Tag Archives: apps

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).

Google Meet meeting hosts now have more control of participant’s audio and video feeds for smoother, more productive meetings

What’s changing 

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. Earlier this year, we announced the ability for meeting hosts to mute everyone all at once in Google Meet on desktops/laptop devices. The new Audio and Video lock makes this feature more useful by enabling hosts to prevent participants from unmuting themselves after they are muted. 


Host control screen

Host control screen

Who’s impacted 

End users 

Why it’s important 

This feature gives meeting hosts more control over their meetings by letting them decide when they want to allow different levels of participation from attendees, for example to address disruptive participants.

Additional details 

Participants using versions of the Android and iOS apps that do not support audio and video locks will be removed from the meeting if the host or co-host turns on either of the locks. If they attempt to join a meeting that has either of these locks enabled they will be prompted to update their app or use another device to join the meeting. Turning off audio or video locks will allow these participants to rejoin the meeting. 

The minimum supported versions are: 

Android: 

  • Android OS version M or newer 

iOS

  • iOS version 12 or newer 

Meet or Gmail app: 

  • The most updated version 

Audio or video locks, as well as chat and present locks, set by the host in the main meeting will also apply to subsequently launched breakout rooms. Once a breakout room is launched, any changes made to a lock setting in an individual room will not affect the settings of other breakout rooms or the main meeting.

Getting started 

  • Admins: There is no admin setting for this feature. Visit the Help Center to learn more about Google Meet security & privacy for admins 
  • End users: This feature will be OFF by default. Hosts can turn it on during meetings. Host Management needs to be enabled to use these features. 

Rollout pace 

  • Rapid Release domains: / Gradual rollout (up to 15 days for feature visibility) / October 21, 2021 
  • Scheduled Release domains: Gradual rollout (up to 15 days for feature visibility) starting on November 1, 2021 

Availability 

  • Available to all Google Workspace customers, and G Suite Basic and Business customers 

Resources 

Visual updates and improvements for the To, Cc, and Bcc fields in Gmail

What’s changing 

We’re making several improvements in Gmail to help users compose email more efficiently and confidently. When interacting with the “To”, “Cc”, and “Bcc” fields, some improvements you’ll notice are: 
  • A new right-click menu to easily view a recipient's full name and email, edit contact names, copy email addresses, open a recipient's information card
  • Avatar chips for recipients 
  • Better indicators when adding a user outside your organization and contacts 
  • Visual indicators when you’ve already added a user as a recipient, and more 

Additionally, these updates may impact some Chrome extensions. See the “Additional details” section below for more information. 


Who’s impacted 

Admins, developers, and end users
 

Why it’s important 

We hope these improvements will help users connect with their colleagues and stakeholders quickly and with confidence. The improvements will mean you can more easily: 
  • View a recipients entire email address, and edit if needed
  • Copy an email address 
  • Access a user’s information card. Note that information cards can also be accessed by hovering over recipient chips, or selecting and using the keyboard shortcut Alt/Option + → 

See below for more details and information. 


Additional details 


New options to control what contact name is displayed to email recipients 
Additionally, you can use this menu to change how a recipient's name is displayed. For example, if you have a contact saved as “Sales Manager”, you can change what contact name will be displayed to others receiving the email. Note: this will not change the saved name in Contacts, only how the name appears to others included in the email. 

You can now change how a recipient's name is displayed in an email.



Visual indicators when composing emails 
We’ve added better visual indicators to help guide users when composing emails. Each recipient will now have an avatar chip, which is helpful for identifying who’s been added to the email. 

Avatar chips will be displayed for each recipient.



Highlighting external recipients 
We’ve also made it more obvious when users outside of your enterprise have been added to your recipient list: 
  • External contacts that you’ve interacted with before will be highlighted in a deep, yellow color. 
  • External contacts that you have not interacted with before will also be highlighted along with an out of organization avatar and warning banner. 
Improved visual indicators for recipients outside of your enterprise



Changing display for domains within your organization 
Additionally, different domain names within the same organization will no longer be marked as “external”. For example: users from @google.com will not appear as out of organization if added to an email from an @youtube.com user. This will help eliminate unnecessary warnings and confusions for users communicating across different brands under the same umbrellas or during the process of one company acquiring another. 


