U-M Google Updates

Updated access controls for Google Meet

8/16/2023

Google has introduced simplified controls for managing meeting access in Google Meet. These replaced the previous “Quick access” meeting settings.

From a Google Calendar invite or Google Meet itself, meeting organizers can now pick from the following three levels of access:

  • Open
    • Anyone with a meeting link will be able to join your meetings.
    • No one will have to ask to join.
    • Anyone can dial in.
  • Trusted
    • The following individuals can join without having to ask to join (or, as Google calls it, “knocking”):
      • Anyone within the meeting host's organization (i.e., the University of Michigan, using their @umich.edu Google account).
      • Anyone outside the organization but invited via a Google Calendar event or anyone invited from within the meeting.
    • Anyone can dial in.
    • Everybody else will have to ask to join.
  • Restricted
    • Only someone who is invited via a Google Calendar event or someone invited from within the meeting by a host will be able to join.
    • Everyone else will have to ask to join, including participants inside a host’s organization (i.e., the University of Michigan) who aren’t included on the invite and those dialing in.
    • Additionally, meeting hosts can configure whether guests can join the meeting before the hosts.

Red box appears around the new Meeting access type settings in Google Meet

The table below provides information regarding how the new settings are applied to new and existing meetings:

New meetings Existing meetings with “Quick access” turned OFF Existing meetings with “Quick access” turned ON
All new meetings will be set to TRUSTED, and your guests will be able to join before you. Existing meetings will be set to RESTRICTED, and your guests won’t be able to join before you. Existing meetings will be set to TRUSTED, and your guests will be able to join before you.

According to Google, this update should be available and fully visible in U-M Google now.

U-M Google June & July Monthly Summary

8/9/2023

Updates:

You now have the option to set working locations in Calendar that indicate where you’re working for specific portions of the day. In addition, for those who have delegate access to someone’s Google Calendar, you can now edit the working locations for the entire day or for specific portions of the day for that calendar. Learn more about setting your working location and adding your working location for part of a day.

Google Calendar weekly view with a new Working Location event selected for 11am to 6pm

  • More options for email collection in Google Forms 

Previously, when creating or modifying a Google Form and editing the “Responses” section, form creators only had the option to toggle the "Collect email addresses" option on or off. If enabled, this meant when users filled out the form, their email was automatically collected with their form submission. You now have the ability to choose between the following email collection options:

  • Verified email collection (previously known as “automatic email collection”)
  • Responder input (previously known as “manual email collection”)
  • Do not collect

The verified collection option will now require a user to click a checkbox to confirm which email address is being collected upon submission. Learn more about viewing & managing form responses.

Google Form Settings tab displaying new options for email collection under Responses

Google has released a new feature in Sheets that allows you to pull out metadata associated with specific smart chips into its own cell while maintaining a connection with the chip from which it was extracted. You can keep your extractions up to date by navigating to the “Refresh & manage” section of the extraction sidebar to update your data and reflect the latest changes. You can also nest arrays of chip extractions to perform more complex analyses. Learn more about extracting data from smart chips in your Sheets.

Google Sheets spreadsheet with four cells of smart chips that the user selects and picks the data to extract from each

  • Convert email addresses and links into smart chips in Google Sheets

You now have the option to insert a link and press the TAB key to convert the link into a smart chip in Sheets. Learn more about inserting smart chips in your Google Sheets.

  • Add emojis in Google Sheets

You can now insert emojis into a Sheet in each of the following ways:

  • Typing “@” in a cell, selecting Emoji, and picking your desired emoji.
  • Clicking Insert, selecting Emoji, and picking your desired emoji.
  • Updated location for alt text option in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings

Currently, you can add alternative (alt) text to images in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings by right-clicking an image and selecting Alt text. You can now also access it from the “Image options” sidebar.

There is now a spam folder within Google Drive to place unwanted files that are shared with you containing spam or abusive content. (You will notice the new spam folder in Drive on the web, mobile devices, and Drive for desktop.) When an unsolicited file is moved to the spam folder, you will be unsubscribed, preventing all comment, sharing, and mobile push notifications for the file. Once unsubscribed, you will not be able to find the file anywhere in Drive outside of your spam folder. 

Similar to how the spam folder works in Gmail, automatic classifiers will redirect files that Drive strongly suspects to be unwanted to the spam folder. You will also be able to manually move Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites, and Forms files in and out of the spam folder. Note that you can’t report files that you or other U-M Google accounts own.

After a file has resided within the spam folder for over 30 days, it will be permanently removed from Drive. If a file has been incorrectly marked as spam, you can remove it by opening the spam folder in Drive, selecting the file, and clicking Not spam at the top of the page. Learn more about the spam folder in Google Drive.

Google has updated the table positioning options for documents set in pages format (not pageless) in Docs. This update allows you to: 

  • Drag tables in a document and place them directly where you want
  • Wrap content around a table on a page. (The wrap direction and margin from the surrounding text can be specified)
  • Set a fixed position for a table on a page 
  • Provide quick layouts to move a table to a preset position on a page

Additionally, Google has improved the import/export of Microsoft Word documents with tables so your documents remain consistent. Learn more about adding and editing tables in Docs.

Google Doc with the Table properties sidebar open, the user selects a quick layout option and then manually moves the table around the document

Currently, when someone requests access to a file, the approvers receive an email with the option to share the file or decline the request. With this update, you can now review and respond to requests from within the file itself. Approvers will see a notification dot on the “Share” button (in the top right corner) if they have a pending access request and a new banner at the top of the sharing dialog box.

Approvers can continue to respond to access requests through the existing emails that are sent when someone requests access to files. If the “Notify” checkbox is selected when an approver responds to a request, the person who requested access will receive an email with the request’s status.

  • Additional language support for closed captioning in Google Meet

Google has expanded support for closed captioning in Meet to include the following languages: 

French Canadian (web only, support for mobile coming soon) 

  • Indonesian 
  • Polish 
  • Romanian 
  • Thai 
  • Turkish 
  • Vietnamese

Learn more about using captions in Meet.

You can now select “Everyone is a viewer” when creating your Google Calendar invite for a Meet session. Viewers are defined as meeting attendees who cannot share their audio or video in the meeting. (When creating/editing a meeting in Calendar, you can configure viewers by clicking the gear icon (Video call options) and selecting Guests.)

You can also designate attendees who are leading, presenting, or moderating a meeting as co-hosts and contributors. Hosts can transition viewers to contributors as needed while the meeting is occurring. Currently, viewers can’t use in-meeting chat or emoji reactions, however, according to Google, support for these features is coming in the future. Learn more about assigning viewers in Meet.

Previously, the admitting dialog was disrupting access to other meeting features in Google Meet. Because the dialog box takes up so much screen space, some people felt pressure to quickly accept or deny join requests in order to dismiss the notification window. For a better experience, Google has moved join requests to the People panel. Here, you can take your time reviewing join requests without disrupting the overall meeting experience, and without blocking functionality of other meeting features. Learn more about adding/removing attendees from a Meet session.

Example of two Google Meet views, the one on the left shows the new join request notification and the right one show the People panel and new options to admit or deny entrance

When using the Meet picture-in-picture window in Google Chrome, you can now: 

  • Raise your hand 
  • Use in-meeting chat 
  • Turn captions on and off 
  • Resize the picture-in-picture view 
  • Access flexible layouts 

Previously, you could only turn your camera or microphone on/off or leave the meeting from the picture-in-picture window. Learn more about using picture-in-picture mode with Meet.

  • Quick access to features during meetings in Google Meet

Now, when you hover the mouse on top of your own video feed in Meet, you can access video effects such as immersive backgrounds or filters. You can also turn off the video feed from other participants using the quick action on their video. Learn more about changing your background or applying visual effects in Meet.

  • Smart Compose in Google Chat

Google has added their Smart Compose feature to Google Chat. You can turn off this feature by going to Gmail > clicking the gear icon > selecting See more settings > Chat and Meet > Manage chat settings > unchecking the “Enable predictive suggestions as you compose a message on web and desktop” box under Smart Compose > Done. Learn more about using Smart Compose in Chat.

  • Read receipts for group conversations in Google Chat

You can now quickly identify if other members of a group conversation have read your latest message with read receipts. Read receipts will only be shown in group conversations of 20 people or less and will not be shown in Chat spaces.

  • Add up to 50,000 members to spaces in Google Chat

Google has increased the number of individuals you can add to a Chat space from 8,000 to 50,000. Learn more about Chat participant limits.

Google has added quick reactions in Chat, which displays your most frequently used emojis upon hovering over a message. You'll also see options to open the full emoji picker, reply in a thread, quote in reply, and more. To use quick reactions, hover over (web) or long press (mobile) on a message.

Previously Communicated:

Reminder: Google Currents will retire on July 5, 2023

Introducing Time Insights in Google Calendar

8/7/2023

Starting tomorrow, August 8, 2023, the Time Insights feature for Google Calendar will begin rolling out to U-M Google accounts. Time Insights helps you understand how you're spending your time across meetings and with specific individuals. Learn more about using Time Insights in Calendar.

Google Calendar week view with the Time Insights sidebar open on the right side, showing the time breakdown by color code

With Time Insights, you can view your:

  • Time breakdown: Displaying how your overall time is distributed throughout the week/month. This is based on your working hours and the types of meetings you have.
  • Time spent in meetings: Highlighting meeting-heavy days and time frames, as well as meeting frequencies.
  • Time spent with specific users you meet with: Showing who you spend the most time meeting with. You can also pin specific users to your insights. Hovering over an individual will also highlight the meetings on your calendar that include that person.

