U-M Google Updates

Coming soon: Visual changes to email compose fields in Gmail


Google has announced several improvements in Gmail to help you compose email more efficiently. When interacting with the “To,” “Cc,” and “Bcc” fields, key changes include: 

  • New right-click menu to view a recipient's contact information
  • Recipient profile pictures

Address fields in Gmail Compose box shows profile pictures with the names of the recipients

  • Better indicators when emailing an external recipient
    • External recipients you’ve interacted with before will be highlighted in yellow. 
    • External recipients you’ve not interacted with before will be highlighted along with an external icon and warning banner.

Two Gmail Compose boxes side by side, both have a recipient highlighted in yellow and the right image has a yellow warning box at the bottom

  • New indicators when adding a duplicate recipient
    • Duplicate recipients will be grayed out with a checkmark to indicate they have already been included in the email.
    • Gmail will automatically remove duplicate entries within the same field when dragging and dropping between the To, Cc, and Bcc fields.

Gmail Compose box shows a duplicate user grayed out in the recipient drop-down selection

  • Improved email formatting validation
    • To prevent errors, Gmail will validate that email addresses are entered in the correct format (e.g., username@domain.com) and will prevent any incorrect formats from becoming a recipient.
    • If you add an incorrectly formatted email address in the address fields, you’ll see an error message prompting you to fix the error before sending.
    • Validation is only performed on email address formatting and does not check the accuracy of the email address itself.

Note: These updates may impact some Chrome extensions using the current Gmail Compose interface.

According to Google, these improvements should begin showing up in U-M Google sometime between July 7 and the end of September 2022 but could take longer to become fully visible to everyone.

U-M Google May Monthly Summary


The monthly U-M Google summaries inform the university community of new Google releases and previously communicated updates.


You can now join a Google Meet call from Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. In addition to the "present to Meet" option, you can select “Join the call” to quickly join and present a document, spreadsheet, or presentation to all meeting attendees. Learn more about using Google Meet with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

User joins a Google Meet session from their Google Doc

You can now import a custom theme from one new Google Site to another. In a new Site, navigate to Themes > Custom > Import theme. Learn more about changing how your new site looks.

User importing an existing custom theme into their Google Site

When using the new appointment scheduling feature in Google Calendar, you can now opt to have individuals verify their email before booking an appointment with you. When enabled, the individual must be signed in to a Google account or, if they’re not signed in to a Google account, validate their email address using a PIN code to complete the booking.

This setting is off by default and is “sticky.” This means that if you turn it on or off, the setting will be saved for any new appointment scheduling series. Learn more about appointment scheduling and requiring email verification for appointments

In Google Drive, you can now use app:”Google Meet” in your search query to easily find Meet content such as meeting recordings and chat transcripts.

Google Drive search results for Meet content

Similar to Google’s updates to the Google Sheets menus earlier this year, you’ll now notice they have updated the menus in Google Docs to make it easier to locate the most commonly-used features.

You can now set the end options for recurring tasks directly in Google Tasks. Previously, you could only set the end option for a recurring task by opening the task in Google Calendar.

  • New idle status in Google Chat 

In Google Chat on the web and in Gmail, you'll now see an orange clock icon for users that were recently active in Chat but aren't currently active. Learn more about availability statuses in Google Chat.

In Google Chat, you may now encounter banners warning against potential phishing and malware messages from individuals with external (non-UM) Google accounts. These warning banners are already available in Gmail and Google Drive and help protect you against malicious users.

Google Chat messages with the new red warning banners

In Google Chat, you can now create personal tasks from individual or group messages. These tasks will then be viewable by you in Google Tasks, the quick-access side panel, and Google Calendar (if the task has a set date). Once you’ve created a personal task, you can add a due date and description, then quickly navigate back to the conversation. Learn more about adding or editing a task. (Currently, this feature is only available for Chat on the web and Android devices. The feature will come to iOS devices in the coming months.)

