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Google Workspace Features Update: August 2021

Google Workspace Features Update Summary: August 2021

Google Workspace (formerly G Suite)

Features Update Summary - August 2021

 

The summary of essential information about new features and improvements for Google Workspace customers in August 2021.

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Product: Admin

Google Device Policy appending support for iOS 11 soon

Edition: All

Who’s impacted: Admins and end-users

The Google Device Policy app won’t support mobile devices running iOS version 11 or lower after August 2021. If your organization has advanced mobile device management (MDM) enabled, users must upgrade to iOS version 12 or higher to access new MDM features or to download the Device Policy app for the first time. Read more.


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Product: Admin

View more insights and take quick action on the Users, Domain, and Billing home cards in the Admin Console

Edition: All

Who’s impacted: Admins only

Recently, we’ve made several improvements to the Admin console, including a redesigned navigation experience and a streamlined experience for managing users and domains. Adding to these improvements, you’ll notice important statistics and quick links to help you easily take action on the Users, Billing, and Domain cards on the Admin console homepage. Read more.


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Product: Calendar

Share where you’re working from in Google Calendar

Set where you're working in your Calendar settings

Show your working location on your calendar

Edition: Available to Google Workspace Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Plus, and Nonprofits, as well as G Suite Business customers

Who’s impacted: Admins and end-users

Starting August 30, 2021, you’ll be able to indicate where you’re working from directly on your calendar. You can add a weekly working location routine and update your location as plans change. Starting August 16, Admins will be able to control how the feature is used in their organization. Read more.


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Product: Chat

Updated emoji experience in Google Chat

   

Edition: All

Who’s impacted: All end-users

It’s now easier to express yourself more authentically in Chat. We’re making the following updates to the emoji experience in Chat on web and mobile. Read more.


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Product: Chat

Limit external Google Chat to trusted domains

Edition: All

Who’s impacted: Admins only

Trusted domains for Chat allow you to limit external chat to only users in domains that you trust. Previously, you could only choose to allow external Chat or not. Now, you may choose to limit external chat to people in trusted domains for your entire organization or set different policies for different OUs. Read more.


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Product: Chat

Dark mode for Google Chat on web

Edition: All

Who’s impacted: All end-users

You can now enable dark mode for Google Chat on the web (chat.google.com). Dark mode creates a better viewing experience in low-light conditions by reducing brightness. Read more.


Drive_Product_Icon_24px@2

Product: Drive

Drive Directly Open Office Editing From Shared Links

               

Edition: All

Who’s impacted: All end-users

Now, when you create links to shared Microsoft Office files stored in Drive, they will open directly in Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides. Previously, Office files would open in a preview mode first — this streamlined experience allows you to begin editing and collaborating on these files faster. This change also updates the alternateLink and webViewLink fields for shared links in the Google Drive API. Read more.


Drive_Product_Icon_24px@2

Product: Drive

Backup and Sync users should begin transitioning to Drive for desktop

Edition: All

Who’s impacted: All end-users

Earlier this year, we announced that we were working towards unifying our two existing Google Drive sync clients – Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream – into a single sync client called Drive for desktop. By doing this, we’re creating a powerful and unified sync client with the best and most used features from both Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream. Read more.


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Product: Editors

Smart Compose now available in comments made in Google Slides, Sheets, and Drawings

Edition: Essentials, Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Frontline, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Fundamentals, Education Plus, Nonprofits, Cloud Identity Free, Cloud Identity Premium

Who’s impacted: Admins and end-users

Last year, we announced Smart Compose in Google Docs, a feature that helps you compose high-quality content faster and more easily. Smart Compose saves you time by cutting back on repetitive writing, helps reduce the chance of spelling and grammatical errors, and can suggest relevant contextual phrases. Now, Smart Compose is generally available in comments for Google Slides, Sheets, and Drawings. Read more.


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Product: Editors

Your progress is automatically saved as you respond to forms and quizzes

Edition: All

Who’s impacted: All end-users

When responding to a Google Form, Quiz, or Quiz assignment in Classroom while signed in to your Google account, your progress will automatically be saved as a draft for 30 days from your last edit, or until your submission is complete. Read more.


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Product: Editors

New ways to discover and navigate comments in Google Sheets

 
In highly collaborative spreadsheets, apply filters in the sidebar to find the most relevant feedback (for example, comment threads that need your
 

Edition: All

Who’s impacted: All end-users

This feature was announced on June 2, 2021, but experienced a significant delay in rollout. As of August 4, 2021, rollout has been completed and this feature is now available for all users. Read more.


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Product: Editors

Easily customize theme colors in Sheets and Slides

Edition: All

Who’s impacted: Admins and end-users

Now it’s easier to find and select theme colors in Sheets and Slides, the two Editors that support themes. To do this, go to any color picker dropdown and click the edit button for your Theme color palette. In the Theme color sidebar, select a color from the dropdown to begin editing. Read more.


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Product: Editors

Save time replying to comments in Google Docs with Smart Reply

Smart Reply can help saves you time replying to comments in Docs by suggesting relevant replies

 

Edition: All

Who’s impacted: All end-users

Smart Reply lets you increase collaboration and save time in Google Docs comments by suggesting contextually relevant replies. Smart Replies will appear below the reply box on comment threads in English. Read more.


groups

Product: Groups

Security groups are now generally available

Edition: All but not available to Google Workspace Essentials and Frontline customers

Who’s impacted: Admins and developers

In 2020, we launched security groups to beta. Beginning today, this feature is now generally available. Security groups help you easily regulate, audit, and monitor groups used for permission and access control purposes. Read more.


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Product: Meet

Use the new Google Meet web app for better meetings on desktop devices

Image showing Google Meet PWA in the app launcher screen
 
Google Meet PWA app (far right column, second down) in app launcher screen
 
Image showing Meet PWA app opened for a meeting
 
Meet PWA app opened for a meeting

Edition: All

Who’s impacted: Admins and end-users

We’ve launched a new Google Meet standalone app. This Progressive Web Application (PWA) has all the same features as Google Meet on the web, but as a standalone app it’s easier to find and use, and eliminates the need to switch between tabs. Read more.


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Product: Meet

Reminder: Google Meet support for IE11 ending August 17, 2021

Edition: All

Who’s impacted: Admins and end-users

Last year, Microsoft announced that they will stop supporting Internet Explorer 11 (IE 11), and as of March 15, 2021, Google Workspace officially stopped supporting IE11. Beginning August 17, 2021, you will no longer be able to use Google Meet on IE11. To avoid disruption, please switch to a different browser before that date. Read more.


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Product: Meet

Background noise reduction in Google Meet is now available to more users and turning on by default

Edition: All

Who’s impacted: All end-users

To help limit distractions in your video call, Google Meet can remove background noises such as typing, closing a door, or the sounds of a nearby construction site. Noise cancellation helps make calls more productive by reducing distractions that can divert attention away from the content of the meeting. Read more.


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Product: Meet

Add up to 25 co-hosts per meeting and expanded safety features for Google Meet

Edition: Ability to add co-hosts: Not available to Google Workspace Business Starter, Frontline, and Nonprofits, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers

Who’s impacted: Admins and end-users

We’re expanding meeting moderation controls in Google Meet with several highly requested features. You’ll now be able to:

  • Assign up to 25 co-hosts per meeting, allowing them to access and utilize the host controls.
  • Use safety features to limit who can share their screen, send chat messages, mute all users and end meetings
  • Use the “Quick access” setting to easily control who needs to request permission to join a meeting
  • Read more.

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Product: Meet

Helping users prevent echo in Google Meet

Users may see a notification alerting them when they’re causing an echo 

If you click on the notification, there’s troubleshooting steps you can take which might help reduce the echo 

Edition: All

Who’s impacted: All end-users

Now, we will notify you when we detect a notable echo from your system which may be heard by other call participants with a red dot on the more options button, along with a text notification. Clicking on the notification will go to our Help Center, where you can find recommended steps that can help prevent echo. Read more.


Workspace icon

Product: Task

Easily switch between lists in Google Tasks on mobile

Tasks Mobile displays multiple lists at the same time

Edition: All

Who’s impacted: All end-users

We have now updated the current Tasks Mobile user interface to display multiple lists at the same time in a tabbed UI. This update allows users to organize their tasks in multiple lists and allows for better management of tasks on mobile. Read more.


Workspace icon

Product: Voice

Upload customized audio prompts and greetings to Google Voice automated attendant

Gif showing an example of how to upload a recorded sales greeting audio file to Voice auto attendant
Example of how to upload a recorded sales greeting audio file to Auto Attendant
 

Edition: Available to all Google Workspace and G Suite customers with Google Voice standard and premier licenses

Who’s impacted: Admins only

You can now upload your own pre-recorded prompts and greetings when setting up an automated attendant at Google Voice, in addition to the standard text-to-speech voice ability you currently have. Read more.


Source: https://workspaceupdates.googleblog.com