Webex and Google drive improved collaboration capabilities

Collaboration arm of networking giant reveals enhanced relationship with IT behemoth centred on creating faster synergy offering seamless way to connect through meetings and messaging and to improve automotive meeting experiences

While the launch of new smartphones and devices such as Pixel 7a, Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet seemed to catch all the headlines at the Google I/O developer conference, the IT and comms giant also enhanced its collaboration software options through the extension of a long-standing technology innovation partnership with Webex by Cisco to improve hybrid work across software and devices alike.

The partners said their aim is to make it easier than ever to enjoy “frictionless collaboration”, by making sure users stop switching apps throughout the day, get more done and enjoy better collaboration experiences. They hope to achieve this goal through two new innovations between Webex and Google technologies.

First, Webex collaboration software will be supported on the Android Auto software platform on over 500 vehicle models. This integration is designed to give users access to familiar meeting and calling controls to safely collaborate while on the road.

Additionally, a new Webex progressive web app (PWA) for ChromeOS will support combined meetings and messaging capabilities. This unified PWA is designed to offer a faster and more seamless way to connect through meetings and messaging in a single web-based application that can be installed and surfaced as a standalone app.

Looking at the Webex and Android Auto elements of the collaboration, the companies said the ability to safely take meetings and calls while driving is an important convenience for many people. Webex is launching on Android Auto to help prioritise safe and secure in-car collaboration, bringing familiar meeting and calling controls to remote workers on the road.

To help drivers stay focused on the road, the companies emphasised that meetings use audio-only experiences to minimise distraction and provide a view of upcoming meetings, recent calls and easy access to Webex contacts. Webex’s audio intelligence capabilities serve to enhance the driver and passenger experience, eliminating background noise from non-meeting participants in the car and noise outside the vehicle, and optimising the speaker’s voice to make it easier to be heard.

The Webex PWA announcement is centred on creating faster collaboration between Webex and Google Chromebooks. The companies observed that with Webex used with the highly mobile design of ChromeOS devices, on-the-go collaboration is easy for home and work.

With the addition of Webex Messaging, paired with Meetings, users have a new way to connect even faster in the unified web-based app experience. The Webex PWA is Chrome Enterprise Recommended, a programme created by Google to help enterprises find solutions to improve working on the web and in the cloud.

The PWA can be installed from the Webex website, then pinned to the shelf for easy access, making it simple and intuitive for users to message and meet with others. And since progressive web applications are optimised for speed, updated automatically, and take up much less space on devices, they are an ideal option for work.

Webex PWA is available immediately, and the new Webex experience will be coming to Android Auto later in 2023.

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