G Suite Updates

This official feed from the Google Workspace team provides essential information about new features and improvements for Google Workspace customers.
  1. Quick launch summary 

    We’re expanding Google Voice support for several cloud-connected deskphone, pro-grade performance solutions from Poly: 
    • Poly Edge B-Series IP desk phones 
    • Obi 300/302 Analog Adapters for older, analog equipment such as analogue phones and fax machines 
    • Poly Trio 8300 conference phones 

    This expanded support allows Admins to integrate Google Voice with a wider variety of Poly equipment in their fleet. For more detailed information about Poly devices that support Google Voice, see this announcement.

    Getting started


    Rollout pace

    Support for Edge-B Desk Phones and Obi 300/302 Devices

    Note: Support for Trio 8300 devices will be available in the coming weeks. We will share more information on the Workspace Updates Blog at that time.

    Availability


    Resources

  2. Quick summary 

    Google Cloud Search customers can now use the Cloud Search Stats APIs to surface and track billable usage, such as: 
    • Billable indexed documents 
    • Billable queries 
    • Billable search applications 

    We hope that by making this information easily accessible to Admins, customers can keep track of their Cloud Search usage for more informed budget planning, cost management and forecasting. Visit the Help Center for more details on how overages are calculated. 


    Usage data is updated daily and is accrued for a given month. Additionally, you can specify a date range and view usage from previous months or within a specific time frame.


    Getting started

    • Admins and developers: This feature is ON by default and can be configured at the domain-level. For more information, refer to the stats resource documentation
    • End users: No end user impact.


    Rollout pace

    • This feature is available now for all users.

    Availability

    • Available to Google Cloud Search customers

    Resources


  3. Quick summary

    You can now add a text watermark to your documents in Google Docs. Additionally, when working with Microsoft Word documents, text watermarks will be preserved when importing or exporting your files.



    Text watermarks will repeat on every page on your document, making it useful for indicating file status, such as “Confidential” or “Draft” before sharing more broadly, no matter the application you use. In addition to text watermarks, you can insert an image watermark or images above or behind text.

    Getting started

    • Admins: There is no admin control for this feature.
    • End users: To get started, go to Insert > Watermark > Text. Visit the Help Center to learn more about adding watermarks in Docs.


    Rollout pace


    Availability

    • Available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers

    Resources


  4. What’s changing

    You can now use originality reports on Google Slides files, which were previously only available for Google Docs.

    Originality reports allow students and teachers to compare work against billions of web pages and books on the internet, making it easier to ensure academic integrity of the work. It can be used when submitting or receiving files within Google Classroom and Assignments.

    Who’s impacted

    End users



    Why it matters

    Students widely use slides to showcase academic work. By expanding the originality reports feature to run in Slides, students can ensure they’ve properly integrated external ideas into more of their work, while instructors can check for potential plagiarism in more assignments.


    Additional details

    Originality reports are available for all Google Workspace for Education users, but teachers will still need to turn on originality reports for individual assignments in Classroom.
     
    If you have a Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals account, you can turn on originality reports for 5 assignments per class. Unlimited originality reports are available for the Teaching and Learning upgrade or upgrade to Google Workspace for Education Plus
     
    Additionally, students can check their Slides file for originality before submitting it in Classroom. When the student file is ready and submitted, their teacher will receive an originality report for the student’s work.



    Getting started





    Rollout pace

    • This feature is now available for all Google Workspace for Education users

    Availability

    • Available for Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals, Education Standard, Teaching and Learning Upgrade, and Education Plus customers 
    • Not available to Google Workspace Essentials, Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Frontline, and Nonprofits, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers

    Resources


  5. Quick Summary

    At Google Cloud Next 2021, we announcedadditional protections to safeguard against abusive content. If a user opens a potentially suspicious or dangerous file in Google Drive, we will display a warning banner to help protect them and their organization from malware, phishing and ransomware. These warnings are already available when opening Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings. 


    Warning banner on a Doc

    Warning banner in Drive


    Getting started 

    Rollout pace 

    Availability 

    • Available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers 

    Resources 

  6. What’s changing 

    You now can add rich formatting to Chat messages, such as bold, italics, or underlines. Rich text can also be accessed using standard keyboard shortcuts. 

    Simply press the "A" icon in the chat compose bar to expand the formatting toolbar. 


