U-M Google Updates

New features for Google Calendar appointment schedules


Google has added several new features to their appointment schedules experience in Calendar. These features include the ability to:

  • Add up to 20 calendar co-hosts to your appointment schedule. This allows you to host calendar appointments with others at U-M.
    • You cannot add MCommunity groups or external (non-UM) users as a co-host.
    • Co-hosts cannot view appointment schedule details or make changes. However, if the schedule was created on a shared calendar, the co-host will have access to view details or make changes.
    • Bookings will be visible on the host’s and co-hosts’ primary calendars.
    • Note: The new calendar “co-host” role does not apply to other services attached to the appointment events (like Zoom or Meet). “Co-host” in this context means another person who will be joining the appointment(s) with you.
  • Create appointment schedules on secondary calendars. Previously, you could only create appointment schedules on your primary calendar. Now, you can create the schedule and receive booked events on secondary calendars as well.
    • Everyone with permission to use the secondary calendar can make changes to the schedule and view all bookings.
    • The appointment schedule can check the secondary calendar for availability but cannot check the availability of all users with access to the secondary calendar.
  • Select “Check calendars for availability.” This allows you to select secondary calendars, which the appointment schedule will use to check your availability across each one.
    • Unchecking this setting means that even if there is a conflict on one of the calendars, users will still be able to book that time.
    • Co-hosts’ calendars are not automatically checked for availability. You can select your co-host's calendar in the "Check calendars for availability" section to have their availability considered (as long as you are subscribed to that calendar).
  • Allow delegates to manage your appointment schedules. Delegate access enables you to let someone else access your U-M Google account to send mail or manage calendar invitations and events on your behalf. Now, the delegates can also edit or delete your appointment schedules on your primary calendar.

Calendar option to Check calendars for availability (checked) with note "Bookable times won't be available during any events created or accepted on the following calendars" and a link to learn more. Also shows the new co-hosts section at the bottom of the image.

Learn more about creating Google Calendar appointment schedules, customizing your appointment availability, and the differences between appointment schedules and appointment slots.

According to Google, this feature began showing up in U-M Google on February 12, 2024 and could take 15 days or longer to become fully visible.

Visual updates to the Google sign-in page


According to Google, they will be making minor visual updates to the Google account sign-in page in the coming weeks. These changes will appear across all web browsers and mobile devices.

Important: This change does not affect the U-M Weblogin screen or the process for logging in to your U-M Google account. It is only a visual change to Google’s sign-in page.

Graphic comparing the current version of the Google sign-in page on the left side and an arrow pointing to the new version of the sign-in page on the right side.

Some of the visual changes will include:

  • A simplified Google logo (Capital “G” instead of the name “Google”).
  • The sign-in page adjusts to your screen’s size to better accommodate large and wide screens.

Visit the Google Help Center to learn more about the new Google sign-in page.

U-M Google December and January Monthly Summary



The redesigned navigation panel brings direct messages and spaces together and introduces shortcuts. “Home” displays new activity across all your conversations, and “Mentions” displays messages addressed to you.

Upon typing a math equation that ends with “=” into your document, presentation, spreadsheet comments, or drawing, solutions will appear as grey text suggestions. (You can turn off the Smart Compose feature by clicking Tools, selecting Preferences, and unchecking the “Show Smart Compose suggestions” box in Docs, Sheets, Slides, or Drawings.)

Muted conversations will not send push notifications, will not appear in Home, and will be visually deprioritized by moving them to the bottom of each conversation section. Notification badges will still apply to muted conversations when there are new “@” mentions for you or everyone in the conversation. Learn more about muting notifications in Chat.

When working in Docs, a replaceable “placeholder” chip for people, dates, files, events, and places can be inserted by typing @ and selecting Placeholder chip. Upon hovering or clicking on a placeholder chip, a search menu opens and includes results filtered to the chip type. Placeholder chips are only editable on the web but can be viewed on the web and mobile. Learn more about inserting smart chips in Docs.

Zoom in on Google Doc showing someone filling in content using the placeholder chips

There is a new option to share any file with all meeting participants on a Google Calendar invite via the sharing dialog within a file. As a file owner or editor (and a participant on the calendar event), click Share in the top right corner of a file, enter the calendar event name and select it, confirm the meeting attendees list is correct, select the users’ access level, and click Send.

If you’d like to link the file to the calendar invite, you can check the “Attach to calendar event” box before clicking Send. If you attach a file directly to a Calendar invite, a pop-up will appear asking if you'd like to share the file with the meeting attendees. Learn more about sharing in Google Drive.

  • Share a link to a specific time in a Google Drive video file

Google has added new functionality to the Drive sharing button that allows you to share timestamped links to specific parts of a video file. In Drive on the web, open a video file, go to the specific time you want to share, click Share, and click “Copy link to this time.” Learn more about copying a link to a specific time in the video.

  • New drop-down options on the sharing button in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings

In Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings, you can now use a drop-down on the Share button that shows you quick actions to take, such as pending access requests and the “Copy link” option, without the need to open the sharing dialog.

Languages include Armenian, Catalan, Filipino, Macedonian, Sundanese, Urdu, and more! Learn more about using closed captions in Meet.

Previously Communicated:

New Google Drive homepage view arriving January 11


Google has announced a new homepage view in Google Drive called “Home.” According to Google, this feature should begin showing up in U-M Google on January 11, 2024, and could take 15 days or longer to become fully visible. 

In the new view, you’ll notice:

  • Personalized suggestions: Google surfaces relevant files and folders based on your activity.
  • Improved filtering: Filter chips help you narrow down results by type, owner, and more.

Fullscreen view of the new Google Drive homepage called "Home"

Important: When you go to drive.google.com after the change, instead of landing on My Drive or Priority, you will now be directed to Home. If you would like to set your default landing page to My Drive, click “Change to My Drive” in the blue banner that will appear on Home. (You should also be able to find it in your Google Drive settings once rolled out.)

Gmail Basic HTML view is retiring in January


According to Google, they will be retiring Gmail Basic HTML view for desktop and mobile web browsers this month (January). The Basic HTML view is a previous version of Gmail that was replaced by the standard Gmail experience and does not include full feature functionality. 

Some users have continued to use Basic HTML view because of compatibility with assistive technologies, other accessibility needs or preferences, or lower bandwidth connections. These users will be most impacted by the change.

What to Expect

In the coming weeks, if you use the Basic HTML view, you should receive an announcement in Gmail with instructions on how to switch to the Standard Gmail view before the Basic HTML view is retired.

If you currently use Basic HTML view, once it is retired:

  • You will automatically be redirected to the Standard Gmail view in your browser(s).
    • On mobile, you can also download the official Gmail app (iOS / Android).
  • You may need to update your browser to the latest version and/or use a supported browser.

University of Michigan accessibility staff are working with Google to ensure that the Standard Gmail view meets accessibility standards, and Google is continuing to make updates. Google has published a guide for screen reader users switching from Basic HTML view to Standard view in Gmail.

U-M ITS staff also provide basic self-configuration documentation for users who need or prefer the Mozilla Thunderbird mail client for accessibility.