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 making it easier to use security keys with your Google Account on iOS devices. Specifically, we’re enabling native support for the W3C WebAuthn implementation on Apple devices running iOS 13.3 and above. This means you can use a USB or NFC security key directly on an iOS device, without installing the Google Smart Lock app.

    Learn more about how you can use security keys on Apple devices on our Security blog.

    Who’s impacted 

    End users

    Why it’s important 

    Security keys provide the strongest form of 2-Step Verification (also known as two-factor authentication or 2FA) to help protect your account against phishing, especially when used as part of the Advanced Protection Program for the enterprise. With this launch you can now:

    • Tap a Titan Security Key (all of which have built-in NFC) on the back of your iPhone. 
    • Use any USB security key directly on an iOS device that has a USB port (such as an iPad Pro) or via an Apple Lightning to USB camera adapter on any other device. 
    • Use Bluetooth security keys or your phone’s built-in security key on any iOS device via the Google Smart Lock app


    We hope this launch makes it easier for iOS users to take advantage of the protection security keys offer. See more about why this matters and how to use it on our Security blog.

    Using an NFC security key on iPhone 

    Getting started 



    Rollout pace 



    Availability 


    • Available to all G Suite and Cloud Identity customers, as well as users with personal Google Accounts 

    Resources 


  2. What’s changing

    You can now migrate all of your users from classic Hangouts to Google Chat with the “Chat preferred” setting in the Admin console. If you enable this setting, Google Chat will become the default chat application for your organization, replacing all of your classic Hangouts apps and appearing in Gmail on the web. This highly-anticipated integration will allow your users to communicate seamlessly, without the disruption of switching tabs.

    The Chat preferred setting was previously only available to a small group of customers via the Chat Accelerated Transition Program.



    If you enable Chat preferred for your organization:

    • The new Chat experience will replace the classic Hangouts experience in Gmail.
    • All classic Hangouts applications, except hangouts.google.com, will be disabled, and users will be directed to go to chat.google.com or download the Chat mobile app.
    • The classic Hangouts bot will notify users of unread Classic group messages. 

    Who’s impacted

    Admins and end users

    Why you’d use it

    The Chat preferred setting allows you to migrate all of your users at once for the most effective and seamless transition. If some people use classic Hangouts and others use Chat, it can lead to missed messages and become burdensome for admins. And if you have a remote or distributed workforce, unifying your users onto a single chat network can help everyone communicate successfully.

    You’ll also get access to exciting Chat features within Gmail in your browser. These include:

    • 1:1 and group direct messages
    • Full-screen rooms
    • Bot integrations
    • Forward to inbox
    • Emoji reactions
    • Message edit and delete

    Getting started

    Admins: The Chat preferred setting is OFF by default and can be enabled at the domain level. Visit the Help Center to learn more about migrating your users to Chat with Chat preferred.

    Chat preferred setting enabled in the Admin console

    To enable Chat preferred and migrate your users away from classic Hangouts, you must have Google Chat turned on for your domain. We strongly recommend that admins keep both Chat and classic Hangouts enabled to maximize the Chat network.

    At the moment, enabling Chat preferred will migrate all users in your domain at once. We recommend this to minimize fragmentation within your organization. If you’d like to migrate at the organizational unit (OU) level, that option will be available in the coming weeks. Stay tuned to the G Suite Updates blog for more information. You can also visit the Help Center to learn more about our overall upgrade timeline from classic Hangouts to Chat.

    End users: Visit the Help Center to learn more about how to turn Chat in Gmail on or off for your account.

    Rollout pace

    Availability

    • Available to all G Suite customers

    Resources

    Roadmap



  3. Quick launch summary 

    We’re making two Google Docs assistive writing features—Smart Compose and Autocorrect—available to G Suite for Education, G Suite Enterprise for Education, and G Suite for Nonprofits users.

    These features add to other intelligent assistive writing features, such as neural grammar correction in Gmail, which help G Suite for Education users write more quickly and efficiently. The new features were previously available to other G Suite editions, but not G Suite for Education customers. Users can choose to turn each feature on or off.

