U-M Google September Monthly Summary

October 12, 2020

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


Earlier this year, Google announced shortcuts in Google Drive. Now, they have announced three updates to shortcuts:

  • Expanding use of shortcuts: Removing some specific actions which still created multiple locations for files. 
  • A migration update: Finalizing the migration of existing files in multiple locations to shortcuts will begin in 2021. (No action required.)
  • Improving file management and reducing “unorganized” files: Ensuring files that have their last location removed are now placed in the owner’s My Drive folder.
  • Quickly add a contact into a Gmail message on Android

You can now automatically add a contact (i.e., recipient) to the “To” line of an email by typing "+" or “@” in the body of the email and then choosing the contact's/recipient’s name from the list that appears within Gmail on Android. (This feature was previously only available on the web.)

You can now see when your Google Chat direct messages have been seen. This will only apply in active chat windows for one-on-one conversations on Android, iOS, and the web. In these messages, you'll see the avatar of the person you're chatting with to the right of the last message they've seen. Read receipts won’t be visible in group messages or rooms.

You can now edit and collaborate on Microsoft Office files in Google Drive on Android. (This feature was previously only available on the web.) For more information, see Google’s Work with Office files using Office editing.

Google will now adjust line spacing in Google Docs based on the font used. Previously, line spacing was based only on the font size and line spacing you chose. This update will only apply to new documents created, existing documents will not be affected.

Google is updating the user interface (UI) of the Google Meet mobile apps for Android and iOS. The new mobile UI will have the same look and feel as that of the Meet in Gmail feature. In addition to the revamped design, you’ll now see a New Meeting button. When you tap the button, you’ll see three options:

Google has announced Sheets Smart Cleanup, which are two features that help to prepare and analyze data in Google Sheets: 

  • Cleanup suggestions: This helps ensure your data is accurate by identifying and suggesting fixes for common data errors. To use, in Sheets, go to Data > Cleanup suggestions.
  • Column stats: This provides automated insights about the values within a column, so you can identify outliers and quickly see what your data looks like. To use, in Sheets, go to Data > Column stats.

See Google’s Use Sheets Smart Cleanup to prepare your data for analysis for more information. 

You can now use Dark theme with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides on iOS devices. Dark theme is already available for Android users. See Google’s Use Dark theme in Google Docs, Sheets & Slides for more information.

Previously Communicated: