9/27/21 Google Workspace Roundup: Updates that Matter Most

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Our team is pleased to share the latest and greatest updates to Google Workspace (previously G Suite). From helpful schedule analytics in Calendar to time-saving Workspace Admin security releases, there is a wide variety of brand new updates to share. These changes affect all account holders, so we encourage all Google Workspace and G Suite users to read on.


Time insights in Calendar


You can now better understand how you’re spending your working hours in Google Calendar! Viewable in your Calendar on your computer, you can analyze how much of your time is spent in meetings, what types of meetings, and with whom. Please note that Workspace users can only view their own insights; these are not accessible by managers unless they have “manage sharing access” permission to their calendars. This new feature is available to all Workspace Business Standard editions and above. 


Find and share GIFs in Chat

By popular request, the Workspace team has added GIFs to Google Chat! Soon, users will be able to communicate in a fun new way via a Tenor integration. This feature will be accessible within the text field between the emoji and Google Drive icons. After clicking the “GIF” icon, users can type in the type of GIF they would like to use and send it to colleagues.


Scheduled to complete its release on September 30th, 2021, this integration is enabled by default for all organizations using any edition of Google Workspace/G Suite. Admins can enable or disable GIF sending in Chat within the Admin console by going to Apps > Google Workspace > Settings for Google Chat > GIFs


Google “Chat Rooms” renamed to “Spaces”

In an effort to better reflect the evolution of the application, Google Chat Rooms have been renamed to “Spaces.” All users should see this change reflected in Chat already.


Design custom themes in Google Sites

All Google Workspace and G Suite users (including personal/free account users) can now create highly-customized themes in new Google Sites! Similar to Docs and Slides, users can create site templates that align with their organization’s branding. Rollout for this new feature will complete in early October 2021.


To create a new Site Theme, simply create a Site, insert your desired placeholder text, fonts, colors, navigation etc. and click Themes within the sidebar on the right-hand side. By clicking the option with a “+” labeled “Created by you,” you can name and save this new theme.


Prevent users from blocking those in trusted domains

All Workspace admins can now prevent their users from mistakenly blocking users in Drive who are within trusted domains. Previously, user Drive blocks could be applied to any user from an external domain. With this update, user blocks will no longer work with users in trusted domains. Release of this feature will complete in early October 2020. For information on how to manage trusted domains for Google Drive, Admins should visit this article within the Help Center.


One-click recommended actions in the Alert Center (for Enterprise Plus)

Google has released a valuable security update for Google Admins. When viewing an alert, Admins will now see security recommendations which they can implement in a single click. Some examples of recommended actions are:

  • Suspending a user
  • Restoring a user
  • Blocking a device
  • Deleting an email
  • Marking an email as phishing
  • … and much more.


This feature is available only to Admins of accounts on Google Workspace Enterprise Plus, Education Standard, and Education Plus customers. Rollout has completed for all eligible users.


Image watermarks now available in Google Docs

All Google Workspace and G Suite users can now add image watermarks directly into their Google Docs. This feature can be used for legal/copyright purposes, as well as for aesthetic customization and branding. To add a watermark, simply open a Doc and click Insert > Watermark. Whether you want to put together a report, make a flyer, or create anything else, make your documents stand out with watermarks. Rollout for this feature will complete in mid-October 2021.


“Whitelisted domains” renamed to “allowlisted domains”

Workspace Admins should note that “whitelisted domains” have been renamed to “allowlisted domains” in the Admin console. Allowlisted domains can be accessed in the Admin console by clicking Account > Domains > Overview > Allowlisted domains.


Thanks for reading our latest Google Workspace Roundup! As you can see, the Google Workspace team has been quite busy creating helpful new releases. Stay tuned for our Workspace Roundup. Have questions about any of these updates? Submit your contact information using the form below and we’ll be in touch soon.