More than 4 million customers are now using G Suite, Google's suite of tools for productivity and collaboration, the company announced at the Google Cloud Next conference in San Francisco. Google has added nearly 300 new capabilities to G Suite in just the past year and continues to add more, including several AI-powered features.
The new AI-powered features focus on reading, writing and meetings. On the writing front, Google is bringing Smart Reply to Hangouts Chat to power quick replies in chat rooms. The feature finds messages that may need a response and proposes three different replies. They're designed to be casual enough for chat but work-appropriate. Smart Reply in Hangouts Chat will be available to G Suite customers in the coming weeks. Additionally, Smart Compose is coming soon to G Suite customers. This feature, which autocompletes emails, was launched on the consumer side of the business in May.
Next, to facilitate writing and reading, Google is rolling out an early adopter program for its new feature, Grammar Suggestions in Google Docs. The feature uses a machine translation-based approach to recognize grammatical errors and make corrections. Google says it knows simple grammatical rules, such as when to use "a" versus "an," as well as more complicated concepts such as how to use subordinate clauses.
For meetings, Google is adding voice commands to Hangouts Meet hardware customers later this year. Voice is an increasingly common UI in the workplace.
Other updates to G Suite include a new investigation tool for the G Suite security center, which was launched earlier this year. The investigation tool, available in an early adopter program, helps admins remediate threats. They can identify which users are potentially impacted, remove access to Drive files if they've been shared externally, and delete malicious emails.
Google is also bringing support for data regions to G Suite Business and Enterprise customers. This means customers can choose where to store primary data for select G Suite apps: globally, in the US or Europe.