Previously Communicated:

None for the month of May!

New "Space Manager" role in Google Chat


Google recently introduced a new “Space Manager” role in Google Chat to give you greater control over the management of your Chat spaces. Space creators will be Space Managers by default and can assign this role to additional members in the space, too. Space Managers will appear with a green diamond (Green diamond) next to their name in the chat and member list of the space.

The members list for a Google Chat space that shows the green diamond denoting who is a Space Manager

As a Space Manager, you can: 

  • Add and remove space members
  • Assign or remove Space Managers
  • Delete a space
  • Delete messages
  • Edit the space description and guidelines

Visit the Google Chat Help Center to learn more about Space Managers and their abilities in Google Chat.

New table templates and drop-downs in Google Docs


Google has introduced new drop-downs and table templates in Google Docs. Drop-downs allow you to indicate the status of items in your document. There are two default drop-down options: Project Status and Review Status. In addition to the Google-made defaults, you also have the ability to create new drop-downs with custom options and colors. To insert a drop-down, click Insert and select Dropdown from the menu bar, or type “@dropdown” anywhere in the document.

User types @dropdown, selects dropdown from the menu, and makes changes to the new dropdown. The user also creates a custom dropdown and options

The four table templates made by Google allow you to quickly insert building blocks for common workflows, like review trackers and product roadmaps. Also, if the templates don’t exactly fit your needs, you can customize the headers, columns, and more after inserting one into your document. To insert a table template, click Insert > Table > Table templates from the menu bar, or type “@” anywhere in the document and find them under “Building Blocks.”

User types the at symbol in Google Docs and selects a table template from the dropdown list under Building Blocks. The user also click the Insert menu from the menu bar and selects a table template to begin editing

This feature is now available in U-M Google.

U-M Google April Monthly Summary


The monthly U-M Google summaries inform the university community of new Google releases and previously communicated updates.


You can now add emoji reactions to content in Google Docs. This feature will be on by default and cannot be turned off. To access emoji reactions in Docs, hover over any highlighted content or line of text (similar to how you would add a comment) and click the Add emoji reaction icon (smiley face). Additionally, emoji preferences are shared with Google Chat, so any preferences set in one app will be reflected in the other. Learn more about using emoji reactions in Google Docs.

Google has made two improvements to Google Meet: 

  • Prompts to exit meetings when you’re the only person in a meeting - if you don’t answer the prompt within two minutes, the meeting will end. 
  • A centralized location for host management controls.
  • Smart Reply in Google Slides

Google’s Smart Reply feature has come to Google Slides. Smart Reply provides you with response suggestions below the reply box on comment threads in English.

  • Japanese grammar suggestions for Gmail

You'll now see grammar suggestions as you type in Japanese in Gmail.

You can now specify which Google Chat and Gmail contacts you still want notifications from when your iOS device is in Focus mode. Learn more about turning Google Chat notifications on or off for iOS

Google will now suggest formula corrections in Google Sheets. Whenever you insert a formula that Sheets detects may need improvement, a suggestion box will appear with details on a new version that can replace the current formula, including the ability to accept or reject it.

Animated GIF of cursor typing a formula in a cell in Google Sheets and Google suggesting a formula edit.

This feature is on by default and can be turned off by going to Tools > Enable formula corrections or from the three-dot menu of the suggestion dialog box. Learn more about using formulas and functions in Google Sheets

Meeting organizers of Google Meet sessions created in Google Calendar can now: 

  • Turn meeting safety features on or off, such as chat lock, present lock, and more before the meeting. 
  • Designate co-hosts before the meeting.

To configure host control and co-host options when scheduling a meeting in Google Calendar, click Add video conferencing > Google Meet > Video call options (gear icon) > Host controls or Co-hosts

When using Google Chat on iOS, you’ll soon be able to take additional actions, such as sharing a Google Meet link or accessing Google Drive, by hovering over the plus (“+”) icon next to the compose bar.

Previously Communicated: