Tag Archives: Rapid Release

Session length controls for domains using SAML

In March, we introduced a setting that allows G Suite Business, Enterprise, and Education admins to specify the duration of web sessions for Google services (e.g. four hours, seven days, or infinite). At the time, this setting only applied to domains where Google was responsible for the login (i.e. where Google was the Identity Provider). We’re now extending the reach of this setting and making it applicable in domains that federate to another Identity Provider (IdP) using SAML.


Note that these settings apply to all desktop web sessions, as well as some mobile browser sessions. Native mobile apps, like Gmail for Android and iOS, aren’t impacted by these settings.

Removing session-based cookies on May 7th, 2018

In the past, in order to give more control over session lengths to a G Suite customer’s preferred IdP, we set cookies for sessions created by federating to another IdP via SAML as transient, or session-based. These cookies were intended to expire whenever the browser was closed, meaning the user would be redirected to their primary IdP whenever they reopened the browser and visited a Google site.

Over time, however, this behavior has become increasingly inconsistent across browsers. We believe that G Suite admins are better served by explicit session length controls, like the ones we just launched. Unlike session cookies, these controls are respected regardless of the user’s browser.

With this in mind, we’ll be removing session-based cookies for G Suite customers who federate to another IdP via SAML on May 7th, 2018. Please consider setting a custom session length for your organization if your workflows depend on it.

Replicating previous behavior

If it’s critical to replicate the previous behavior, where all sessions expired when a browser was closed, you can change the browser settings on impacted machines to delete all Google cookies when the browser is exited. Instructions to configure this on Chrome can be found here. To deploy this policy on multiple machines, use Chrome policies to configure session-only cookies for [*.]google.com.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:
Available to G Suite Business, Enterprise, and Education editions only

Rollout pace:
Gradual rollout (up to 15 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
Admins only

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Set up session length for Google services

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New in Google Slides: linking in Docs, guides and rulers, and improved commenting

Today we’re introducing several features in Google Slides on the web that will make it easier to create, collaborate on, and share presentations. Read on for more information.

Insert slides from Google Slides into Google Docs

You can now insert a slide from a Google Slides presentation directly into Google Docs. If you want, you can then link that slide in Docs to its source presentation in Slides and sync any changes with just one click—similar to the way you can insert and link charts from Google Sheets. This should save you from doing duplicative work and ensure that the content in your documents is always up to date.

Use our Help Center to learn how to insert and link slides in Docs.


Design your slides with precision using new guides and rulers

You can now add guide lines for consistent placement and alignment throughout a presentation. These guides will show on all slides in a presentation, and text and objects will snap to a guide to ensure they’re aligned.

We’ve also created a new visual ruler, which gives you fine-grained control over the alignment of text, lists, objects, and guides. Indentation markers in the ruler can help you control the alignment of text or bullets within objects.

Use our Help Center to find out how to use guides and rulers in Slides.


Comment on text within individual objects

You can now comment on specific text within an object, such as a text box, on a slide. Previously, you could only comment on the whole object or the whole slide. We hope that this extra control over what you’re commenting on will make it easier to collaborate on presentations.

For more information on working in Slides, please visit the Help Center.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to Rapid Release, with Scheduled Release coming in two weeks

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Gradual rollout (up to 15 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Link a chart, table, or slides to Google Docs or Slides
Help Center: Insert and arrange text, shapes, diagrams, and lines
Help Center: Add a bulleted or numbered list

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Receive Google prompts on iOS devices via the Gmail app

In 2017, we made Google prompt the primary choice for G Suite users turning on two-step verification for the first time. Back then, we noted that users with iOS devices would need to install the Google app in order to use the feature. Today, we’re making it possible for users with iOS devices to receive prompts via their Gmail app as well. This should encourage more people to use Google prompt, which is an easier and more secure method of authenticating an account.


Note that if users have both the Google and Gmail app installed on their iOS device, they’ll see prompts from Gmail.

For more information, visit the Help Center.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Sign in faster with 2-Step Verification phone prompts

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Allow users to install any app on their managed Android devices

Until now, G Suite users with company-owned Android devices and those with work profiles could only install mobile apps that had been specifically whitelisted by their admin. In some organizations, however, such restrictions weren’t critical, and whitelisting required unnecessary time and effort. That’s why, going forward, we’re giving admins the option to allow their users to install any app in the managed Google Play store on Android devices that are corporate-owned or have work profiles.

