The C2C Connect: UK and I group, led by @andy.yates, @fintan.murphy and @paul.less hosted their regular session for Google Cloud customers and professionals located in the UK & Ireland. These monthly sessions bring together a local community of cloud experts and customers to connect, learn, and shape the future of cloud.
A smaller gathering this month, as folks are off on summer holidays - we kept it to a quick 30 minute tour of some of the recent releases from Google Workspace.
30 Minutes Summed Up in 30 Seconds
Hopefully everybody here is aware of how they can stay on top of all the announcements that Google makes - but we gave a quick recap of the more prominent places, including:
- Google Workspace Updates blog
- Google Cloud Community
- What's new in Google Workspace (recent releases) - Google Workspace Admin Help
- Google Workspace Recap - he excellent podcast by Jesse Nowlin (
@Jesse) and Steve Larsen ( @steve-c2c), from which we were borrowing the format
Also mentioned was this recent post from Charles Maxson and Justin Wexler on the Google Developers blog, that lets you know how to use apps script and a webhook to push updates into Google Chat: https://developers.googleblog.com/2021/08/deliver-asynchronous-notifications-in-google-chat-using-webhooks.html
There were 33 new Workspace features released in the past 30 days - we managed to cover 11 of them!
- Limit external messaging to trusted domains in Google Chat
- Can now set rules at the OU level for who can Chat externally
- We asked ‘is this actually useful; and how do people navigate which domains are trusted, and for whom?’
- It seems that many organisations have a basic need to communicate using Chat with many different 3rd parties, but might like some means to control that beyond on/off.
- Could trusted domains be thought of as ‘enhanced’ trust, rather than the binary baseline: e.g. make “Google Chat will automatically suggest group chats based on your Google Calendar” work for trusted domains?
- Share where you’re working from in Google Calendar
- Set a weekly routine; update on calendar directly
- Could be really useful as travel becomes more normal again
- Is ‘weekly’ the right cadence?
- Extends the previous ‘Indicate whether you’ll join a meeting virtually or in person on Google Calendar’
- The ability to set location ahead of time (when you are planning a business trip to a different city, for instance) would be particularly useful if it can also update your availability based on that location’s time zone
- Easily customize theme colors in Sheets and Slides
- I know we already have this set up - and it’s useful to see the brand colours (particularly as we’ve just done a rebrand). Not clear on what’s new, here!
- There was some discussion of how organised people really are - especially at a company level - when using themes / templates at scale.
- Upload customized audio prompts and greetings to Google Voice automated attendant
- Use your own voice, rather than text-to-speech
- View more insights and take quick action on the Users, Domain, and Billing home cards in the Admin console
- Part of broader program to refresh admin console
- Homepage, navigation, managing users and domains
- Feels this is largely focused on making it easier for new admins - no bad thing!
- Last month: “Admins can view more information about apps in the Google Workspace Marketplace before deploying to their users”
- New Categories in Google Workspace Marketplace
- Updated emoji experience in Google Chat on iOS
- Previous: Updated emoji experience in Google Chat
- Reflecting the latest emoji set and diversity and inclusion options
- Gender-neutral options for gender-modifiable emojis have been added
- Emoji skin tone and gender preferences are saved per individual emoji.
- Add up to 25 co-hosts per meeting and expanded safety features for Google Meet
- It wasn’t available for our meeting! But Ilias will be glad of it once it arrives, in case Fintan gets busy sharing Meet links publicly again
- Rollout starting 16th August!
- Easily switch between lists in Google Tasks on mobile
- Tasks is increasingly popular as a way to track both individual and team work. The link between Tasks and Docs was called out as being particularly helpful when taking meeting notes.
- We cheekily pondered, “is a standalone web-app on the horizon?” - but the Googlers on the call have very good poker faces!
- Reminder: Google Meet support for IE11 ending August 17, 2021
- Your progress is automatically saved as you respond to forms and quizzes
- No more losing your progress, when switching tasks and accidentally closing tabs. It has already saved me more than once!
- We expect to see improvements in survey response rates as a result
The conversation also touched on Alphas, Betas and other early access. The advice was to talk to your partner and / or Google account manager in the first instance. Also to keep an eye on things being advertised in the Google Cloud Community.
Preview What's Next
For our upcoming session 16/09/2021 we will be welcoming Michael Karner, Head of Workspace Evangelism at Google who will share 5 key predictions about the Future of Work.