January has been a busy start to the year filled with many platform updates to Google Meet and Google Workspace.
From the launch of Logitech’s appliance mode for Google Meet to streamlined file-sharing in Google Drive, join us as we recap everything that’s new in 2024 so far:
Google Meet Platform Updates
To kick off the year, Logitech launched their Android appliance mode for Google Meet. This lets the Logitech Rally Bar and Rally Bar Mini run Google Meet natively without the need for additional hardware, offering a simplified setup and giving you more choice and flexibility in deploying Google Meet Hardware across your meeting spaces.
Google also announced that you can now join Zoom and Webex calls from your Poly devices running Google Meet. Native interoperability is supported on the full range of Poly Studio X devices, including the X30, X52 and X70, and bridges the gap between platforms and people.
Lucidspark announced the impending launch of its integration with Google Meet Hardware, letting you use your Google Meet Series One Board 65 and Desk 27 to join a Lucidspark whiteboarding session within a Google Meet call. This is the first available integration to offer an alternative to the Jamboard app on Google Meet Hardware and will be rolling out in February; FigJam and Miro plan to follow later this year.
Another standout feature introduced in January is the ability to combine multiple video effects. This allows you to use a background effect at the same time as an AR filter to create a more dynamic and personalised meeting experience whilst maintaining the privacy of your surroundings. The redesigned effects interface ensures easy navigation and application of the various effects.
Several improvements were also made to in-domain livestreaming, such as giving hosts the ability to start livestreams from any ongoing call, mobile viewing support and more.
For users with the Duet AI add-on, January marked the rollout of two new AI-powered features in Google Meet: studio lighting and studio sound. These features ensure you look and sound your best in every call by mimicking studio-quality lighting and automatically enhancing audio quality from Bluetooth headsets and dial-in participants.
Google Meet gained caption support for an additional 31 languages including 🇦🇲 Armenian, 🇭🇺 Hungarian, 🇲🇳 Mongolian and 🇳🇴 Norwegian, plus more local variations of English, and much more.
Additionally, you can now join a meeting as a guest from your mobile without signing into a personal or work Google account, offering a quick and easy way to attend calls on the go.
In the last week of January, Google announced that it is changing the way it refers to the point at which a Google Meet Hardware device will no longer receive updates and support. Specifically, the term “Auto-Update Expiration” (AUE) will now be known as “End of Meet support”. The End of Meet support date for Intel 10th generation devices has also been extended from June 2028 to June 2029.
The final Google Meet update that started rolling out in January was the ability to pin messages in the meeting chat. Pinned messages stay at the top of the meeting chat for all participants to see, even if they join the call after the message was sent. This can be particularly useful for ensuring that important messages, such as links to the material being discussed, are easily accessible during a meeting.
Google Workspace Platform Updates
In Google Calendar, several new features were introduced to further improve the existing appointment scheduling experience. These features include adding co-hosts to appointments, creating appointment schedules on secondary calendars, delegating others to manage your appointment schedule and choosing whether or not to check and confirm calendar availability before someone books a slot with you.
Two improvements have been introduced to simplify the creation of spaces in Google Chat. The first prevents you from creating spaces with duplicate names to avoid any confusion and ensure you navigate to the right space. The second involves a redesigned interface that makes it simpler to configure a space for either group collaboration or announcements. This new interface also brings an updated welcome page that provides quick access to actions like adding members, assigning tasks and creating guidelines to help you get started faster.
Several features are coming to Gmail to make it easier to unsubscribe from unwanted emails. This includes the ability to unsubscribe from emails directly from the thread list, relocating the unsubscribe button on mobile and providing clearer options to help you better distinguish between unsubscribing and reporting a message as spam.
On the security side, Trusted Types are expanding to Gmail, providing better protection against a type of web security threat called Document Object Model Cross Site Scripting (DOM XSS).
For Google Docs, an update rolling out in open beta lets you use comments and assign action items in your client-side encrypted documents. This makes it easier to collaborate with others on sensitive files whilst maintaining control over data security.
Connected Sheets for Big Query now displays helpful descriptions for its 23 supported functions, providing context-aware assistance when writing formulae for interacting with BigQuery or using native Sheets functions.
Dropdown options are coming to the sharing button in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drawings, providing quick access to various actions like managing pending access requests and copying file links.
A convenient new feature in Google Drive lets you share timestamped links for specific parts of videos. Sharing a timestamped link will direct others to a particular moment in the video when they open it in Drive, eliminating the need for them to watch the entire video from the start to find the relevant content.
Another file-sharing update released this month allows you to quickly share access to Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms files with all guests in a Google Calendar invitation directly from the file itself instead of needing to first navigate to Calendar. You can even attach the file to the invitation without switching tabs. This makes file-sharing more convenient and can help ensure all attendees have access to relevant files in advance.
In terms of navigation, the List/Grid toggle in Google Drive has been updated to be easier to see and is now available on all Drive web pages. The toggle allows you to switch between viewing modes wherever you are.
Google Admin Panel
With the release of Chrome 120, a number of updates are coming to Chrome-on-iOS that will make it easier for admins to apply policies on managed iOS devices, specifically cross-device policy application, notifying users that their account is managed and a new “Chrome on iOS” control in the Google Admin panel.
Several improvements have rolled out to the Google Drive metrics in the Google Admin Panel Apps reports and the Reports API for more accurate reporting on user activity within your domain. This includes enhanced sharing metrics, refined ownership metrics and more.
Additionally, a new moderation tool in the Google Admin Panel will allow you to conveniently review and manage all reported Google Chat content from a single screen. You can view both active and resolved reports, along with additional context about reported messages, to help you make informed decisions about how to best address reported content.
In the final week of January, Google began rolling out the local data storage feature in beta. This enables you to export your organisation’s Google Workspace data to the geographic location of your choice, giving you more control over where data is stored.
Soon, in Google Sites, you’ll be able to quickly jump to the specific title, section or page of a site where your collaborators are working by clicking on their avatar. The “follow” feature, already available in Google Docs and Slides, makes working together on a Google Site more seamless and ensures that you can be more confident you are looking at the same thing.
For all new scripts in Apps Script, you will be able to create and save up to 200 versions.
January 2024 & What’s Next
There has been a wide range of Google Meet and Google Workspace updates in January. We look forward to seeing what February and the rest of 2024 will bring.
If you would like to discuss any of the updates mentioned above drop us an email at info@GeckoTech.cloud.