G Suite Updates

This official feed from the G Suite team provides essential information about new features and improvements for G Suite customers.
  1. What’s changing 

    We’re opening a public beta so G Suite, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Cloud Identity admins can set a fixed session duration for specific apps and services. After the session expires, users will need to re-enter their login credentials to continue to access:
    Settings can be customized for specific organizational units.

    Note that this is designed to work on the web. However, the settings will apply to authentication on all platforms, including the web and mobile apps where they exist. As a result, affected mobile apps may not work properly when the feature is enabled.

    Who’s impacted 

    Admins only

    Why you’d use it 

    Many apps and services include sensitive data, and it’s important that only specific users can access that information. By requiring re-authentication, you can make it more difficult for the wrong people to obtain that data if they gain unauthorized access to a device.

    How to get started 

    • Admins:Find session length controls at Admin console > Security > Google Cloud session control (Beta). See our Help Center to learn more about how to set session length for Google Cloud services
    • End users:If a session ends, users will simply need to log in to their account again using the familiar Google login flow. 

    Additional details 

    Third-party SAML identity providers and session length controls 
    If your organization uses a third-party SAML-based identity provider, the cloud sessions will expire, but the user may be transparently reauthenticated (i.e. without actually being asked to present their credentials) if their session with the IdP is valid at that time. This is working as intended, as Google will redirect the user to the IdP and accept a valid assertion from the IdP. To ensure that the user is rechallenged for authentication, be sure to match the session timeout at the IdP with the session length you’d like to enforce.

    Provides fixed-time controls (not activity-based) 
    Note that the new session control is a fixed time limit—it does not look for session activity, or ‘idle time’. At this time, Google Cloud and G Suite do not support activity-based session expiry.

    Re-authentication options 
    When choosing a session length, admins will be able to choose:
    • Between a range of predefined session lengths, or set a custom session length. 
    • Whether users need regular login credentials (password and, if configured, 2-Step Verification), or require a security key to re-authenticate. 


    Helpful links 

    Help Center: Beta: Set session length for Google Cloud services 

    Availability 

    Rollout details 


    Editions 
    Available to all G Suite and Cloud Identity editions

    On/off by default? 
    This feature will be OFF by default and can be enabled at the OU level.

    Stay up to date with G Suite launches
  2. What’s changing 

    On September 16, 2019, we’ll begin gradually rolling out a new Android management system called “Android Management API.” Apps managed through the new system will also use a new on-device management client, Android Device Policy, which will replace the existing Google Apps Device Policy client.

    While the new client has mostly similar features, there are some differences in management and usage that will impact G Suite admins and end users. The changes will make it easier for admins and users to set up and manage Android devices for work.

    You will receive an email notification before it impacts your domain 
    The rollout will be conducted in stages, and could take several months to reach all domains. We will email your organization’s primary admin around 3 weeks before it will reach your domain with more specific dates for deployment.

    See below for more details about the changes.

    Who’s impacted 

    Admins and end users

    Why you’d use it 

    The new client will have closer ties to the Android infrastructure, allowing us to quickly add new features and more easily develop updates for increased security. It will also provide a more seamless experience for end users, with fewer apps to manage and more integrated functionality.

    How to get started 


    • Admins: Familiarize yourself with the changes outlined in this post, including the additional details section below. Let your users know about the changes they can expect. 
    • End users: No action needed. 


    Additional details 

    Devices that will use the new Android management client 
    Once this change has been deployed to your domain, newly registered devices that meet the following requirements will be automatically managed using the Android Management API:

    • The device is using Android M or above. 
    • The device supports a work profile and company-owned (fully managed) device mode. 
    • The user account is under advanced mobile device management. 

    This will not impact previously enrolled devices; they will still be managed through the legacy Android management client.

    How managing devices is different with the new client 
    In the Admin console, most of the functionality will remain the same. All devices will be displayed and managed through the same interface at Admin console > Device management.

    There will be some changes, however, for devices managed through the new client.