Improved interface for duplicate recipients 
We’ve also added a checkmark to better indicate a recipient who has already been included on the email. Also, when hovering over or scrolling through contacts within the dropdown menu, you’ll notice a grey tone to better indicate where your mouse or keyboard is. Additionally, Gmail will automatically remove duplicate entries within the same fields, when dragging and dropping between the To, Cc, and Bcc fields. 

If you've already included a recipient on the email, you'll see a checkmark indicator.  



Improving email and formatting validation 
To prevent errors, Gmail will now validate email addresses as they are typed, and will prevent any strings from becoming recipient chips that are not formatted correctly. Previously, users had to double click to correct an error. Further, if you do maintain an invalid email address in the address bars, you’ll see an error message prompting you to fix the error before sending. 


Impact to Chrome extensions using the current compose interface 
This update changes the underlying structure of the addressing fields in Gmail Compose. Therefore, admins that maintain Chrome extensions that depend on the current Gmail UI, around recipient search, selection or authoring, should check their integrations against the updated UI. Be sure to change your release track on a test account to Rapid release to get access to the new UI so that you can test your integration before it is made more broadly available (see below). 


Getting started 

  • Admins: There is no admin control for this feature. If your organization maintains Chrome extensions that depend on the current Gmail UI for recipient search, selection or authoring, check your integrations against the updated UI. 

  • Developers: Developers that maintain Chrome extensions that depend on the current Gmail UI, around recipient search, selection or authoring, should check their integrations against the updated UI. 

  • End users: There is no end user setting for this feature. Visit the Help Center to learn more about sending an email in Gmail

Rollout pace 

  • Rapid Release Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on October 20, 2021. 
  • Scheduled Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) beginning no earlier than November 8, 2021.

We anticipate rollout to be complete by the end of year, and will complete rollout to Rapid Release domains at least two weeks before beginning rollout to Scheduled Release domains. We will provide updates here when rollout for Rapid and Scheduled release domains is complete.

Availability 

  • Available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers 

Resources 

Set aside time for focus in Google Calendar



What’s changing

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. Similar to the Out of office event type, focus time has a different appearance on your calendar and includes the option to automatically decline conflicting events.

Focus timer is now an entry type in Calendar
Create a Focus time entry in Calendar

An example of what a Focus time entry will look like on Calendar, with a headphones icon
Focus time appears with a headphones icon on your calendar

Who’s impacted

End users

Why it’s important

With the changes to our working environments in the past year, having more chats and meetings make it more difficult for people to carve out time for their core individual work. With the new focus time feature, we hope to make it easier to create dedicated time for thinking and core work.

Additional details

You can choose to assign a new color to have your focus time have a different visibility from your events and other meetings.

Additionally, your scheduled focus time will also be tracked in your Time Insights.

Getting started

  • Admins: There is no admin control for this feature.
  • End users: This feature will be ON by default. Visit the Help Center to learn more about using focus time.

Rollout pace


Availability

  • 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
  • Not available to Google Workspace Essentials, Business Starter, Enterprise Essentials, and Frontline and as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers

Resources

Add a page break before paragraphs in Google Docs

Quick launch summary

You can now mark a paragraph to always begin on a new page with the new “Add page break before” option in Google Docs. This is particularly useful if you want certain paragraph styles to always create a new page such as titles, subtitles, or headings.

Add the new "Add page break before" paragraph style in Docs


This also means that you can import and export Microsoft Word and other third-party documents that have “Page break before” applied to paragraphs and Docs will retain that formatting.

Getting started

  • Admins: There is no admin control for this feature.
  • End users: You can add this formatting style by going to Format > Line & paragraph spacing in the Docs menu bar and clicking “Add page break before.” Visit the Help Center to learn more about paragraph styles in Docs.

Rollout pace

Availability

  • Available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers

Resources

Reminder: Editing in classic Google Sites will no longer be available starting December 1, 2021 and classic Sites will no longer be viewable beginning January 1, 2021

What’s changing 

As previously announced, we are replacing classic Google Sites with new Google Sites. To avoid disruption, please make sure all of your existing classic Sites are migrated by December 31, 2021


We’d like to remind you that: 
  • 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. Any remaining classic Sites will automatically be: 
    • Downloaded as an archive and saved to the website owner’s Google Drive. 
    • Replaced with a draft in the new Google Sites for site owners to review and publish. 

See below for more information.


Who’s impacted

Admins and end users 


Why it’s important

To ensure your organization’s classic Sites content continues to be viewable without interruption, make sure all your existing classic Sites are migrated by December 31, 2021. If you haven’t already done so, enable new Sites creation for your organization.