    Activating rich text editing from the compose bar

    Activating rich text editing from the compose bar


    Rich text editing is open and applied


    Rich text editing is open and applied


    Who’s impacted 

    End users 

    Why you’d use it 

    Previously, Chat supported plain text or markdown characters only. With this update, users can easily format their text as needed directly in the compose bar. 

    Getting started 

    Rollout pace 

    Availability 

    • Available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers 

    Resources 

  7. Quick launch summary 

    Last year, we announced the ability to add page breaks before paragraphs on web. Now, this function is available on mobile. 

    You can mark a paragraph to always begin on a new page with the new “Add page break before” option in Google Docs. This is particularly useful if you want certain paragraph styles to always create a new page such as titles, subtitles, or headings. 



    Page break before paragraph on mobile

    Page break before paragraph on mobile


    This also means that you can import and export Microsoft Word and other third-party documents that have “Page break before” applied to paragraphs and Docs will retain that formatting. 

    Getting started 

    • Admins: There is no admin control for this feature. 
    • End users: This feature is available by default. Visit the Help Center to learn more about paragraph styles in Docs. 

    Rollout pace 

    Android 

    iOS 

    Availability 

    • Available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers 

    Resources 

  8. What’s changing

    In 2021, we pre-announced Companion mode in Google Meet, which is designed to seamlessly connect those in meeting rooms with their remote teammates, giving everyone access to interactive features and controls, while leveraging the best of in-room audio and video conferencing capabilities.

    Beginning today, you can use Companion mode on the web when joining a meeting using Google Meet hardware or the Nest Hub Max. Companion mode allows you to access interactive features and controls such as chat, screen sharing, hand raising, polls, host controls and more.

    Companion mode is designed to be similar to a full video call on web, so that you can navigate the interface faster while avoiding audio feedback.


    You can join a meeting using Companion mode from the green room before your meeting or by using g.co/companion. If you intend to immediately share content, you can simultaneously join the meeting and present with Companion mode by using g.co/present.



    Join Companion Mode by selecting “Use Companion mode” under Other joining options



    Use g.co/companion to join meetings on your calendar or by entering your meeting code. 



    Who’s impacted

    End users


    Why it’s important

    Hybrid meetings and classes are growing as some begin to return to office or school, while others remain remote. Companion mode fosters collaboration equity for all attendees regardless of where they’re joining a meeting from. Companion mode complements functionality on Google Meet hardware and Nest Hub Max by enabling attendees to:
    • See a presentation up close, 
    • Participate in chat,
    • Initiate polls or vote, 
    • Raise hands with their names associated, 
    • Use host controls,
    • Enable captions and translations in their preferred languages. 

    All Google Meet users can connect to meetings using Companion mode on the web. The availability of features, such as hand raising, depends on your Google Workspace edition. Visit the Help Center to learn more about Meet feature availability across Google Workspace editions.


    Additional details

    You’ll notice prompts on Meet hardware and Nest Hub Max devices for Companion mode when chat messages are sent or other interactive activities are initiated in a meeting.  



    The tiles of participants using Companion mode will be hidden from the video grid to maximize screen space for video feeds unless they raise their digital hand. Additionally, in the meeting roster, those using Companion mode will be identified as such. 




    Using Companion mode will count as an additional meeting participant and the overall meeting participant count. For example, if you join using a Meet hardware device and use Companion mode on your laptop, it is treated as two meeting participants.



    Companion mode users in the call are indicated in the participant roster.




    External meeting guests and meeting participants without Google accounts can use Companion mode and g.co/companion, but they’ll need to ask to join the meeting.


    Getting started

    • Admins: There is no admin control for this feature.
    • End users: 
      • This feature will be available by default. You can join a meeting on the web using Companion mode from the green room before your meeting.
      • Alternatively, use g.co/present to present directly from the web using Companion mode.
      • Note: Your audio and mic will automatically be muted—we recommend using meeting room hardware for audio and video to avoid feedback. Additionally, the chat panel will be open by default.
      • Use this Help Center article and video guide to learn more about using Companion mode in Google Meet.

    Rollout pace

    Companion Mode on web and g.co/companion

    Note: For Google Workspace Individual customers and users with personal Google accounts, there will be a gradual rollout (up to 15 days for feature visibility) starting on January 13, 2022.


    Activity notifications on Google Meet hardware and Nest Hub Max 

    Use this post in our community forum for more information on rollout progression and additional FAQs.