    The following features will not be supported:
    • Device admin mode
    • Option to disable Work Profile setup (If you don’t want to use Work Profiles in your organization, you can instruct your users to set up devices without enabling the feature) 
    • Wipe Account for company-owned devices or devices in fully managed device (device owner) mode (Wipe Device will still be available) 


    The following new features will be available:


    The following features will change:
    • If you manually choose to Wipe Device, you’ll have a new option to either retain the factory reset protection settings or clear them along with the complete wipe. 
    • The Auto account wipe setting will perform Wipe Device for devices in fully managed device (device owner) mode. In addition to being applied when devices fall out of sync, Auto account wipe will be triggered when devices fall out of some policies (for instance, when a more restrictive passcode policy has been enforced by the admin). In both cases, the user will be given a grace period and notifications to correct the issue prior to the wipe taking place. 
    • Device management rules will initiate a device wipe instead of an account wipe for devices in fully managed device (device owner) mode. 


    You can see which client is managing a device in the Admin console at Security details > User agent. Devices using the legacy client will have a version of Google Apps Device Policy, while devices using the new client will have a version of Android Device Policy. Use our Help Center to learn how to view mobile device details.

    How using a device is different with the new client 
    The main end-user visible changes include the following:

    • Users will have an updated enrollment experience. 
    • After the new version is deployed, users will no longer see a Device Policy app in their app drawer. The new management system and Android Device Policy app will be integrated with Android for a more seamless experience. 
    • Users won’t be able to use My Devices to manage their device (for the time being, they can use Find My Device). 
    • If your organization enforces a strong password, the password will require a symbol in addition to the letter and number previously required. 


    Users will experience a slightly different setup flow when registering new devices. 


    Migrating from the legacy system to the Android Management API 
    Once this change has been deployed to your domain, you can manually migrate users and devices to the new Android Management API in the following ways:

    • Factory reset and re-register any eligible device. 
    • Provide a new device and register it. 

    In the future, we’ll add options and tools to help you migrate existing devices to use the Android Management API. Check out the G Suite Updates blog for the latest changes and migration updates. 

    Availability 

    Rollout details 
    • All domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on September 16, 2019. The rollout will be conducted in stages, and could take several months to reach all domains. 
    • Primary admins will be notified by email around 3 weeks before it will reach your domain. 

    G Suite editions 
    • Available to all G Suite editions 

    On/off by default? 
    • This feature will be ON by default for new devices that meet the requirements above.


    Stay up to date with G Suite launches
  3. What's changing

    Support for live captions on Hangouts Meet was announced at Google Cloud Next ‘19 in San Francisco. We’re continuing to invest in this area with the addition of captions support on the Meet Android app.

    Additionally, you can now more easily turn on live captions on web and in rooms with a button that’s one click away.

    Who’s impacted

    End users

    Why you’d use it

    Live captions help make your meetings more accessible by reducing barriers to holding meetings between users of different hearing abilities, regardless of whether they are participating remotely or in person.

    How to get started


    • Admins: No action required.
    • End users:
      • On Android: Tap the closed captions button on the top right of the Meet app when you are in a meeting. (Note that this button is only shown here for English language users. It can be found in the triple-dot menu for all other languages.
      • On the web and on Chromebase for meetings touchscreen devices:Tap the captions button at the bottom right of your screen. (Note that this button is only shown here for English language users. It can be found in the triple-dot menu for all other languages.)
      • On devices with a Mimo touchscreen: Tap the captions option in the right-hand panel. (Note that this is only shown here for English language users. It can be found under Settings for all other languages.)

    Additional details

    Live captions are not yet available on the Meet iOS app but we are working on making it available soon.

    When you turn on captions, they will be visible on that particular device. In order for other participants in the meeting to see captions, they’ll have to turn it on for their devices as well.

    Currently, live captions is only available in English. Additionally, captions will not appear in a recording of a meeting.

    Helpful links



    Availability

    Rollout details

    • Rapid Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on September 16, 2019
    • Scheduled Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on September 16, 2019

    G Suite editions

    • Available to all G Suite editions

    On/off by default?

    • This feature will be ON by default.

    Stay up to date with G Suite launches
  4. Quick launch summary 

    The Form Notifications add-on is now available on the G Suite Marketplace. You can use the add-on to receive an email notification once your Google Form has received a set number of responses, or you can use it to send an automated follow-up email to any user who completes your form. To learn more, see this article in our Help Center.


    Availability 

    Rollout details 
    • This add-on is available now in the G Suite Marketplace. 

