Your Google Workspace Apps Will Look a Bit Different Going Forward

The company plans to update Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides with a modified UI incorporating new ways to share data among various Google apps.

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Google Drive is getting a few more handy features to make finding files in cluttered clouds a bit easier.
Gif: Google

Google’s Workspace apps are getting yet another facelift, though this time the Alphabet-owned company seems to be focused on trying to “collapse the boundaries” between its various apps.

On Thursday, Google shared how it’s redesigning its Workspace apps, including Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides, with a similar look to the simplified Material Design 3 user interface that the company incorporated into Gmail last year. These updates to the Workspace apps should be rolling out in the next few weeks.

In a blog post, Google Workspace product management director Vishnu Sivaji showed off how Google Drive users will now be able to more easily access different document types through a drop down menu at the top of each page. Users will also see an in-line action bar to share, download, or edit a document when they hover over a file.


In Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets, everything from the top toolbar to comments and the “Share” button are becoming more rounded and shaded, to make them stick out from the white of the rest of the page. Features like the companion bar and ruler are also going to be hidden by default. This is in an effort to “simplify” the design, according to Sivaji.

Google is also adding a few more features into its word and spreadsheet programs, such as emoji-style voting on comments and easy data extraction from files. Users can also add custom templates, such as a simplified table usable in Docs, which can be accessed by typing the “@” symbol and selecting it through a dropdown menu.


Meanwhile, Sheets is getting access to easily previewable Google links directly from spreadsheets. If a user puts in another Workspace document like a doc or slideshow, users gain access to a “Data Extraction” ability, allowing them to see metadata like the original owner, last modified date, and URL. The company is also adding date shortcuts such as “@today” or “@yesterday” so users don’t have to type in each date by hand. The company is incorporating more of its browser capabilities into Sheets, including stock tickers. If a user puts in the “@” symbol followed by a company name, it should allow them to add a live-updated stock ticker into a spreadsheet.

This all comes with a few more third-party integrations, including smart chip capabilities on Docs for companies like Asana, Figma, Tableau, and ZenDesk. You can see what that integration looks like in the following GIF.

Gif: Google

Last year, Sivaji also talked up how Google started incorporating machine learning AI summaries into Docs. Even if this was long before the proliferation of AI-based search, it’s a more subdued rollout than Microsoft’s whole hog approach to shoving AI into Word or PowerPoint. Still, it is indicative of where things might eventually go, if Google ever decides AI can be accurate or sane enough to write content for its users.