    Autocorrect in Google Docs 
    Autocorrect helps you compose documents quickly and with confidence. Misspelled words will automatically be corrected while typing and denoted with a grey dashed underline. As you continue typing, this dashed line will disappear. It will be available for Google Docs on the web in English. See more information on autocorrect in Docs here.

    Smart Compose in Google Docs 
    Smart Compose helps you compose high-quality content faster by cutting back on repetitive writing while reducing the chance of spelling and grammatical errors. It will be available for Google Docs on the web in English. See more information on Smart Compose in Docs here.
    Autocorrect makes it easier to write in Google Docs 

    Smart Compose helps you write more quickly and accurately 

    Getting started 


    Admins:There are currently no admin controls for these features. However, we plan to add an admin control for Smart Compose by the start of the 2020/2021 school year.

    End users: 


    Rollout pace 


    • Rapid and Scheduled Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on June 1, 2020. We expect rollout to complete by June 30, 2020. 

    Availability 


    • Now available to G Suite for Education, G Suite Enterprise for Education customers, and G Suite for Nonprofits customers 
    • Already available to G Suite Basic, G Suite Business, and G Suite Enterprise customers. 

    Resources 


  4. Quick launch summary

    Google Voice is now available in Gmail when using Chrome or Firefox browsers on your computer. This allows you to make and receive calls without switching tabs. Google Voice in Gmail looks similar to the call panel in the Voice web application, allowing you to answer calls, make new outbound calls, and easily transfer calls.


    In addition, you can now transfer calls using the Google Voice mobile and web apps. In a few simple steps, you can send a call to the appropriate person, whether that’s an intelligently-suggested contact, searching in your directory or a manually entered phone number.


    Call transferring is available in Voice on Android, iOS, and the web.

    Getting started

    Admins: There is no admin control for this feature.

    End users: These features will be available to Voice customers by default. Visit the Help Center to learn more about transferring calls or using Google Voice in Gmail.

    Rollout pace

    Google Voice call transfer


    Google Voice in Gmail


    Availability


    • Available to all G Suite customers with Google Voice licenses

    Resources



    Roadmap




  5. What’s changing

    We’ve launched a new Google Chat standalone app. The app is a Progressive Web Application (PWA), which provides a fast, reliable, and engaging way to use Chat on any desktop device with the Google Chrome web browser.

    See more details below, or visit our Help Center to learn more about the Google Chat PWA.

    Who’s impacted

    Admins and end users

    Why you’d use it

    The Chat PWA offers a simple and powerful way to communicate through Chat. Once users install the app, it integrates with their device’s operating system to function like a native app and offer the simple and efficient Chat experience users know. For example, they can:

    • Quickly find and communicate with people, rooms, and bots through the app.
    • Communicate quickly with a simple and intuitive interface.

    The Chat PWA also offers simple app deployment and management. It’s:
    • Secure: The app is kept up to date with Chrome, so the updated app has the latest security patches.
    • Fast and simple: Auto-updates also mean users have the latest version without extra process or keeping track of separate updates.
    • Easier to distribute: Admins can deploy the app to all of their users in the Admin console.
    • Broadly compatible: The PWA runs on any device with Google Chrome browser version 73 and up. Version 73 was released in March 2019. This means it works on Windows, MacOS, Chrome OS, and Linux devices.

    Additional details

    What happens to the existing desktop app? We recommend that admins uninstall the existing electron based app or ask users to uninstall it in favor of installing the new app.

    New Chat PWA


    Getting started

    Admins: Visit our Help Center to learn more about the Google Chat PWA and understand the steps to deploy the PWA app to all users through the Admin console.

    End users: This app will not be available until installed on a user’s device. Visit our Help Center to learn how to install the PWA.

    Rollout Pace


    • This app is available now for all users to install.

    Availability


    • Available to all G Suite customers

    Resources



    Roadmap




  6. What’s changing 

    We’re adding a quick settings menu that helps you easily find and use different layouts, settings, and themes to make Gmail look and feel right for you.

    When you click on Settings, you’ll now see different interfaces, inbox types, and display options alongside your real inbox. When an option is selected, the inbox will immediately update so you can compare choices and see how settings work in real time.

    The full settings menu is still available by clicking the “See all settings” button at the top of the new quick settings menu.


    Who’s impacted 

    End users

    Why it matters 

    Gmail has many options to customize layout, look and feel, and other details to make sure the interface is personalized and optimized for how you like to work. These include:

    • Customizing the density of text and information displayed 
    • Choosing a different inbox type to help intelligently prioritize and organize emails 
    • Adding reading panes to quickly see email contents 
    • Applying themes to personalize the look and feel of your inbox 

    We’re making these options easier to find, and letting you explore them in real time, so your actual inbox will update immediately to show you exactly what the setting will do. We hope this makes it easier to set up Gmail the way that works best for you.

    Additional details 

    Note that this update just adds an easier way to access settings that already exist in the full Gmail settings menu. There are no new settings, and users’ existing settings won’t be changed with this update. You can still see the full settings menu by clicking the “See all settings” button at the top of the new quick settings menu.

    Getting started 

    Admins:There is no admin control for the feature.
    End users: This feature will be ON by default. Visit the Help Center to learn more about customizing Gmail settings, or how to help users switch to Gmail from Microsoft Outlook.

    Rollout pace 



    Availability 


    • Available to all G Suite customers as well as users with personal accounts. 

    Resources 


  7. What’s changing 

    We’re making the new Google Groups generally available - featuring an updated interface and more streamlined controls that make it easier to create, manage, and use. The modern interface is similar to other G Suite apps, such as Gmail, and makes Groups more efficient for new and existing users. It was previously available in beta.

    We’ll introduce new Groups according to this timeline:

    • May 26, 2020: Setting to turn new Groups on or off will begin to appear in the Admin console.This setting will be on by default. If turned off, users will not be able to access the new interface. If left on, users will be migrated to the new interface on the dates below. 
    • June 9, 2020: Users in Rapid Release domains will start seeing new Groups, unless their admin has turned it off. Individual users will have the option to revert to classic Groups. 
    • June 23, 2020: Users in Scheduled Release domains will start seeing new Groups, unless their admin has turned it off. Individual users will have the option to revert to classic Groups. 

    See more details on these stages and changes below.

    Who’s impacted 

    Admins and end users

    Why you’d use it 

    New Groups has a more efficient, streamlined UI, which makes it easier for users to create and manage groups. It includes the most used features from the classic interface, along with:

    • Read group conversations and write messages 
    • Consolidated settings for improved navigation 
    • Quick, simplified group creation 
    • New filtering and search options to help you find content quickly 
    • Improved group member management and more 

    Use our Help Center to learn more about the improvements in new Groups.

    Additional details 

    Features not available in the new Groups UI 
    Most commonly used features are available in new Groups, and the new interface will improve the experience of using Groups for most users. However, not all features from classic Groups are currently available, including collaborative inboxes, tags, and categories. Use the Help Center to see which features aren’t available in the new interface. We’re working to add many of these features to new Groups, but organizations and users that rely on these features should continue to use classic Groups for the moment.

    We’ll announce when features are added to new Groups on the G Suite Updates blog.

    The new Admin console setting to turn new Groups on or off

    If you leave new Groups turned ON in the Admin console 

    Starting on June 9, we’ll begin redirecting users in Rapid Release domains to the new interface when they visit groups.google.com. On June 23, users in Scheduled release domains will begin seeing the new experience.

    Individual users will have the option to revert to the classic UI by going to Settings > Return to classic Google Groups. If they opt-out, they will see the classic interface when they visit Groups next. Users can switch between classic and new Groups as many times as they like.