    G Suite editions 
    • Available to all G Suite editions

    Stay up to date with G Suite launches
  5. What’s changing

    We’ve redesigned the Jamboard apps for iOS and Android to improve usability, performance, and reliability for Jamboard users. Together with our recent usability redesign of Jamboard hardware on web, these updates create a rich collaborative experience for Jamming across all user touch points.

    These changes create a more seamless and consistent experience, bringing familiar functionalities from other Google Editors to Jamboard. Additionally, we’re removing several functions to further streamline the user experience. For more details, see below.


    Who’s impacted

    End users

    Why you’d use it

    We’ve redesigned the current Jamboard apps to optimize the user experience, improve performance and reliability, make them work more effectively:

    Jamboard is now more consistent with other G Suite editors
    We’re bringing familiar functions from Google Editors to the Jamboard apps, which will make them easier to use. Specifically, you’ll be able to take actions such as starring, make a copy of a Jam or copy a link to a Jam. We’re also adding the standard G Suite link sharing abilities found in our editors to our apps to make sharing easier.





    You’ll also notice a grid view and a list view for your Jams on the homescreen. You can view recent, shared with me, starred and trashed Jams as browsable directories. These features are a part of the larger effort to bring the power and familiarity of G Suite to Jamboard. 

    An improved editing experience for mobile and tablet users
    We’ve added full portrait and landscape support for apps, which makes jamming on mobile and tablet devices easier.



    You’ll see a redesigned toolbar and framebar bringing a familiar interface from Jamboard hardware and the web to users. We’ve also added missing tools, such as the select tool to mobile and made the tools for inserting images and drive files more performant and reliable.



    Easily join or open a Jam on Jamboard and share a Jam with people 
    We’ve made several improvements to the way you join and open Jams on Jamboard, and share Jams with people from mobile and tablet devices. You can now share Jams using the standard G Suite sharing methods. You can open a Jam on Jamboard using Bluetooth. Also, you can join a Jam on Jamboard using Bluetooth or a jam-code that is created on Jamboard hardware.

    You can read more about the improvements of our usability redesign here. See our Help Center to  learn more about the updates to the sharing, opening and joining model.

    How to get started

    • Admins: No action required. 
    • End users: You’ll see the new changes coming to your Android and iOS devices in the coming days. For more information on the updates to claiming and sharing Jams, see our “Helpful links” section.

    Additional details

    We’ve temporarily removed the ability to create a jam offline while we continue working toward achieving parity with the offline capabilities of other G Suite Editors. You’ll still be able to edit a Jam offline while you have a Jam open and edit any Jams offline you have previously opened.

    We’ll also be deprecating a few features:
    • You’ll no longer be able to use NFC to open or join a Jam on Jamboard. Instead, you can use Bluetooth to open or join Jams on Jamboard.
    • We’ve removed the Hangouts integration on mobile and tablet. To co-edit a Jam, share the Jam file link in Hangouts Chat or attach it to a calendar entry, which gives all meeting participants access to the Jam. To present a Jam to a meeting, use the new mobile Meet screen-sharing feature which is available on iOS and coming soon to Android.
    • We’re removing the web search and crop feature. Instead, you can use the native browser to find a web page, the native screen-capture and crop functionality, and our apps gallery insert flow to insert cropped images of web pages. For our EDU customers, this change allows us to lower the age restriction of our apps to 13+.
    • The ability to create Jam file codes on mobile and tablet will also be removed. Instead, you can use the familiar G Suite share features to share with people or use Bluetooth to open Jams on Jamboard.

    Helpful links

    Availability

    Rollout details
    G Suite editions
    • Available to all G Suite editions

    On/off by default?
    • This feature will be ON by default.

    Stay up to date with G Suite launches
  6. Quick launch summary

    Users often need to see the word count in the documents they write. Instead of going to Tools > Word Counteach time you want to view this information, now, you can simply select Tools > Word count > Display word count while typing to continuously display it in the lower left corner of your doc:




    We’ve heard that displaying this information is helpful to users working on docs that require minimum or maximum word count.

    If you click on the word count box, you can also view more information, like the page count, character count (with and without spaces). To see the word count of a specific section of text, simply highlight that section in your doc. To learn more, see our Help Center.

    Availability

    Rollout details
    G Suite editions
    • Available to all G Suite editions
    On/off by default?
    • This feature will be available by default and can be accessed by going to Tools > Word count > Display word count while typing in Google Docs.