Admins can select this option in the Admin console under Device management > App Management > Manage apps for Android devices.


If an admin selects “Allow all apps,” he or she can still whitelist specific apps. These whitelisted apps will appear on the managed Google Play homepage, but users will be able to find any app using the search tool.


For more information, visit the Help Center.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Gradual rollout (up to 15 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
Admins only

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Manage apps on mobile devices


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Add custom links to the navigation bar in the new Google Sites

The navigation bar is how users get around a website, and it helps them find important resources quickly. The new Google Sites automatically creates an intuitive navigation bar that links to content within your site, but there may be times when you want to create your own links that go somewhere else. That’s why we’re adding a new feature where you can link to any URL from the navigation bar.

You can use this new custom link creator to add an item in the navigation bar that goes to:
  • Your company’s social media profile or homepage.
  • Your company’s HCM tool.
  • Another Google Site with different access permissions.
  • Your team’s project tracker.
  • Your team’s Drive folder.
  • Any other website. 

Use our Help Center to find out how to add a custom link in the new Google Sites.


Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to Rapid Release, with Scheduled Release coming in two weeks

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact: 
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Add, delete, & organize pages


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Additional details on new macro recorder and formatting options in Google Sheets

In our earlier post, we provided an overview of some of the ways we’re making Google Sheets better for business. This included several new feature announcements. This post will provide some more specific feature and rollout information that may be useful to G Suite admins.

Record macros in Sheets
To help save your team time when completing repetitive tasks, you can record macros in Sheets. When you record a macro, it’s saved as an Apps Script that you can run in the cloud whenever you need to perform the task. You can also edit the script to change it, or import existing Apps Scripts as new macros. See the previous post for more details, or the Help Center for the specific how-tos.

Group rows and columns in a spreadsheet
There’s a new option to group rows or columns in Sheets. This makes it easier to collapse or expand several rows and columns at once to customize your view. See the Help Center for more on how to manage rows, columns, and cells.


Add checkboxes to a list in Sheets
You can turn a list of items into a checklist with the new checkbox feature. See the Help Center to learn how to add and use checkboxes.


Improved date-based pivot tables
We’re making it easier to work with dates in pivot tables by adding an option to create groupings by time and date, including hour, day, month, quarter, year, and more. See the Help Center to learn how to add and use pivot tables.


Better spreadsheet printing
We’re adding new features to make it easier to print spreadsheets. Specifically, you can specify custom paper sizes and set custom page breaks. This makes it easier to get the right content from a spreadsheet on a printed page. See the Help Center for more about how to print from Google Sheets.


Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to Rapid Release, with Scheduled Release coming in 4 weeks

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility); rollout to Scheduled Release domains will only start after rollout to Rapid Release domains is complete.

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
The Keyword: Think macro: record actions in Google Sheets to skip repetitive work
Help Center: Automate tasks in Google Sheets
Help Center: Customize a pivot table
Help Center: Print from Google Sheets
Help Center: Edit rows, columns, and cells in a spreadsheet
Help Center: Add and use checkboxes



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Improved user management in the Admin console

We’re updating the interface you use when you manage your organization’s users in the Admin console. These changes will make it easier to find and control user information and settings. For more information, see our Help Center topic on how to add and manage users.

New quick actions panel 
When you click into an individual user, you’ll see a user information panel, which allows you to quickly see and edit basic information about the user.

Category cards provide more detailed user management 

When you’re looking at an individual user, you’ll also see cards with summarized information that will give you a quick overview of the most important information in several categories. Click on the cards to view the settings in detail or to quickly edit information related to that user. Depending on the user’s account and your administrator privileges, you’ll see some or all of these cards:
  • User information. View and edit the user’s contact information and see custom attributes. 
  • Security. Control the user’s security settings, like 2-step verification and security keys. 
  • Groups. See the user’s group memberships and roles, and manage their roles in those groups. 
  • Admin roles and privileges. See and change admin controls granted to the user. 
  • Apps. View apps the user has installed on a managed device. 
  • Managed devices. View and manage the devices associated with the user. 
  • Licenses. See licenses granted to the user and control individual user licenses. See more below. 
  • Team Drives. See the user’s Team Drives memberships and manage Team Drive settings. 

