Having rolled out to standard Google account users just months ago, the new Google Maps side panel feature in Gmail, Calendar, and other services is now beginning to roll out to Workspace users of all tiers. G Suite Basic and G Suite for Business customers will also be receiving this update, so keep an eye out for it each time you refresh your browser! If you’re not seeing it immediately, it may take up to two weeks for it to appear for Rapid Release domains. For those using Scheduled Release domains, you’ll have to wait two weeks from May 3, 2021, but that’s by design, of course.
The side panel will allow you to research place information on the same screen which makes it much easier to check opening hours, read user reviews, and more. Making certain that you’re adding the correct location information into Google Calendar is probably the most useful and obvious reason to use this new side panel version of maps. Additionally, you can get travel times, and directions to plan your trip ahead of time and make sure you’ll arrive on time for an event. Traffic predictions and transit information is also present – basically, anything you’ll find in Google Maps, only confined to a third of the screen instead, though there is a pop-out button at the top right.
The quick access side panel can already help you view your Calendar while in other Google Workspace apps, take notes, manage your tasks, and more. With Maps in the side panel, you’ll be able to see more information without switching contexts or using multiple tabs. This will make it easier to plan and participate in timely events.Google Workspace Updates
If you happen to be a Workspace Admin, you should know that the Calendar side panel will be enabled by default for all users with Calendar and Maps enabled. If someone doesn’t have Maps enabled they won’t see the side panel, but you can toggle it on for them in your admin dashboard. The Maps side panel joins Google Tasks and Google Keep as available tools found in the right sidebar. At first, it was an odd addition for Google to consider, but the more I use these features, the more they make sense – I actually prefer them all to be accessible right from within Gmail or Calendar now instead of having to jump between several web apps.