    If you turn new Groups OFF in the Admin console 

    If you turn new Groups OFF in the Admin console, your users will not be able to access the new UI and will see the classic interface whenever they go to Google Groups. Note that users who have new Groups turned off by their admin will also not be able to access any new Groups URL, even if they’re sent a direct link by another user that is using the new interface.

    If your organization participated in the beta 

    Organizations participating in the alpha or beta will start to see the setting to turn new Groups on or off in the Admin console starting on May 26. If an alpha or beta Admin uses the Admin console setting to turn off new Groups, that will take effect within 24 hours. All users currently using new Groups through the beta would be reverted back to classic Groups.

    End users at organizations that are part of the alpha or beta program and who are currently using the new interface will continue to see the new user interface throughout, unless their admin turns off new Groups at a domain level.

    End users at organizations that are part of the alpha or beta program who have previously reverted to classic Groups will continue to see the old interface, and will have the option to use new Groups if they want.

    Getting started 


    • Admins:The new interface will be ON by default and can be disabled at the domain level by going to Admin Console > Apps > G Suite > Groups for Business > New groups. Visit the Help Center to learn more about managing new Google Groups for your organization
    • End users:The new interface will be ON by default and can be disabled or enabled by the user on each browser. 

    Rollout pace 

    Admin console setting 


    End user rollout: 


    Availability 


    • Available to all G Suite customers. 

    Resources 


  8. What’s changing 

    We’re launching a new beta program that allows you to share folders in shared drives. Learn more and express interest in the beta here.

    Who’s impacted 

    Admins, end users, and developers

    Why you’d use it 

    Shared drives are a powerful way to empower teams and organizations to store, access, and collaborate on files. Until now, all permissions were set at the shared drive level or the individual file level, and it wasn’t possible to share specific folders within a shared drive.

    With this beta, you can share a specific folder with other users, or upgrade member access to provide users with additional permissions on specific folders within shared drives. Examples of how you can use this include:

    • For a marketing department, you can have a shared drive accessible by all internal employees, with a specific folder for advertising materials that’s also accessible to an external agency. 
    • For a sales department organized by region, you can have a shared drive that enables team managers and directors to see all activity, with regional teams only able to see the information relevant to their specific area of focus in a shared folder. 
    • For a shared drive used to prepare for a specific event, you can give all members view access to all files, while providing each specific team with edit access to the documents relevant to their part of the event. 
     
    Share a folder with non-members and give members upgraded access on folders 




    Additional details 


    Manager access level needed to share folders 
    Folders in a shared drive can only be shared by managers of that shared drive. Other shared drive access levels (e.g. content manager and commenter) are not eligible to share folders, because they are not allowed to control broad access to content. Folders in shared drives have the same access levels as the shared drives themselves, with the exception of the manager.

    These access levels include: Content manager (default), Contributor, Commenter, and Viewer. Note that a Contributor on a folder is an Editor on a file in that folder.

    See more details on shared drive access levels.


    Folder roles in shared drives 


    Folder access levels can only be expanded, not reduced, from the shared drive level
    Access levels assigned at the shared drive level represent the minimum level of access users will have to all files and folders within that shared drive. This ensures transparency, predictability, and scalability. As a result, the access level of a user for a folder within a shared drive can only ever be greater than the access level of that user for the shared drive itself; it can’t be more restrictive.

    For example, a Commenter on a shared drive cannot be just a Viewer of a folder within that shared drive. However, a Viewer on a shared drive can have their access level expanded to Commenter or Contributor for specific files and subfolders within that shared drive. Therefore, if permission on a file or folder is downgraded, the action will take place on one or more parent folders where the permission was inherited from.


    An example of the dialog if access level is reduced for a sub-folder in a shared drive 


    What happens with file and folder moves 
    When shared files or folders are moved in, within, or between shared drives, inherited access to content will be updated accordingly, and direct access will be preserved. The same is true when shared files or folders are moved from a shared drive to a user’s My Drive.

    For example, imagine a document was originally in the Sales team shared drive. All members of the Sales team have Viewer access to the shared drive and so have Viewer access to the document. Additionally, five individual Sales team members have Editor access to the specific document. If that file was moved out of the Sales team drive, the Sales team would lose their inherited Viewer access, but the five individual users would still have Editor permissions.

    As these (shared) folder moves can make broad changes to content access, folders moved into or between shared drives are only allowed for users who are managers on both the original as well as the target location.

    Note: We will start to enforce the manager requirement with this beta program, and on September 1, 2020, for all G Suite customers. Going forward, it will no longer be possible for Contributors or Content managers on the target destination to move folders in or between shared drives.

    Getting started 

    Admins: Express interest in the folder sharing beta here. We’ll begin accepting domains into the program in the coming weeks.


    End users: Once this feature is enabled for your domain, to share a folder: Select a folder in a shared drive of which you are a manager and click on share in the folder menu (toolbar) to open the share dialog. From there, you can share the folder.

      Availability 


      • Available to G Suite Business, G Suite Enterprise, G Suite for Education, G Suite Enterprise for Education, and G Suite for Nonprofits customers 
      • Not available to G Suite Basic customers and users with personal Google Accounts 

      Resources 



      Roadmap 


    • Quick launch summary 

      We’re making two updates to the Admin console:

      New 2-Step Verification (2SV) controls: 
      We’re updating the controls you use to configure 2SV in the Admin console. You may notice:

      • A new “2-Step Verification settings” section of the Security page where you can turn 2SV on or off and control other related settings. You can find this at Admin console > Security > 2-Step Verification
      • The ability to turn 2SV enrollment on or off for each organizational unit (OU). Previously you could only turn it on or off for the whole domain. Once it’s turned on, additional 2SV policies can be adjusted. 
      • New interfaces which prevent admins accidentally locking themselves out of an account by enforcing 2SV without being enrolled in 2SV. 
      • An updated and streamlined interface. 
      The new 2-Step Verification settings section in the Admin console

      In the 2SV section you can configure 2-Step Verification enforcement by OU


      New section for single sign-on settings for SAML applications 
      We’re making some updates to the settings you use to set up single sign-on for SAML applications. You may notice:

      • The settings that apply to all SAML applications when Google is the Identity Provider (IdP) are now in their own section in Security settings at Admin Console > Security > Set up single sign-on (SSO) for SAML applications
      • The functionality is not changing but you will find a more streamlined experience for managing certificates and to download IdP metadata. 
      The new SSO for SAML settings section in the Admin console

       The new SSO for SAML area where you can control related settings

      Getting started 



      • Admins: The new per-OU 2SV enrollment feature will be set to ON at the organization level (root OU) if and only if you had allowed 2SV enrollment for your organization prior to this launch, so that there is no change in behavior for your organization. After the launch, you can now change 2SV enrollment at an OU level. You can also use exception groups for 2SV enrollment settings, similar to how 2SV enforcement settings support them. Visit the Help Center to learn more about how to deploy 2-Step Verification for your organization.
      • End users:There is no end user impact for the feature. 

      Rollout pace 



      Availability 


      • Available to all G Suite and Cloud Identity customers 

      Resources 


    • Quick launch summary

      Starting June 3, 2020, the calendar IDs associated with newly created secondary calendars and resources will have a new format. In the new format, your G Suite account’s domain name will not be included in secondary or resource calendar IDs.

      • The existing email format for calendar resources is the following: {customer domain}_{random characters}@resource.calendar.google.com
      • The format for secondary calendars is the following: {customer domain}_{random characters}@group.calendar.google.com
      • The new format for newly created calendar resources will be the following: {random characters}@resource.calendar.google.com
      • The new format for newly created secondary calendars will be the following: {random characters}@group.calendar.google.com

      This change is only cosmetic and no Google Calendar functionality is affected because of it. However, if you maintain a script that parses/extracts the domain name from Resource/Secondary Calendar IDs, please update your scripts to ensure they continue to work following this change.

      Rollout pace



      Availability


      • Available to all G Suite customers