New license management functions 

One of the new cards is a Licenses card which will help improve visibility and management of licences within your organization. It features:
  • Improved license states to provide a better understanding of a user’s license assignment. 
  • Separate view mode and edit modes to aid decision making for license management. 
  • Improved error handling and messaging to help admins. 


Launch Details 
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions: 
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace: 
Gradual rollout (up to 15 days for feature visibility)

Impact: 
Admins only Action: Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Add users 
Help Center: Manage user accounts 
Help Center: Manage passwords 
Help Center: Grant administrator privileges 
Help Center: Apply policies to different users 


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Group users into multiple directories in G Suite

The G Suite Directory surfaces profile information to users in your organization, allowing them to easily find and learn about one another while they work in G Suite apps. For instance, autocomplete in Gmail makes it easy for users to find their coworkers’ email addresses and quickly send them a message.

Previously, we allowed one directory per domain, which meant G Suite admins could only enable or disable contact visibility for their entire domain and couldn’t specify who saw what information. We’re now making it possible for G Suite admins to cluster users in separate directories with custom visibility rules for each organizational unit (OU). For example, a company might give full-time employees access to a global directory, because they want them to be able to find other full-time employees and temps. At the same time, they might not want temps to be able to find full-time employees, so they’ll limit them to a custom directory with restrictions applied.



Admins can configure these visibility rules in the Admin console under Apps > G Suite > Settings for Directory.




For more information on configuring Directory settings, check out this Help Center article.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
Admins only

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Create custom directories

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Dial into Hangouts Meet from six additional markets

In October 2017, we announced the rollout of international Hangouts Meet dial-in phone numbers for G Suite Enterprise domains. This option helps your team to stay connected, wherever they are. We’ve added this functionality for six additional countries (with more to come!):
  • Dominican Republic (DO)
  • Estonia (EE)
  • Greece (GR)
  • Hungary (HU)
  • Latvia (LV)
  • Luxembourg (LU)

For a complete list of currently supported countries, visit this Help Center article


Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:
Available to G Suite Enterprise edition only

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Dial in from a phone
Help Center: Join a video meeting


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Smarter sharing of files with updated Google Drive Access checker

Google Drive makes it easy to share files through Gmail, Calendar, and other apps with a feature called “Access checker.” When you send an email, calendar invite, or other communication that includes a Drive file, Access checker automatically looks to see if the people you’re sending the message to have permissions to view the file. If they don’t, Access checker asks if you want to change the permissions before you share the file.

We’re updating Access checker to:
  • Make it easier to see who needs access. You’ll now see the names or email addresses that don’t currently have access to the file in the Access checker interface. 
  • Support more file types in Drive. Access checker will now support files in a Team Drive. 
  • Share directly with those who need access. Access checker will anticipate who needs access to a file and intelligently default to sharing with those recipients only.


The updated Access checker interface looks like this:



You can share with these intelligent default settings in just one click, or choose a different sharing option for the file. Before, the default share option was “turn link sharing on.” We hope this change makes it easier for you to ensure that only the right people have permission to access your files.

Note that all sharing settings configured for your domain (or OUs) will remain the same. This launch respects the settings you’ve already chosen for Sharing outside your domain, Access Checker, and Link Sharing Defaults. If you’ve chosen to limit Access Checker to Recipients only, link sharing will not be suggested.

These updates are based on your feedback, and we hope they deliver a sharing experience that is simple, secure, and anticipates your users’ needs.

Admin controls for Access checker

As a G Suite admin, you can control how Access checker works for your organization. Specifically, you can select the sharing options that are available to your users. You can choose if your users see the option to:
  • Share with recipients (default), share link within your organization, share link with anyone (no Google account required). 
  • Share with recipients (default), share link within your organization.
  • Share with recipients (default). 



See our Help Center to find out more about how to configure Access checker for your organization.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to Rapid Release, with Scheduled Release coming in two weeks

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility). Rollout to scheduled release domains will begin one week after rollout to rapid release domains is complete.

Impact:
Admins and end users

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI and change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Set file sharing permissions for your organization
Help Center: Share files from Google Drive


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