U-M Google Updates

U-M Google July Monthly Summary


The monthly U-M Google Summaries inform the university community of Google releases. We communicate important information throughout the month.


Settings for Docs, Sheets, and Slides will adjust automatically when the Android system is set to use “Dark theme”. You can also turn dark mode on or off for Docs, Sheets, or Slides independently within each app: Menu > Settings > Theme > Dark.

When using an iPad, you are now able to multitask with Gmail and other iOS applications. To turn on Multitasking on your iPad, go to the Settings app > Home Screen & Dock > Multitasking > select “Allow Multiple Apps”.

There is a new option to print your Google Calendar in full color, so you can keep track of different event types. Using the new “View” option, you can also print one day or one week per sheet. With this updated print layout, you can fit up to 24 hours of events per day. Finally, events 25 minutes and shorter are displayed at the true height of the event duration and show location when space is available.

Google has added additional editable event fields into the pop-up dialog when creating an event in Google Calendar, allowing you to add all the necessary information from one window, without having to click “More options”. These include:

  • Guest permissions: Grant guests permission to see the guest list, invite others or edit an event.
  • Attachments: Add attachments directly alongside the event’s description.
  • Calendar preview: Choose an event color, customize notifications, set free/busy, and change an event’s visibility.
  • “Find a time”: Overlay potential guests’ calendars to help you pick the best time for everyone.

Screenshot of new dialog box when creating a Google Calendar event.

​Google has added new features to help you customize chart text and numbers in Google Sheets. These include: 

  • Click on almost any chart text element and update both its content and style, such as individual data labels and legend items.
  • Set advanced number formatting options on both your data labels and axis labels, including the option to conditionally format by color.
  • Use a contextual sidebar editing experience to format individual data labels, legend items, and single data points.


Google has added the Trash feature to Google Contacts. Now, when you delete a contact, it will go into Trash, where it will stay for 30 days before being permanently deleted. In that time, you can view, restore, or permanently delete the contact. Trash will contain contacts deleted on any device, but you can only view and manage Trash on the web.

Previously Communicated:

ACTION NEEDED: Update your G Suite desktop/mobile apps before August 12


As a result of changes to Google’s API and service infrastructure in 2018, some older versions of G Suite desktop and mobile apps may stop working on August 12, 2020. In particular, versions released prior to December 2018 may be impacted. These apps must be updated to ensure the highest level of performance and security.

To ensure your workflows are not disrupted, you should update the following Google apps to the latest versions as soon as possible:

According to Google, you will need to update your G Suite desktop and mobile apps by August 12, 2020, to ensure they continue working. Google’s changes could take 3 days or longer to begin to affect U-M Google. If you have already recently updated your applications, then there is no action needed on your end.

Google Meet in Gmail on mobile


Google has begun to roll out Google Meet in Gmail on mobile devices. You can now start a new meeting, join a meeting by entering the meeting code, or join upcoming meetings scheduled in Google Calendar without leaving the Gmail app.

Screenshot of the new Meet tab in the Gmail mobile app.

Additional changes include:

  • When you click on a Meet link from your Android or iOS device, you’ll be redirected to the Gmail app to join the meeting, instead of the Google Meet app.

Note: If you click on a meeting link from within the Meet app, you will still stay in Meet and not be redirected to the Gmail app.

  • The look and feel of the Meet app has been updated to create a more intuitive experience.

If you would like to hide the Meet tab inside of the Gmail app on iOS and Android devices:

  1. In the Gmail app, tap the menu icon ().
  2. Scroll down the side menu and tap Settings.
  3. Scroll to the “Meet” section and tap “Show the Meet tab for video calling” to deselect.

Note: If you have multiple accounts associated with your Gmail app, you will need to tap your UMICH account to change the setting.

For more information, see Start or join a video call from Gmail on Android and iOS.

According to Google, this feature began rolling out in U-M Google on July 13, 2020 (iOS) and July 20, 2020 (Android) and could take 15 days or longer to become fully visible.

Two Google Calendar interface updates


Google has released two updates to the Google Calendar interface that should make editing and viewing your calendar events easier to manage and understand.

Better visualize shorter meetings

Calendar events that are fewer than 25 minutes long will now better reflect the duration of the event by occupying less space in your daily view. Previously, these shorter events occupied the same space as 30-minute events.

This update can be disabled in your Calendar settings (gear icon). Under View options, check the “Display shorter events the same size as 30 minute events” box to change.

Screenshot of a Google Calendar daily view, showing the new 15 minute slot size compared to 30 and 60 minutes

Edit events directly from Gmail and Docs

Calendar events are now editable from the right-side panel in Gmail and Google Docs, without having to go to the full Calendar page in your browser. You can even use the “Find a Time” option to see others’ calendar availability when scheduling events. Visit the G Suite Help Center to learn more about using Calendar from the side panel.

Screenshot with cursors point at the new "Find a Time" button in both Gmail and Google Docs

These changes began showing up in U-M Google on July 21, 2020 (shorter meetings) and July 24, 2020 (edit events in Gmail/Docs), but it may take 15 days or longer to become fully visible to everyone in the domain.

Google Chat for Gmail is now available!


Starting today, Google Chat has replaced classic Google Hangouts in Gmail and is now the default option for direct (one-to-one) messages, small group messages, and team-based room discussions within Gmail. 

For several years, classic Google Hangouts had been a part of Google at U-M and integrated with Google Mail. Google Chat is an updated, team-based experience and better integrates with G Suite. Refresh your browser to get started using Google Chat in Gmail. Visit the U-M Google Chat FAQ for answers to commonly asked questions.

ITS strongly recommends the use of Google Chat rooms for team-based work. Group messages are still available for smaller, private conversations. (You will need to recreate any group messages you may have used in classic Hangouts.)

How does this affect me?

What about communicating with people outside of U-M?

  • Google Chat group messages and rooms will not send messages to people outside of U-M who are still using classic Hangouts. 
  • Google Chat rooms can include people from outside the university. But, if they are not already using Google Chat they will not be able to see the message in classic Hangouts and will need to open Chat through chat.google.com. Additionally, they will not be able to see room messages in classic Hangouts. 
  • Group messages created in classic Hangouts with people outside of U-M need to continue in classic Hangouts.
  • Learn more about communicating with people outside the university on Chat.

What about calling and video conferences?

  • Phone calls can continue to be made in classic Hangouts. Phone calls cannot be made from Google Chat.
  • Google Meet is now the default video conferencing option in Google Chat. Video calls made in classic Hangouts are converted to a Google Meet session, sending the Chat user a link to the meeting. 

Additional resources: