Available in open beta: the Groups Admin role can now be provisioned for specific group types

What’s changing

The Groups Admin role can now be assigned for security groups or non-security groups. Previously, those with the Groups Admin role had access to all groups within an organization. This change gives administrators more granular delegation of group admin responsibilities, helping limit access to the most sensitive groups to only those who absolutely need it. 

This feature is available in open beta, which means no additional sign-up is required to use the feature.

Getting started

Easily identify which unread threads are most relevant to you in Google Chat

What’s changing 

Last year, we announced that all newly created spaces in Google Chat will be in-line threaded. This streamlined user experience enables you to reply to any message and create a separate discussion isolated from the main conversation. We also introduced several updates, such as home, mentions and starred messages to help you find what you need much faster in Chat.

Today, we’re continuing our enhancements across Chat by improving the in-line threaded experience in spaces. With multiple threads across numerous spaces, we know it can be difficult to identify which unread threads are most relevant to you. In order to provide you with more context upfront, you will now see participant avatars for unread threads in the conversation view. Without having to click to open the thread side panel, it will now be much easier to decide which threads to read and reply to. 
Web experience


Who’s impacted 

End users 


Why you’d use it 

Being able to see the participant avatars for unread threads makes it easier to identify whether a thread is relevant to you. 
mobile experience



Getting started 

  • Admins: There is no admin control for this feature. 
  • End users: This will be ON by default. Visit the Help Center to learn how to use Google Chat

Rollout pace 

Web: 
Android:
iOS:

Availability 

  • Available to all Google Workspace customers, Google Workspace Individual subscribers, and users with personal Google accounts 

Resources 

New goodies from Android, Wearables at Mobile World Congress + tune in to a new episode of #TheAndroidShow next week!

Posted by Anirudh Dewani, Director of Android Developer Relations

Earlier today, at Mobile World Congress (MWC), an annual conference showcasing the latest in mobile, Android and our partners unveiled a range of new goodies, including new wearables, foldables, as well as a number of new features for Android users. Keep reading below to see how you, as developers, can take advantage of these new features and devices that are being released. And in just over a week, on Thursday March 7 at 10AM PT, we’ll be kicking off another episode of #TheAndroidShow, our quarterly live show on YouTube and on developer.android.com, where we’ll dive more into these topics.


Meet the new watch from OnePlus and how we’re boosting power with the Wear OS hybrid interface

Wearables are on display across MWC this week, and one of our favorites is OnePlus Watch 2, powered with the latest version of Wear OS (Wear OS 4). As part of our ongoing work to improve the Wear OS by Google user experience, we’ve made fundamental changes to the platform and substantially expanded the capabilities of the Wear OS hybrid interface that improve two key areas: power and performance. As a developer, you can leverage existing Wear OS APIs to get underneath optimizations without any added effort – no code changes required! You can read more about the updates here.

Images of three people wearing the OnePlus Watch 2

A few new features for Android users

Google released 9 new features Android users can take advantage of across Google apps, you can read more about those features here. For developers, we wanted to highlight a few ways you can take advantage of this news across experiences you build into your apps:

    • More places for users to see their Health Connect data, now in the Fitbit app: With permission from your users, Health Connect is a central way to connect and sync their favorite health and fitness apps, see all their data in one place, and stay in control of their privacy. By setting up Health Connect in the Fitbit mobile app for Android, users will have an overview of their health and fitness data from across their apps in one place. You can join developers like Peloton, ŌURA, and Lifesum who are using Health Connect to provide their users with deeper health and fitness insights, get started now!
Image that reads 'New updates on Android' with pictures of a smart watch, laptop, and Android Auto

A new episode of #TheAndroidShow, live on March 7 at 10AM PT. Send us your #AskAndroid questions now!

You can join us on March 7 at 10AM PT for a new episode of #TheAndroidShow. In this quarterly show, we’ll unpack the latest Android foldables and large screens for you to get building on, plus a behind-the-scenes on Gemini Nano and AICore.

We’ll have a live #AskAndroid Q&A with the team about building Android; you can ask us about building excellent apps across devices, Android 15, Compose, Gemini and more, using #AskAndroid on X or on YouTube. Our experts are ready to answer your questions live!

#TheAndroidShow: March 7 at 10AM PT, broadcast live on YouTube and d.android.com/events/show!

Now generally available: Import and convert sensitive Excel files into client-side encrypted Google Sheets

What’s changing

You can now import and convert sensitive Excel files into Google Sheets with client-side encryption. When collaborating with external and internal stakeholders, you may find yourself working across both Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel. This update keeps your work moving by layering interoperability on top of the privacy benefits of client-side encryption: users are in direct control of their encryption keys and the identity service that they choose to authenticate for those keys.


This feature was previously announced in August 2023 as part of an open beta.

Additional details 

With this release: 
  • You can only import .xslx Excel file types. 
  • Additional Excel and tabular file types are not supported. 
  • During import, unsupported Excel features in Sheets will be ignored. 
  • The maximum file size is 10MB. 
  • The maximum number of cells that can be imported is 10 million. 

Getting started

Wear OS hybrid interface: Boosting power and performance

Posted by Kseniia Shumelchyk, Android Developer Relations Engineer

In collaboration with our hardware partners, we’ve continued to prioritize the Wear OS by Google user experience. As such, we’ve made fundamental design changes to the platform and substantially expanded the capabilities of the Wear OS hybrid interface that improve two key areas: power and performance.

With OnePlus Watch 2, powered with the latest version of Wear OS (Wear OS 4), the dual-chipset architecture works with our hybrid interface to get both chips to work better in tandem. This enables even more use cases to benefit from dramatically extended battery life of up to 100 hours of regular use with all functionalities accessible in Smart Mode.

Together, we’ve created a premium smartwatch experience that doesn’t compromise the advanced feature set or battery life. In this post, we’ll share how you can benefit from these changes when building experiences for Wear OS.

On the edge of innovation: redesigned smartwatch architecture

Wear OS smartwatches have a dual-chipset architecture inclusive of a powerful application processor (AP) and ultra low-power co-processor microcontroller unit (MCU). The architecture has a powerful AP capable of handling complex operations en-masse, and is seamlessly coupled with a low power MCU.

The Wear OS hybrid interface enables intelligent switching between the MCU or the AP, allowing the AP to be suspended when not needed to preserve battery life. It helps, for instance, achieve more power-efficient experiences, like sensor data processing on the MCU while the AP is asleep. At the same time, the hybrid interface provides a seamless transition between these states, keeping a rich and premium user experience without jarring transitions between power modes.

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Connectivity and notification experience

To enhance connectivity-reliant interactions like notifications and phone calls, OnePlus utilized platform capabilities with the notification API in the hybrid interface, enabling the MCU to process regular notification experiences and reduce the need to activate the AP.

For example, bridged notifications will be delivered to the watch without waking up the high-performance AP. Users can read and dismiss these notifications while the watch is still powered by the MCU. The MCU can also handle wearable-specific actions in notifications, such as quick replies or remote actions.

What this means for development

You can leverage existing Wear OS APIs to get these optimizations without any added effort – no code changes required!

Notifications

The notification hybrid interface enables seamless transitions between power modes to work with the Wear OS notification stack. You get the best notification performance by using the Notification API.

Health & Fitness experiences

The Wear OS hybrid interface also elevates the fitness experience with more precise workout tracking, automatic sports recognition and smarter health data monitoring. All of these can be offered to users without compromising battery life.

Starting with Wear OS 3, developers use Health Services on Wear OS to gain access to sensor data. The health hybrid interface works under the hood to enable power optimizations by batching sensor data on the MCU and periodically updating developer apps through the Health Services API on the AP.

Watch Faces

With Wear OS 4, we launched the Watch Face Format, a declarative XML format to create customizable and power-efficient watch faces.

The platform has created capabilities to implement Watch Face Format rendering on the MCU, so using the new format helps future-proof certain watch faces to take advantage of emerging optimizations in future devices for better battery usage.

Check out the watch face format documentation and design guidelines for Wear OS watch faces.

Expand your reach with Wear OS

With the additions to the Wear OS smartwatch ecosystem and expanded device capabilities, it's an ideal time to build experiences for smartwatches that can reach more users and benefit your business.

To begin developing apps for Wear OS, try our Compose for Wear OS codelab, and check out the documentation and samples.

Read more about developer updates in Wear OS 4, and how you can get your apps ready for the latest Wear OS watches.

We can’t wait to see what experiences you’ll build!