Recent Google Workspace updates
A fresh new look and new features for Google Calendar
Featured launch: Meet the new Google Calendar
A fresh new look and new features for Google Calendar for web
Google are taking a lot of what you know and love from Calendar’s mobile application, like the modern color palette and sleek design, and bringing it to the web with a responsive layout that auto-adjusts to your screen size. Google also added more features for enterprises to help teams schedule and prepare for meetings. What’s new: Check your schedule. A fresh look and new features are coming to Google Calendar on the web to help you manage your time more efficiently and get more done.
Over the years, users have shared valuable feedback on how we can enhance Calendar to better fit your needs. Now, it’s even easier to manage your schedule at your desk. In the new Calendar for web, you can:
- See conference room details when booking a room. Google Workspace admins can now enter detailed information about their organization’s meeting rooms—so employees know where a conference room is located, how large it is, and whether it has audio/video equipment or is wheelchair accessible. Employees can simply hover over the room name in Calendar when they want to book a space, and a hovercard will pop up with details about the conference location and resources.
- Add rich formatting and hyperlinks to your Calendar invites. Link to relevant spreadsheets, documents or presentations in your Calendar invite and open them directly from the new “Event Detail” view. This can help you create more detailed agendas and ensure all materials are in one place before your meeting starts.
- Manage multiple calendars side by side in “Day” view. Now you can view and manage calendars in separate columns. This makes it easier for employees who manage multiple calendars, like administrative assistants, to schedule meetings on behalf of their teams. Click “Day” view and select the calendars you want to compare.
There are a number of other changes in Calendar, too. Now you can see contact information of meeting participants when you hover over their names in a Calendar invite. There’s also a new way to view and restore deleted items in one place in case you accidentally delete a meeting invite. Additionally, "Day,” "Week,” and "Month" views are now more accessible, featuring better compatibility with screen readers. For more detail on changes, check out this post.
Additional information for Google Workspace admins
To help you and your users transition to the new Calendar web UI, Google Workspace are offering two rollout options to choose from (see the Help Center for more information):
- Automatic—Automatic is the default option. Starting Nov. 14, 2017, for Rapid Release domains and Nov. 28, 2017, for Scheduled Release domains, we will gradually transition your users to the new UI. The transition will take about 8 weeks (including opt-in and opt-out stages). No action is required on your part for the Automatic option.
- Manual—Alternatively, you can choose to manually control when to move your users to the new UI in the Google Admin console. For example, though Googlehave worked with the developers of the most popular Calendar Chrome extensions to prepare for the new UI, you might have users who depend on an extension that hasn’t been updated yet. Or you might like to check out the new UI in your test domain or organizational unit (OU).
To choose the Manual option, go to Apps > Google Workspace > Calendar > New Calendar. Here, you can set by organizational unit when you’d like your users to access the new version of the Calendar UI. If you choose the Manual rollout option, please plan to transition all your users to the new UI before Feb. 28, 2018. Any users who are still accessing the old Calendar UI on Feb. 28, 2018, will be transitioned to the new UI, with no ability to opt out.
We recommend sharing this guide, as well as the resources below, with your users to help them understand the new layout changes.
For more information on how to add structured data to your rooms and resources, check out the Help Center. Note that this feature will work with both the classic Calendar UI and the new Calendar UI.
New Calendar UI
- Help Center: New Calendar UI transition guide for users
- Google Workspace Learning Center: Calendar
- Google Workspace Learning Center: Getting started with Calendar
Structured room and resource data
Dial into a Hangouts Meet video call with an international phone number
What’s new: Since its launch earlier this year, one of the core principles of Hangouts Meet has been to facilitate meetings that are as fast and seamless to join as possible. Whether it’s in a conference room, on desktop, or on mobile—Hangouts Meet is one great user experience focused on making meetings easy and productive.
Sometimes when users are on the go, like on a business trip or out in the field, there’s no data connection to join a video meeting. That’s why we provide our Google Workspace Enterprise customers with a dedicated dial-in phone number for every Meet, allowing for a rich audio-only experience and enabling them to participate.
With this launch, Google have added dial-in phone numbers to additional markets, so your team can stay connected, wherever they are. Easy to find, this localized phone number will appear both on the calendar listing and in the Meet app. On mobile, the number will even update based on your location (and if you’re in a market not yet supported, it will change to the next best alternative).
Markets include the following countries (with more to come!):
- Australia (AU)
- Brazil (BR)
- Canada (CA)
- Denmark (DK)
- France (FR)
- Germany (DE)
- Italy (IT)
- Netherlands (NL)
- New Zealand (NZ)
- Poland (PL)
- South Africa (ZA)
- Spain (ES)
- Sweden (SE)
- United Kingdom (GB)
- United States (US)
Please note that localized phone numbers will only appear in newly created meetings.
