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Google Workspace Weekly Round-up for 18 October 2021

No new rollouts at all this week but there were plenty of announcements from Cloud Next ’21 and quite a few previously announced updates completed rolling out

Hardly any updates rolling out this week (even less than last week!) though there were plenty of announcements from Google’s Cloud Next conference of future Google Workspace enhancements.

In fact, there are a total of zero new rollouts this week, though rollouts do continue for the following previously announced update:

Improved Search In Gmail on Android

This update started rolling out on 21 September for both Rapid and Scheduled Release paths with full rollout anticipated by the end of October.

It’s a useful update for any sized business.

Administrator action: None Required.
User action: None Required.

Completed rollouts (or roll-outs that will complete this week)

Everyone should be able to access the following updates by Tuesday at the latest.

❱❱ Making Google Classroom video meetings easier and more secure 

This update probably isn’t that relevant to most small or micro business owners unless you’re running online courses through Google Classroom.

It is intended to make it easier for teachers to manage meetings, help prevent unintended meeting participants from joining meetings, and generally help meetings run more smoothly.

The update started rolling out for both release paths from 5 October 2021 with a 15 day rollout period so everyone should see it by this Tuesday.

Administrator action: Google Meet must be turned on at the organisational level. To do this go to Apps > Google Workspace > Settings for Google Meet (or use this direct link) and change the Service Status to On.

User action: No action required if creating new meetings once the update has rolled out. Existing Google Meet links will need to be reset to take advantage of this update. To reset Google Meet links within Google Classroom:
– Go to classroom.google.com
– Click the class > Settings.
– Next to the Meet link, click the Down arrow > Reset.

❱❱ Control whether students can unenroll themselves from classes

I think this update is more for school-aged children who may have enjoyed removing themselves from classes 🙂 but it may be of value to you in your business if you’re running online courses. 

It started rolling out for both release domains from 5 October 2021 with a 15 day rollout period so everyone should see it by this Tuesday.

Administrator action: The new functionality will be turned off by default. So if you want to stop students from un-enrolling themselves from classes, go to Admin console > Apps > Additional Google Services > Classroom > Student unenrollment (or via this direct link)

User action: None required.

❱❱ View richer information about your coworkers directly in the sidebar for Google Chat, Calendar, Docs, and more.

I’m not sure how much value this update will provide to those of us with no coworkers (hello fellow sole traders!) or with only a couple of work colleagues (hello small business owners!) but if you are more on the medium size of a SMB, then you may be interested in this update.

Essentially, employees will now be able to see the following information when viewing a colleague’s contact details:

  • Contact information, such as phone number and email address
  • Team and manager details 
  • Office and desk location
  • Whether you’ve received email from them before, and more (this is an interesting statement from Google – I wonder what ‘and more’ actually means?)

It started rolling out for both release domains from 5 October 2021 with a 15 day rollout period so everyone should see it by this Tuesday.

Administrator action: Obviously some of this information will need to be added to user profiles before it can be seen by employees! There are two ways to do this – either by individually editing each user profile or by uploading a spreadsheet to bulk edit users.

User action: Click “Open Detailed View” while hovering over a user’s information card, or select the Contacts icon in the side panel when using Gmail, Google Chat, Calendar, Docs, Sheets, or Slides. 


❱❱ Create meeting notes in Google Calendar

It’s always been possible to link a Google Docs document to a Google Calendar invite – this update however, allows you to create a document that’s pre-populated with event details including attendee names and empty bullet point and action items lists.

It’s a nice update that is relevant to any size business, even us sole trader or micro business owners!

Administrator action: None required
User action: None required


❱❱ Easily chat with meeting participants from a Google Calendar event 

This update started rolling out to both rapid and scheduled release domains on the web and mobile from 05 October 2021 with a 15 day rollout period. 

Sadly, there’s a bit of a kicker in this update. You can’t use this feature to chat with meeting participants outside your domain which makes it pretty useless for those of us who work in micro or small businesses and mainly meet with people outside of our Google Workspace domain!

Administrator action: None Required.
User action: None Required.


❱❱ Improved visibility in Google Meet on web.

Under this update, Google Meet on the web now automatically detects when a user appears underexposed and enhances the brightness to improve their visibility. 

It’s a nice feature that’s of value to businesses of any size but particularly those of us who work from poorly lit spare bedrooms or small home office spaces!

Administrator action: None Required
User action: None Required. 

❱❱ Add image watermarks in Google Docs.

You should now be able to add image watermarks directly into Google Docs. Additionally, image watermarks are preserved when importing or exporting documents from Microsoft Word. 

Administrator action: None Required.

User action: To get started, go to Insert > Watermark in a doc.

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