    Availability

    • Available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as the Teaching and Learning Upgrade, G Suite Basic and Business customers
    • Also available to Google Workspace Individual customers, as well as users with personal Google accounts

    Resources


  9. What’s changing 

    In 2021, we announced a beta for live translated captions in Google Meet. We’re now making live translated captions generally available for select Google Workspace editions. 

    Meeting participants can translate English meetings to: 
    • French 
    • German 
    • Portuguese 
    • Spanish 

    Translated captions are available on Google Meet on web and mobile devices. 


    Who’s impacted 

    End users 



    Why it’s important 

    Translated captions help make Google Meet video calls more inclusive and collaborative by removing language proficiency barriers. When meeting participants consume content in their preferred language, this helps equalize information sharing, learning, and collaboration and ensures your meetings are as effective as possible for everyone.

    This feature can be particularly helpful for all-hands meetings or training meetings with globally distributed teams. Additionally, translated captions can be impactful in education settings, allowing educators to connect and interact with students, parents, and community stakeholders with diverse backgrounds.


    Additional details 


    Beta availability 
    The live translated captions beta will remain open for the next several months. Therefore, if you are participating in the beta with a Google Workspace edition not listed as “Available to” above, your experience will remain the same. 



    Availability for meeting participants 
    Meeting participants will be able to use live translated captions if the meeting is organized by a user in beta or an eligible Google Workspace edition. 



    Getting started 

    • Admins: There is no admin control for this feature. 
    • End users: This feature will be available by default and can be enabled in Google Meet on the web by going to Settings > Captions > Translated captions or on mobile by going to Settings > Captions > Live Captions > Translation Language. Visit the Help Center to learn more about translated captions in Google Meet

    Rollout pace 


    Availability 

    • Available to meetings organized by Google Workspace Business Plus, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, the Teaching and Learning Upgrade, and Google Workspace for Education Plus customers. 
    • Not available to meetings organized by Google Workspace Essentials, Business Starter, Business Standard, Enterprise Essentials, Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals, Google Workspace for Education Standard, Frontline, and Nonprofits, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers 
    • Not available to Google Workspace Individual customers or users with personal Google Accounts 

    Resources 

  10. What’s changing 

    We’ve made several improvements to the issue detection engine which notifies admins about peripheral and connectivity issues in their Google Meet hardware fleet. These improvements will make alerts more reliable and cut down on noise and false signals.

    Furthermore, we’ve made a number of significant visual changes to the Google Meet hardware section of the Admin console in order to display more detailed information regarding device issues.  We expect these new features will allow admins to better troubleshoot issues in their fleets.  They include:

    • Issue history page
    • Device list quick-filters
    • Issue detail sidebar
    • New aggregated issue count columns

    See below for more information.


    Who’s impacted

    Admins



    Why it’s important

    We hope that by improving the accuracy and information associated with alerts and providing additional troubleshooting tools, Admins can resolve Google Meet hardware issues faster across their fleet.



    Additional details


    New issue history page
    To provide admins with more information and context about a device’s health over time, we’ve added a new Issue History page in the Admin console. Here, admins can see a visual timeline and table of issues for specific devices, which can be filtered further by a specific date or issue type.




    Improvements to the Google Meet hardware Devices section of the Admin console
    We’ve added new quick-filters at the top of the Device list page to help quickly filter your devices down to the most common views, such as offline devices, those approaching end-of-life, and more.



    You can also surface richer information about device issues in the sidebar by clicking an issue from the Device list or Device detail page. This information includes:

    • Description
    • Type
    • Detection time
    • Closed time
    • Duration
    • Related events
    • Troubleshooting recommendations


    Additionally, we’ve added two new columns to the Device list page: Device issues in last 28 days and Peripheral issues in last 28 days, which can help you isolate persistently problematic devices in your fleet. To add these columns to your current view, you can select the appropriate quick-filter or manually use the column management widget.


    Getting started

    • Admins: These updates will be automatically available. Visit the Help Center to learn more about turning on connectivity and peripherals alerts.
      • Note: As these updates roll out, there may be instances in which future resolution alerts for issues open longer than 30 days contain a different Alert ID than the ID originally included in the initial alert. We anticipate these occurrences to be rare, but Admins who have built custom task-tracking integrations based on these alerts should be aware of this in case they contain logic that relies upon the Alert ID. Newly created alerts going forward will not be affected.
    • End users: There is no end user impact or action required.

    Rollout pace


    Availability

    • Available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers with Google Meet hardware devices

    Resources