Google Workspace gets new genAI pricing options

Google has added a new way for Workspace users to access generative AI (genAI) features for collaboration without requiring a full subscription to its Gemini AI assistant. 

The AI Meetings and Messaging add-on, which costs $10 per user per  month, offers a range of Gemini features via Google’s Meet video conferencing tool, with functionality for Chat  —  the team messaging app in Workspace —  to follow eventually.  

Features for Google Meet include generative backgrounds, AI-powered video quality enhancements, an automated caption translation (available now in preview), and automated note-taking during meetings (available in June). Also in the pipeline is an adaptive audio feature (set for general availability next month) and a screenshare watermark to help prevent data leakage (expected in the third quarter of the year).

Google will include offer automated translation of messages and conversation summaries in Google Chat as part of the add-on once the features are available later this year. 

At $10 a month, the add-on provides a lower-cost route for businesses to access Google’s Gemini AI features.  By comparison, the full Google Gemini for Workspace (formerly Duet AI) costs $30 per user each month for large enterprises, or $20 for smaller businesses. Customers on these plans have access to a wider range of genAI features, helping users write emails in Gmail, draft text in Docs, and generate images in Slides, for instance. 

“I believe that companies who upgrade with the AI and meetings offering —  and foster their use and adoption internally — will see significant time savings benefits that will justify spending for the benefit,” said Wayne Kurtzman, research vice president social, communities and collaboration  at IDC. 

The AI Meetings and Messages option is one of two Workspace add-ons announced during the Google Cloud Next ’24 event this week. Also available is a new AI Security add-on; it also costs $10 per user/month and will “automatically classify and protect sensitive files” stored in Google Drive, Google said.

Other updates to Workspace announced at Cloud Next include voice inputs for Gmail’s “help me write” AI feature, which promises to turn voice notes into a complete email, and a new “building blocks” feature coming to Sheets to help users create spreadsheets from scratch. It offers templates for project management, event planning, and more. Also coming in a few weeks is a tabs feature for Docs, making it easier to organize information instead of linking to multiple documents, Google said. 

Google has also developed a new Workspace app, Vids, that aims to simplify video creation. Vids provides guidance when producing and editing video content for the workplace such as videos for staff onboarding, learning and development, or sales pitches. The AI assistant can create a storyboard and suggest background images, for instance, and offers pre-set voiceovers to narrate a video. 

“Vids will sit alongside our other productivity tools like Docs, Sheets, and Slides,” Aparna Pappu, general manager and vice president for Google Workspace, said in a blog post.  “Like them, it includes a simple, easy-to-use interface and the ability to collaborate and share projects securely from your browser. 

“It’s an entirely new app that can help anyone become a great storyteller at work,” Pappu said.

“Google Vids underscores the multimodality of Google Gemini,” said Kurtzman. “Vids is an easy to use, enterprise video storytelling platform that leverages Gemini to stay on brand and deliver significant time savings.”