As your trusted Google Workspace experts, we are excited to share the below product updates that will help your team get even more out of your subscription. These include automatic call transcription for Google Meet, in-line threading for Chat Spaces, and much more. Let’s get started.
In-room meeting participants can now join breakout rooms
Beginning October 27th, 2022, meeting participants using Google Meet Hardware devices can now participate in breakout rooms. Once a meeting host has initiated breakout rooms, these participants can enjoy a similar breakout room experience to remote participants. For more information about breakout rooms in Meet, see this article.
Google Meet call transcription
Google has announced a new feature for Meet that allows English-language calls to be transcribed into a Google Doc. In meetings with 200 invitees or less, meeting hosts and co-hosts (or in some cases, any in-domain participants) can utilize this feature on desktop.
Rollout of this feature will conclude in early November 2022. See this article for help with getting started as well as information about Admin controls.
Data loss prevention for Google Chat
Google has been gradually expanding the reach of data loss prevention (DLP) for Google Workspace. Now, Admins with access to DLP rules can manage Google Chat data, setting rules that impact the delivery of:
- Direct messages
- Messages in group conversations and Spaces
- Messages between internal and external participants
- Types of message text and/or attachments
Once DLP rules have been applied, messages and files in relevant conversations will automatically be scanned for sensitive information. Admins can configure an action to be taken in response to sensitive data being detected, such as sending prevention, a warning prior to sending, and an audit log.
Rollout of this feature will conclude by the end of October 2022. This feature is available to Google Admins of the following editions: Google Workspace Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Standard, and Education Plus.
Automatic framing in Google Meet
In an effort to improve meeting participant visibility and meeting experience, Google has announced a feature that will automatically adjust user camera displays to better frame meeting participants as needed. For example, if you join a meeting and appear far to one side of your camera display, this feature, when enabled, will automatically zoom in to center your face and shoulders.
Rollout of this feature to all Google Workspace users will complete in mid-November 2022. It is off by default. To turn on automatic framing for Meet, users can:
- Join a Google Meet.
- Click More > Settings.
- On the left, click Video > Framing.
Invite your users to set up Working Location
Working Location is a setting allowing users to specify whether they will be working from home or in-office. This provides Admins and end users with better context for location planning, meeting room management, and more.
A new feature will allow Admins to push a dismissible prompt to all users’ calendars requesting that they set up their Working location. To use this feature, see these instructions.
This feature will be available by mid-November to all users on the following editions: Google Workspace Business Plus, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, legacy G Suite Business, and all Education editions.
Split table cells in Google Docs
All Google Workspace users (both on business and personal accounts) can now better organize data in Google Docs by splitting cells to have their own contained rows and columns. See below for an example:
To use this feature, open a Doc, right-click on a cell, click Split cell, enter your desired quantities of rows and columns, and click Split.
In-line threading for Google Chat Spaces
A highly-requested feature for Google Chat Spaces is finally available: In-line threading! Similar to Slack and other instant messaging platforms, this allows for replies to messages within a Space to be nested under the message.
Rollout of this feature has completed. It is available to all Google Workspace users, including those using personal accounts. In-line threading is available in existing spaces where there is only a stream of unthreaded messages, previously called unthreaded spaces. Spaces with messages and replies grouped together were previously known as threaded spaces but are now called spaces organized by conversation topic. These spaces will not have in-line threading and cannot be reconfigured.
Newly-created Spaces now include in-line threading by default.
Mail merge tags for multi-send emails
Multi-send emails allows company executives, teachers, marketers, and more to mass-send professional-looking emails within Gmail. There is no need to use BCC, and replies will be received in separate threads for easily-manageable conversations.
Now, mail merge tags make it easy to personalize these emails. Try using the following shortcuts in your next multi-sent email:
Multi-send emails and mail merge tags are available to users of Google Workspace Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Starter, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Plus, and Workspace Individual.
Risk-based re-authentication challenges for the Admin console
This year, Google developers have been taking additional steps to make Google Workspace even more secure. In particular, efforts have been made to safeguard against cookie theft. This has been expanded to include the Admin console.
The Admin console currently prompts users to re-authenticate hourly. Now, additional risk signals will be used to detect potential cookie theft attempts. When these signals are triggered, the Admin console will automatically require an additional challenge to complete login such as a push notification or a security key request.
This feature is on by default. An Admin who is unable to complete the challenge may contact another Admin to request that login challenges be temporarily turned off. Fulfilling this request is only recommended in cases in which the Admin’s login attempt is credibly established, such as via video call.
Bulk-configure App Access Control for third-party applications
Google Admins can download and view a CSV file detailing information on accessed and configured third-party apps. Now, they can update the CSV file to the desired statuses (trusted, blocked, or limited) and re-upload them into the Admin console to bulk-configure the changes.
Rollout of this feature will complete in mid-November 2022. For requirements and step-by-step instructions, see this support article.
Access expiration controls for Google Drive
In March of 2016, Google announced access expiration dates for Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides files. These could be set after sharing a file. For a simpler workflow, users can now configure expiration dates while sharing the file.
To do so, open a file and click Share > Select the user > Click the down arrow > Click Add expiration > Click Edit to adjust the 30-day default access duration > Click Done > Click Send.
Rollout of this feature will complete in mid-November 2022 It will be available to Google Workspace Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Standard, Education Plus, and Nonprofits customers.
Timeline view for Google Sheets
As part of the smart canvas developments, Google is introducing an interactive timeline view for project tracking in Sheets. This visual layer shows task information stored in Sheets such as start and end dates, descriptions, and owners.
This feature is intended to help track campaigns, milestones, scheduling, and more. Beginning early December 2022, it will be available with all Google Workspace editions except for legacy G Suite and personal accounts. For information about how to create and edit your first timeline view in Sheets, see these articles.
That concludes our summary of the latest key updates to Google Workspace. If you have any questions or are seeking complimentary support, migration services, and more from a certified Google Cloud Premier Partner, don’t hesitate to reach out using the contact form below.