    Stay up to date with G Suite launches
  7. Quick launch summary 

    We’re updating the Admin console to provide a quicker, more searchable experience for Chrome Enterprise administrators. Specifically you may notice a number of changes when you go to Admin Console > Devices > Chrome Management, including:

    • Significantly improved performance, with faster page loads, device actions, and more. 
    • Improved search and filter so you can find what you’re looking for quickly. 
    • Unified app management for Android apps, Chrome extensions and web apps so you can manage all of your apps in one place. 
    • Centralized printer management for users, devices, and managed guests. 
    • Brand new policies to help control the user experience, including Chrome Safe Browsing and Password Alert, Quick unlock with PIN and fingerprint, and Legacy Browser Support for Chrome Browser on Windows. 


    See our Cloud Blog post for a detailed look at the updates to the Chrome Enterprise experience in the Admin console.

    Availability 

    Rollout details 


    G Suite editions 
    Available to all G Suite editions.


    Stay up to date with G Suite launches
  8. What’s changing 

    We’re revamping the feature in Google Calendar that helps you let colleagues know when it’s best to work with you. The updates to the Working Hours feature include:


    • Working hours now show in grid view:When you schedule a meeting with other Calendar users, their working hours will be shown in the calendar grid. 
    • New warning note for event creators:If you try to schedule an event outside the working hours of one more or guests, you’ll now see a notification. 
    • Working hours is ON by default: Working hours will now be turned on for all users by default. Users can turn it off at any point in Calendar’s settings (see more below). 





    A new notification will show if an event outside the working hours of guests. 

    Who’s impacted 

    All end users

    Why you’d use it 

    The new features will make it easier for your colleagues to see when it’s best to work with you. This can help reduce back and forth when finding the right time for a meeting, and help make sure that meetings are scheduled at convenient and productive times for all participants.

    How to get started 


    • Admins: No action required. 
    • End users: 
      •  Working Hours will be enabled by default. When it’s first enabled, users will see a dialog (shown below) with an estimate of their working hours, which they can confirm or change. Users can disable the feature by selecting “Settings” in this dialog. 
      • Users can later adjust or disable Working Hours by going to Calendar on the web (calendar.google.com) and clicking Settings > General > Working hours


    Helpful links 

    Help Center: Set your working hours & availability

    Availability 

    Rollout details 



    G Suite editions 
    Available to all G Suite editions

    On/off by default? 
    This feature will be ON by default.

    Stay up to date with G Suite launches
  9. What’s changing 

    We will now show more information about devices with basic mobile management in the G Suite Admin console. Specifically, admins will now be able to see the encryption state and the security patch level for Android devices. Previously, this information was only available for devices with advanced mobile management.

    Who’s impacted 

    Admins only

    Why you’d use it 

    Encryption state and security patch level are important pieces of information for assessing device security. There is less risk of a data leak from a lost or stolen mobile device if that device is encrypted and password protected. Devices with more recent security patch levels are typically less susceptible to attacks than devices with older patch levels.

    By making this information available for more devices, we hope you can better understand potential security vulnerabilities, better track the progress of security improvement initiatives, and make access-level decisions and rules to help ensure data is secure in your organization.

    How to get started 




    Additional details 

    Encryption status is available for Android devices with API level 11 (Android 3.0) and up, and security patch level is available for Android devices with API level 23 (Android M) and up.

    • You can see both encryption status and security patch level on the device detail page for each device in the Admin console. This is available to all G Suite customers. 
    • You can also see the security patch level in the devices audit logs at Admin console > Reports > Devices. Note that the devices audit log is only available to G Suite Business, G Suite Enterprise, and G Suite Enterprise for Education domains. 
    • You can set up rules based on this information to automate mobile management tasks


    See encryption status and security patch level for devices with basic mobile management 


    Helpful links 



    Availability 

    Rollout details 

    • Rapid Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on September 3, 2019 
    • Scheduled Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on September 3, 2019 


    G Suite editions 
    Available to all G Suite editions

    On/off by default? 
    This feature will be ON by default.


    Stay up to date with G Suite launches

  10. Check out the latest "What's New in G Suite" launch recap (pdf) for a roundup of all G Suite launches from August 2019.

    Archive and translated versions (coming soon for August issue)


    Stay up to date with G Suite launches