For more information on dialing into a Hangouts Meet from a phone, see this Help Center article.
Introducing Hangouts Meet hardware
What’s new: Google Workspace, we’re focused on building tools that help you bring great ideas to life. Google know meetings are the main entry point for teams to share and shape ideas into action. That’s why Google recently introduced Hangouts Meet, an evolution of Google Hangouts designed specifically for the workplace, and Jamboard, a way to bring creative brainstorming directly into meetings.
Combined with Calendar and Drive, these tools extend collaboration beyond four walls and transform how we work—so every team member has a voice, no matter location.
But the transformative power of video meetings is wasted if it’s not affordable and accessible to all organizations. So with this launch, Google introduced Hangouts Meet hardware—a new way to bring high-quality video meetings to businesses of any size.
Introducing Hangouts Meet hardware
Hangouts Meet hardware is a cost-effective way to bring high-quality video meetings to your business. The hardware kit consists of four components: a touchscreen controller, speakermic, 4K-sensor Ultra HD camera and ASUS Chromebox.
The new controller provides a modern, intuitive touchscreen interface that allows people to easily join scheduled events from Calendar or view meeting details with a single tap. You can pin and mute team members, as well as control the camera, making managing meetings easy. You can also add participants with the dial-a-phone feature and present from a laptop via HDMI. If you’re a Google Workspace Enterprise edition customer, you can record the meeting to Drive (more on this below).
Designed by Google, the Hangouts Meet speakermic actively eliminates echo and background noise to provide crisp, clear audio. Up to five speakermics can be daisy-chained together with a single wire, providing coverage for larger rooms without tabletop clutter.
The 4K sensor Ultra HD camera with 120° field of view easily captures everyone at the table, even in small spaces that some cameras find challenging. Each camera component is fine-tuned to make meetings more personal and distraction-free. Built with machine learning, the camera can intelligently detect participants and automatically crop and zoom to frame them.
Powered by ChromeOS, the ASUS Chromebox makes deploying and managing Hangouts Meet hardware easier than ever. The Chromebox can automatically push updates to other components in the hardware kit, making it easier for large organizations to ensure security and reliability. Remote device monitoring and management make it easy for IT administrators to stay in control, too.
Says Bradley Rhodes, IT Analyst End User Computing at Woolworths Ltd Australia, “We are very excited about the new Hangouts Meet hardware, particularly the easy-to-use touchscreen. The enhancements greatly improve the user experience and simplify our meeting rooms. We have also seen it create new ways for our team to collaborate, like via the touch-to-record functionality which allows absent participants to catch up more effectively.”
The hardware kit is priced at $1999 US and we can sorce this for you if interested.
Whether you're collaborating in Jamboard, recording meetings and referencing discussions in Drive or scheduling your next team huddle in Calendar, Hangouts Meet hardware makes it even easier to bring the power of your favorite Google Workspace tools into team meetings.
For more information, please contact us.
Record a Hangouts Meet meeting and save it to Google Drive
Any participant in the same domain as the organizer can start and stop a recording from web or Hangouts Meet hardware (and Chromebox for Meetings), and all participants are notified that the meeting is being recorded.What’s new: Whether for trainings, important announcements, or syncing with your team, meetings have many purposes. Sometimes not every teammate can attend, or there is a need to share or reference notes from meetings after they have ended. To simplify this process, Hangouts Meet video meetings for Google Workspace Enterprise edition can now be recorded and saved to the cloud, making them easy to share, view, and even play in sped-up mode.
Recordings are saved to a “Meet Recordings” folder in the Drive of the meeting owner and the recording is automatically attached to the Calendar event and shared with all invited guests in the same domain.
Google Workspace Enterprise edition admins can control whose meetings can be recorded at the organizational unit (OU) level. Within the Admin console, navigate to Apps > Google Workspace > Settings for Google Hangouts and select “Meet Settings.” Please note, this setting is on by default for all OUs. The setting is disabled for OUs that don’t have Drive enabled.
New features in Google’s Contacts app on Android
What’s new: We released version 2.2 of the Google Contacts app on Android. This release contains several changes to the look and management of your contacts. Read on for more information.
Changes to the Contact view
- Large photos are back: A popular request from Google Workspace users, we’ll now display a larger, more vibrant contact photo.
- Action buttons under the photo make it easier to connect: Under the contact’s name, you’ll now see new buttons to call, text, video chat or email that contact. Additionally, if there’s at least one street address in the contact’s info, a Directions button will appear.
- Directory card shows directory profile information: In this card, you’ll see things like the contact’s job title, work phone number, manager name, and office location.
Changes to Suggestions
- Suggested contacts to add: New in this release, you’ll see suggestions to add contacts you frequently communicate with across Google’s products. These appear under the “Add people you contact often” summary card.