We anticipate the transition process for all remaining classic Sites that starts on January 1, 2022 will take up to three months to complete. Admins will receive an email notification once this is completed for their domain. During the transition period, you and your users will still be able to migrate remaining classic Sites that have not already been auto-migrated.


If you don’t take any action, the changes outlined in the transition timeline above will automatically be applied to your domain. Use our Help Center to learn more about the transition from classic Sites to new Sites.

Additional details

Some sites may not be automatically replaced with a draft in new Google Sites due to page count limits or other factors. Please see this Help Center article for more information and to determine if your site is impacted and action is needed before December 31, 2021.


Getting started

  • Admins: 
    • Use the Classic Sites Manager to help your users make the transition. Using this console, admins can: 
      • View all classic Sites in your domain with the option to export to Google Sites for project management. 
      • Convert, archive, restore, or delete your websites, individually or in bulk. 
      • Bulk update ownership of sites.

Easily add to Google Docs with the new universal @ menu

What’s changing 

As part of our mission to build the future of work, smart canvas enables new ways to collaborate in Google Workspace. This includes smart chips, which enable you to add interactive building blocks to connect people, content, and events into one seamless experience. 

Now, 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, as well as different content elements and formats to insert into your work. You can also search all available components. 

Typing @ to add to Google Docs

Who’s impacted 

End users 

Why it matters 

A quick and simple way to add rich elements to your content, the universal @ menu makes it easy to preview and read relevant documents, find associated meetings and stakeholders, add tables and images, and more, directly from Google Docs. 

Getting started 

  • Admins: There is no admin control for this feature. 
  • End users: There is no end user setting for this feature. Visit the Help Center to learn more about adding items with the @ menu 

Rollout pace 

Availability 

  • Available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers 

Resources 

Integrate Google Chat with a 3rd-party archiving solution

What’s changing 

You can now send an email archive of Google Chat messages to a 3rd party archiving solution. 

For users that have archiving of Chat messages enabled, the 3rd party archiving solution will be able to receive email archives containing 1:1 conversations and conversations in rooms and groups. Content within the Chat message is also archived, such as reactions, Drive links, and file attachments. 

Who’s impacted

Admins and developers

Why it’s important

If you’re required to archive Chat messages for compliance purposes, or are already using a 3rd party archiving solution, you’ll now be able to integrate Google Chat with these 3rd-party partners. 

Getting started 

Turning on third party archiving setting



End users: 

  • There is no end user setting for this feature. 

Rollout pace 

  • This feature is available now for all users.

Availability 

  • Available to Google Workspace Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Fundamentals, Education Plus customers 
  • Not available to Google Workspace Essentials, Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Frontline, and Nonprofits, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers 

Resources 

Mark Google Chat messages as unread

Quick launch summary

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

Mark as unread using the message actions menu
Mark as unread in message actions





Mark as unread using the conversation options in Chat
Mark as unread in conversation options

Mark as unread in Chat using the conversation list
Mark as unread in conversation list


Marking a message as unread can help remind you to return to it later in Chat. In 1:1 and group DMs, you can mark a thread as unread starting from a particular message. To do this, you have to hover over the message and click the mark as unread icon.

When you hover over a message in Chat, you'll see the mark as unread icon
Hover over a message to find the mark as unread icon


You can also clear the badges on rooms with unread messages by marking them as read.

Getting started

  • Admins: There is no admin control for this feature.
  • End users: There is no end user setting for this feature. Visit the Help Center to learn more about marking as unread in Chat.

Rollout pace

Availability

  • Available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers

Resources

Roadmap

  • This feature was listed as an upcoming release.

Control session length for Google Cloud Console and gcloud CLI now generally available

Quick Summary 

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. After the session expires, users will need to re-enter their login credentials to continue to access: 

Giving admins more control over how often users need to re-authenticate makes it more difficult for the wrong people to obtain that data if they gain unauthorized access to a device. 

Visit the Help Center for more information about mobile apps and third-party identity providers.

Getting started

  • Admins: This feature will be OFF by default and can be enabled at the OU level. You can find session length controls at Admin console > Security > Google session control. Visit the Help Center to learn more about how to set session length for Google Cloud services
  • End users: If a session ends, users will simply need to log in to their account again using the familiar Google login flow. 

Rollout pace


Availability

  • Available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers, and Google Cloud Identity Free and Premium customers