Note: If you manage other people’s calendars and have the “Make changes and manage sharing” permission on them, you can view their Time Insights, as well.

The Time Insights feature is only available for Google Calendar on the web. You can’t access Time Insights data from your mobile device.

The feature is turned on by default. Although you can’t turn off this feature in your settings, you can close the right-hand Time Insights bar to remove it from your Calendar view.

Final Reminder: Google Currents will retire on July 5, 2023

6/28/2023

As a final reminder, Google will be retiring Google Currents on July 5, 2023. In an effort to consolidate the services they offer for collaboration, Google intends for individuals to transition from using Currents to Google Chat spaces. Learn more about using spaces in Chat. Alternatively, you can also investigate other services which offer similar experiences, such as U-M Slack.

If you would like to keep an archive of your Currents data, you should export it using Google Takeout as soon as possible. Refer to Export your data from Google Currents for more information on what data will export and Download your Currents data for instructions on how to export it. After July 5, all data from Google Currents will be purged from Google’s systems, and the service will be shut down.

U-M Google May Monthly Summary

6/8/2023

Updates:

  • Use alternative (ALT) text for visual content on Google Sites

Google Sites editors can now add or edit ALT text on inserted images and background images. When you insert an image, click the three-dots icon or drop-down menu on the image and select Alt text to add it. Learn more about making your site more accessible.

Google has released improvements to the “location picker” for Google Drive on the web. The location picker is the dialog box that appears when you are moving your files or folders in Drive. The updates include a new visual experience and suggestions when moving files and folders or adding shortcuts to items in Drive. Specifically, you’ll notice: 

  • New “Suggested,” “Starred,” and “All locations” tabs. Upon navigating into a folder location, the tabs are replaced by a back button and the name of the location.
  • Details for the selected folder paths, an option to create a new folder, and an image notification if you’re moving something into an empty folder.
  • Suggested locations and the option to reject the suggestion, which immediately removes it from the list.
  • Streamlined navigation that adds an inline Move button to complete the action of moving a file in one click. 
  • A label if a folder is “view-only” and explanations for why you might face an error when moving a file, such as not being the owner of a file.

In Google Drive, user clicks a file, selects Move to, and uses the new location picker to select a location in Drive.

You can now add multiple smart chips to one cell in a Sheet and create a smart chip from a YouTube link. Learn more about inserting smart chips in your Sheets.

  • Replace images quicker in Google Slides with new drag-and-drop feature

There is a new ability to drag and drop an image from anywhere on your computer to replace an image in Slides. Previously, you could only replace an image by using the “Replace image” tool within the Slides interface. Learn more about inserting or deleting images and videos in Slides.

  • Add emoji reactions to existing comments in Google Docs

You now have the ability to add emoji reactions to existing comments in Docs. (This doesn’t work for suggestions with comments.) Learn more about using comments, action items, and emoji reactions in Docs.

User selects a comment on a Google Doc and adds an emoji reaction.

Chat statuses will include additional information, such as: 

  • How much longer someone is in a meeting or focus time
  • If someone has an upcoming meeting within the next 10 minutes 
  • If someone has an upcoming out-of-office event within the next business day

The Chat status will automatically disappear once you send a message to someone, or you can manually dismiss it. However, if their status changes, an updated status will reappear. Additionally, you can see the current working location and local time zone set by your colleagues when sending a new message to them in Chat.

Google has introduced a feature that allows you to quote a previous message when sending a reply in a Chat direct message, group message, or space (if configured with in-line threading). This feature is available for Google Chat on the web and mobile devices. Learn more about quoting a message in your reply

You can now expand and collapse header sections within Google Docs. Editors of a document will have the ability to set the default state of headers to expanded or collapsed for all collaborators. Collaborators with view or comment access can expand and collapse content when they have the document open, but it only affects their view.

In a Google Doc, a user clicks the carrot arrows next to each header to collapse the text under it.

You can now create Chat spaces where only Space Managers can post. Upon creating a space, go to Advanced settings and select Only Space managers can post. You cannot modify the setting to restrict posting to Space Managers in an existing space, only new spaces. Learn more about creating an announcement space.

If you've set your physical or virtual working location in Calendar, there will be a default join method for your RSVP in Gmail. 

Google has added search chips in Drive that enable you to filter by criteria like file type, owner, and last modified date without having to use the search bar. Filtering by these criteria helps you narrow down and find relevant files faster in any view throughout Drive.

 File type, People, and Last modified

Previously Communicated:

Google Currents will retire on July 5, 2023