Google Workspace Updates Weekly Recap – October 22, 2021

New updates 

Unless otherwise indicated, the features below are fully launched or in the process of rolling out (rollouts should take no more than 15 business days to complete), launching to both Rapid and Scheduled Release at the same time (if not, each stage of rollout should take no more than 15 business days to complete), and available to all Google Workspace and G Suite customers.

Drive for desktop support for Apple silicon (M1) devices now generally available
Earlier this year, we added Drive for desktop support for Apple Silicon (M1) devices in beta. Since then, we’ve been making improvements to the functionality, and it is now generally available. Learn more in the Google Drive for desktop release notes. |Available to all Google Workspace customers, and G Suite Basic and Business customers. Also available to users with personal Google accounts  | Learn more.

Previous announcements 

The announcements below were published on the Workspace Updates blog earlier this week. Please refer to the original blog posts for complete details.

View more information about your colleagues and stakeholders in Google Contacts
Google Contacts will include additional information about people in your organization such as: working hours, non-manager relationships, shared files, and more. | Learn more. 

Control session length for Google Cloud Console and gcloud CLI now generally available
In 2019, we announced a beta that allows Google Workspace, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Cloud Identity admins to set a fixed session duration for specific apps and services. This is now generally available. | Available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers, and Google Cloud Identity Free and Premium customers. | Learn more.

Mark Google Chat messages as unread
You can now mark a Google Chat direct message (DM) or Space as read or unread on mobile and on the web. | Learn more.

Integrate Google Chat with a 3rd-party archiving solution
You can now send an email archive of Google Chat messages to a 3rd party archiving solution. | Available to Google Workspace Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Fundamentals, Education Plus customers. | Learn more.

Easily add to Google Docs with the new universal @ menu
We’ve added a universal insertion menu to easily add things like tables and images, in addition to smart chips, directly in Google Docs. Simply type “@”, and you’ll see a list of recommended files, people, meetings, and different content elements and formats to insert into your work. | Learn more.

Classic Sites to new Google Sites migration reminder
Starting December 1, 2021: you will no longer be able to edit any remaining classic Google Sites in your domain. Starting January 1, 2022: classic Google Sites will no longer be viewable unless they are converted to new Google Sites. See full announcement for more information and milestones. | Learn more.

Add a page break before paragraphs in Google Docs
You can now mark a paragraph to always begin on a new page with the new “Add page break before” option in Google Docs. | Learn more.

Set aside time for focus in Google Calendar
We’re introducing a new Google Calendar entry type, Focus time, so you can block out and protect your time for heads-down individual work. | Available to Google Workspace Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Fundamentals, Education Teaching & Learning Upgrade, Education Standard, Education Plus, and Nonprofits customers. | Learn more.

Visual updates and improvements for the To, Cc, and Bcc fields in Gmail
When interacting with the “To”, “Cc”, and “Bcc” fields, some improvements you’ll notice are a new right-click menu to view a recipient’s full name, edit contact names, etc., avatar chips for recipients, and more. | Learn more.

Google Meet meeting hosts now have more control of participant's audio and video feeds for smoother, more productive meetings
Meeting hosts in Google Meet can now use Audio and Video Lock to turn off the microphones and/or cameras of other participants in the meeting and prevent them from turning them back on until you unlock them, in the main and breakout rooms. | Learn more.

For a recap of announcements in the past six months, check out What’s new in Google Workspace (recent releases).