- Merge all duplicates: The duplicates suggestion view now has a “MERGE ALL” button which allows you to accept all duplicates suggestions at once.
Customized “Contacts” view
Lastly, you can now customize the “Contacts” list view to show just the labels you want. This is accessed via a new menu item in the main list screen called “Customize view.” This feature was available in previous releases for the “All contacts” list view, but it has now been made available for individual accounts as well.
Google hope these changes make managing your contacts simpler and more efficient.
For more information on using Google Contacts, please visit the Help Center.
Do more from your inbox with Gmail Add-ons
What’s new: For many of us, email is mission control—the prompt to generate an invoice, prepare a presentation or follow up on a sales opportunity. With so many to-dos, imagine if you could complete these tasks directly from your inbox without interrupting your workflow.
Google believe email can do more, which is why Google launched Gmail Add-ons, a new way to work with your favorite business apps directly in Gmail.
Gmail Add-ons, built for your workflows
Rather than toggling between your inbox and other apps, use add-ons to complete actions right from Gmail. With Gmail Add-ons, your inbox can contextually surface your go-to app based on messages you receive to help you get things done faster. And because add-ons work the same across web and Android, you only need to install them once to access them on all of your devices. Click the settings wheel on the top right of your inbox and then “Get add-ons” to get started.
Google made Gmail Add-ons available in developer preview earlier this year, and since then, Google partners have built integrations to help businesses connect with customers, track projects, facilitate invoicing and more. Here’s a list of partners that have built Gmail Add-ons you can install today:
- Asana: Turn communication with clients, customers and teammates into tasks that can be tracked with your team in Asana, all from your inbox.
- Dialpad: Message or call colleagues on your device, any time. Automatically view recent communications or save a new contact straight from Gmail.
- DocuSign (coming soon): Sign and execute contracts, agreements and other documents directly in Gmail using the DocuSign add-on.
- Hire: Add candidates, manage candidate information and upload resumes without leaving Gmail. You can access full job applications from the Hire add-on.
- Intuit QuickBooks Invoicing: Create and send professional invoices directly in Gmail. Let customers pay you online and track invoice status and payments no matter where you are.
- ProsperWorks: Easily access prospect or customer data, and log activities from calls, demos and meetings. You can also scan related opportunities, tasks and events.
- RingCentral: See the online/offline status of RingCentral contacts, review recent call history, make outbound calls (requires RingCentral for Mobile) and view and send SMS messages.
- Smartsheet: Add email content and desired attachments directly to Smartsheet without leaving Gmail.
- Streak: Add email threads to deals, view enriched contact info and quickly respond with snippets directly from Gmail with the Streak add-on.
- Trello: Turn email into actionable tasks in Trello to give your team a shared perspective on the work that needs to be done.
- Wrike: Create Wrike tasks from emails, view and update task details, and send and receive Wrike task comments.
If you're a developer, you can also easily create add-ons for your app or your organization—write your add-on code once and it will run natively in Gmail on web and Android right away. Learn more.
Try Gmail Add-ons
Knock out action items the minute they hit your inbox. Google Workspace and Gmail users can check out the Google Workspace Marketplace to find and install Gmail Add-ons.
Additional info for Google Workspace admins
Google Workspace admins can manage Gmail Add-ons the same way they do other Google Workspace Marketplace apps.* For instance, they can turn off certain Gmail Add-ons, allow their users to install specific Gmail Add-ons only, or disable access to all Google Workspace Marketplace apps, including Gmail Add-ons. In addition, Google Workspace admins can set OAuth whitelisting controls, which Gmail Add-ons will respect.
For more information, check out the Help Center.
*At the moment, Gmail Add-ons don't support domain-wide installation. As a result, Google Workspace admins can't install Gmail add-ons for their own accounts. This is a known issue and should be resolved soon.
Simple to use
Expanded page hierarchy in the new Google Sites
What’s new: Google know that many of your sites require a deep page hierarchy. That’s why Google made it possible to nest five levels of pages in the new Google Sites, up from the two levels previously allowed. To nest a page within a page, simply drag and drop it into your desired location from the Pages menu on the righthand side of your screen—or use one of several new shortcuts.
For more information, check out the Help Center: Add, order, nest, & delete pages in Sites
Google Drive reporting will show activity-based metrics in the Admin console
What’s new: As a Google Workspace admin, it’s important that you have a clear, reliable understanding of the actions taking place within your domain. With this launch, Google are making changes to reporting in the Admin console to better reflect the Google Drive activity happening in your domain. First, Google are shifting the definition of the metrics shown to reflect the change in file activity, such as “Google Documents added,” instead of absolute counts, such as total “Google Documents owned.” This change affects any dashboard or metric in the Admin console that reports on Drive files.
