Google recently delivered dozens of announcements at their I/O 2024 conference. And not surprisingly, all of them were related to AI. A lot of those updates were related to Gemini, Google's most powerful model yet.

Gemini was introduced to various Google apps over the past months for Google One AI Premium users and Google Workspace users. Gemini can help you craft emails in Gmail, create and edit documents in Docs, and assist you in Google Sheets, among other stuff.

Now, with the latest announcements at Google I/O 2024, here's every new update you can expect with Gemini in Google Workspace.

Gemini is coming to the side panel in Google Workspace

The most important update Gemini is receiving in Google Workspace is that it will be available in the sidebar in Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drive, much like Copilot in Microsoft 365 apps.

Moreover, it will also use the Gemini 1.5 Pro Model – yes, the one with the 1 million context window. With a longer context window and sidebar availability, you can ask Gemini for summaries and questions with greater accuracy.

It can also summarize emails (not just email threads) in Gmail now through the side panel. For example, you can ask it to summarize all emails from your child's school during the past month (or more) and get a summary of only the most important points. You can even ask it further follow-up questions and it will pull up relevant information from the entirety of your inbox.

Source: Google I/O Keynote

When will Gemini be available in the sidebar? Unfortunately, much like most of the announcements from the I/O conference, Gemini in the sidebar will not be available right away. It is only available for Workspace Lab users and Gemini for Workspace Alpha users at the moment. But it will be released for Google One AI Premium plan users, Businesses, and Gemini for Workspace add-on users next month, on the desktop.

Gemini for Workspace will be available in the Gmail Mobile App

Gemini for Workspace features will also be available on the Gmail Mobile app soon. Most of us check our emails on the go using our mobile phones more often than we use our desktops, so it makes sense.

Gemini will be able to summarize email threads for you and help you send replies with contextual smart replies. and just like the sidebar on the desktop, Gemini will be accessible independently in the mobile app. So, you'll be able to ask it specific questions like finding certain details from emails, like the time of the meeting for your next book club, or the bid from your contractor.

Source: Google I/O Keynote

It can also help you stay updated with all the latest emails, and fetch unread emails for you, among other stuff.

When will Gemini be available on the Gmail Mobile app? The 'Summarize emails' feature will be made available to Workspace Labs users this month, with it rolling out to all Gemini for Workspace and Google One AI Premium plan customers by next month.

The other two features, i.e., Contextual Smart Reply and Gmail Q&A, will be rolled out to Workspace Labs users in July. There's no word on when these features will be rolled out generally.

Other than the upgrades above, the 'Help me write' feature in Gmail and Docs is getting support in additional languages like Portuguese and Spanish in the coming weeks.

Gemini Automations Across Workspace Apps

Gemini will also be able to automate workflows for you across Workspace apps, but this feature is still in development.

What type of workflow automations are we talking about? Gemini will be able to help you organize and track your attachments in Gmail. For example, if you're a freelancer, it can create a folder in Drive with all your receipts and even create a spreadsheet in Excel to help keep track.

Source: Google I/O Keynote

Moreover, it can even automate these tasks so that every time there's a new email with new information, it'll automatically update your Drive and Sheet with relevant details.

Now, this is just one example and only this particular workflow, as demonstrated in the I/O keynote, will be available in September to Workspace users.

That's about it. With these new updates, Gemini will be truly helpful in Google Workspace and help you be your more productive self. Gemini is also getting integrated into Google Photos with the Ask Photos feature.

While initially, it seemed that Google had been left far behind in the AI race, especially with the integration levels that Copilot enjoyed in Microsoft 365 apps, Google seems to be catching up rather nicely. But with Microsoft Build just on the horizon, it'll be interesting to see where the two rivals will stand.