV boxes you can buy now.
Now that Google Play Music has been supplanted by YouTube Music, it does make you wonder if the Play branding will follow Hangouts down the road to obscurity, with Google eventually killing off the brand entirely.
Who knows, maybe Google will take a page from Microsoft and even rename the Play Store to just the Google Store?
So long, Daydream!
Thankfully, the only notable addition to the trigger-happy company's ever-growing graveyard this week was Daydream, Google's struggling VR platform, which had been on life support for more than a year now. The company this week announced end of support for the platform and officially confirmed it's discontinuing the Daydream View headset.
That means no new software or security updates in the future, though any third-party apps or headsets you've already bought should still work. The Daydream app will also no longer work on phones starting with Android 11.
If you'd still like to try your hand with the platform, though, you could always make your own VR headset on the cheap, thanks to Google's open-source schematics for its low-cost Cardboard project. And if you're serious about VR (and are OK with Facebook), the new Oculus Quest 2 is not a bad choice, either.
Last but not least, Google's Area 120 incubator also has a new logo, with the same four-color theme as the Google Workspace apps:
Do you like Google's new naming scheme and brand identity? Is it more or less confusing? Let us know in the comments below!
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