Google are also adding sharing visibility metrics to Admin console reporting. File sharing reports will now highlight which files have been shared outside of your domain vs. internally.
These metrics were introduced earlier this year, but were only available through the Admin SDK Reports API; they’re now available from within the Admin console. This new presentation of metrics provides the most reliable and recent information available, directly in the Admin console.
Find more information on the changes to individual reports in the Help Center.
Easily choose the Google Workspace edition that best meets your needs
What’s new: In January 2017, Google announced the availability of Google Workspace Enterprise, designed to meet the unique needs of large companies as well as give businesses of all sizes a significant advantage in security and management.
With that launch, we introduced:
- More powerful access control for administrators with security key enforcement
- More data control with Data Loss Prevention (DLP) for Google Drive, DLP for Gmail, and S/MIME for Gmail
- More analytics and insights by connecting BigQuery with Gmail
With Google Workspace Enterprise edition, along with our Basic and Business offerings, businesses have more flexibility to choose the Google Workspace solution that best meets their needs.
With this launch, we made it easier for all Google Workspace customers who purchased Google Workspace online to evaluate and quickly switch between Google Workspace editions. Details on the various features included with each edition can be reviewed at //gsuite.google.com/compare-editions/. Online customers can then upgrade―or downgrade―their existing Google Workspace subscription with just a few clicks.
- Customers who purchased their Google Workspace subscription via a reseller can contact their reseller (Onsite Helper) for more details on switching between Google Workspace editions.
User undeletion window increased to 20 days
What’s new: A top ask from Google Workspace admins, Google now increasing the window of time to restore a deleted user from five to 20 days. This extended window can be especially helpful for customers who manage user accounts through an API or other automated sync tools.
Please note, only those with super admin permissions can restore a deleted user’s account.
For the steps on how to restore a user in the Admin console, check out this Help Center article.
Making Google prompt the primary choice for 2-Step Verification
What’s new: In July, Google began inviting users to try Google prompt as their 2-Step Verification (2SV) method, instead of SMS text messages. Google prompt is an easier and more secure method of authenticating an account, and it respects mobile policies enforced on employee devices.
With that in mind, we’re now making Google prompt the first choice when users turn on 2SV (previously, SMS was the primary choice). Once 2SV is enabled, users will still have the option to set up SMS, the Google Authenticator app, or backup codes as their alternative second step.
This will only impact users who have not yet set up 2SV. Current 2SV users' settings will be unaffected. In addition, if a user attempts to set up 2SV but doesn’t have a compatible mobile device, he or she will be prompted to use SMS as their authentication method instead.
Users can set up 2SV from their My Account page.
A few things to note:
- A data connection is required to use Google prompt.
- Users with iOS devices will need to install the Google app in order to use Google prompt.
- Google Workspace Enterprise domains can choose to enforce Security Keys to meet more advanced security requirements. (At this time, however, Google Prompt won’t work on accounts with Security Keys.)
Check out the Help Center to learn how to sign in faster with 2-Step Verification phone prompts
Ten third-party applications added to the Google Workspace pre-integrated SSO apps catalog
What’s new: With Single-Sign-On (SSO), users can access all of their enterprise cloud applications—including the Admin console for admins—after signing in just one time. Google supports the two most popular enterprise SSO standards, OpenID Connect and SAML, and there are more than 800 applications with pre-integrated SSO support in our third-party apps catalog already.
Google are now adding SAML integration for ten additional applications: Aha!, Atlassian Cloud, Datadog, Desk, Github Business, HackerOne, Mavenlink, Mixpanel, SpringerLink, and Springerlink Test.
You can find our full list of pre-integrated applications, as well as instructions for installing them, in the Help Center.
Note that apart from the pre-integrated SAML applications, Google Workspace also supports installing “Custom SAML Applications,” which means that admins can install any third-party application that supports SAML. The advantage of a pre-integrated app is that the installation is much easier. You can learn more about installing Custom SAML Applications in this Help Center article.
Check out the Help Center to learn more about using SAML to set up federated SSO
Manage system apps on company-owned Android devices
What’s new: System apps are those apps that come preinstalled on Android devices, like Clock and Calculator. Many of these apps can’t be uninstalled and aren’t available in the Play Store for management. Google want to give Google Workspace admins greater control over these system apps, so we introduced settings in the Admin console to:
- enable all system apps,
- disable all system apps,
- enable select system apps, or
- disable select system apps.
These settings will only apply to system apps on company-owned Android devices (i.e. Android devices in Device Owner mode). At launch, by default, all system apps will be enabled.
For more details on how to use these features, check out the Help Center.
IMPORTANT: These settings launched in the Admin console on October 31st, but they will not take effect for end users and devices until November 14th. If you’d prefer to disable some or all system apps, we recommend doing so before the settings take effect.