The recently concluded Google I/O 2021 announced a series of updates and releases targeted at improving the remote workspace and addressing the challenges of collaborating online. Last fall, Google’s in-house incubator Area 120 introduced Tables, a tool to track projects more efficiently and enable teams to boost productivity.
Unlike its rival AirTable, Tables uses automation to make tracking efficient. Rather than manually tracking notes and tasks of projects in multiple documents, Tables’ bots automate repetitive tasks, like scheduling recurring email reminders, notifying new form submissions, moving tasks to other’s work queues, and updating task status.
Launched first in September 2020, the beta version of Tables has been used by National Geographic, New Jersey’s Somerset, Wyoming’s State Construction Department and County Library System. Google expects Tables to become an official Google product next year, moving it from Area 120 to Google Cloud.
Features of the centralised workspace
The solution is intended to serve a wide range of tasks such as:
• Project and task management
• IT Operations
• Customer tracker and sales CRM
• Employees, teams and recruiting
• Product launch and development
Before Tables, tasks occurring during the data-gathering and aggregation process– like getting the required data from different sources, collecting it together, and transferring it into another document, had to be done manually. Google has now automated the whole process, enabling seamless collaborations. Tables has been built to work with already available Google tools in its ecosystem.
Pandemic-led work from home culture accelerated the adoption of Tables. With companies and teams having to track work online, Tables garnered a lot of attention for its easy-to-use platform. Another critical factor leading to its swift adoption is its ability to integrate with other data warehouses and services quickly. The current implementation supports using Tables together with Apps Script, Data Studio, and Drive.
Productivity comes at a price
Besides the likes of ticket seller project Fundo, AdLingo and Google’s recently launched Orion Wi-Fi platform, Tables is one of a few Area 120 projects with a paid business model.
While the beta version of Table is free for both new and existing users, the full-stack tool comes with a paid plan worth $10 per month per user. With the paid version, users get an extra of 1000 tables and 10,000 rows, and extra 10 GB attachment compared. The beta version comes with 100 tables and 1000 rows per table.
Another No-code tool
No-code development platforms (NCDPs) enable both programmers and non-programmers to build application software without conventional coding. Its convenience of use has made No-code tools take the industry by storm. Google is brilliantly riding the wave of this emerging trend, and Tables is just another addition joining the ranks of no-code tools.
Once Tables officially joins Google Cloud, it will be integrated with the no-code construction platform Google App Sheet. Earlier this month, Google announced the continuation of Tables free beta version until the release of a fully-supported Google Cloud product.
It will be interesting to see the fully supported Cloud product next year. Until then, Google aims to enhance its functionality with AppSheet so that using the service becomes less cumbersome and more user-friendly.
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Ritika Sagar is currently pursuing PDG in Journalism from St. Xavier's, Mumbai. She is a journalist in the making who spends her time playing video games and analyzing the developments in the tech world.