Google Updates for LionMail

Check out this page for highlights of upgrades and changes to Columbia's G Suite implementation, which includes LionMail, Calendar, Drive and more.

Recent G Suite updates

For a full report on updates from Google, see the official G Suite Update Blog. Please note that Columbia's G Suite administrators do not offer all G Suite features for a variety of reasons, including security, data protection and support.

CUIT has enabled Google Drive File Stream, allowing you to find and open your files from Google Drive on your computer. You can:

  • Save specific files and folders offline.
  • View and organize your files in your computer’s file system without using storage space.
  • Open files on your computer.

To download File Stream, please see Google's Drive Help page.

CUIT has enabled Google Takeout, allowing you to to export your data to a downloadable archive file, such as a ZIP file. You can download your Gmail, Contacts, Photos, and much more. For a full list of data types, and to find out how much you have of each, sign in to your Google account, then visit your Google Dashboard. To download data, the easiest place to start is Google's Takeout page.

Option to opt out to be removed after October 16th, 2018

Soon after October 16th, 2018, any users who’ve opted out of the new Gmail will be automatically migrated to the new experience. They won’t be able to opt out after that date. Users who’ve already transitioned to the new Gmail will lose the ability to opt out as well.

Update (October 26, 2018): Please note that we're still migrating some remaining G Suite users to the new Gmail. We anticipate completing this migration in the next few weeks.

Settings you can update to make the modern design display more similar to the classic design:

  1. Click the gear in the upper-right corner of LionMail and select Display Density and choose Compact.
  2. Click the gear in the upper-right corner of LionMail and select Settings. In the General section, under Hover Actions, choose Disable hover actions. You can also turn off Smart Compose (the predictive writing suggestions) and Nudges (reminders to reply to emails) in this section.
  3. Click the gear in the upper-right corner of LionMail and select Settings. In the Themes section, scroll down and select the High Contrast theme.
High Contrast theme, found in LionMail Settings, creates a similar feel as "classic gmail"

In response to user feedback, we’re adding a vertical ruler in Google Docs on the web that will help you manipulate tables and control the margins in headers and footers.

Better table management with new vertical ruler 

When you’re using a table, you’ll see your table structure highlighted in a vertical ruler on the left side of the screen. The vertical ruler matches the horizontal ruler, which already exists and is a popular way to control cell width and margins.

You can use the ruler to change the height of rows in the table. When you do so, you’ll see a guide telling you the specific height of the row so you can quickly format it to the specific size you want. You can also use it to control the vertical margins in headers and footers.

New controls over header and footer layout 

We recently added new controls which let you specify the size of the margins in your header and footer. You can control the margins using the vertical ruler feature highlighted above or by using the interface pictured below. By controlling this spacing, you can make sure your document is formatted just as you want it.

Headers and footers controls in Google Docs

The Explore feature in Google Docs and Slides makes it simple to search for Google Drive files related to whatever you’re currently working on. With this launch, G Suite Basic, Business, and Enterprise users can view images and charts in those files—right from within the Explore panel—and insert them quickly and easily into their document or presentation.

You can find the Explore feature in the Tools menu at the top of the menu bar in Docs, Slides and Sheets.

Google Explore feature displays as right-hand panel in Google Slides
An integration of an image suggested by Google Explore into Google Slides

You can now show automated closed captions in real-time when presenting in Google Slides. This feature uses your computer’s microphone to detect your spoken presentation, and then transcribes what you say as captions on the slides you’re presenting. We hope that this will make your presentations more effective in more environments to a wider audience.

Captions created automatically from your audio 

If you turn captions on, Google Slides will use the audio from your microphone to automatically create captions of what you say. These captions will display in real time at the bottom of your screen to all audience members watching the presentation. This will work for local presentations and for presentations over video conferencing software, where captions will show on the shared screen.

The feature works in U.S. English on Chrome browsers. Captions are created from the presenter’s computer and its microphone, so captions may not work consistently if there are multiple presenters using different computers. You may want to let the audience know that captions are from Google Slides, not the video conferencing software, and that only the speaker's voice is captioned.

Helps improve accessibility and in environments where it’s hard to hear 

This feature can help make your presentation more effective for:

  • Audience members who are deaf or hard of hearing 
  • Non-native speakers and/or audience members who prefer written content 
  • In venues with poor audio or in noisy ambient environments 
  • Quick YouTube video on Google Slides -
PLEASE NOTE: Google is making Smart Compose available to Columbia's LionMail users on a rolling basis, and it is currently scheduled to become widely available on or by October 15, 2018. As of November 13, 2018, the feature appears to have been rolled out to all LionMail users.

Smart Compose in now available to G Suite users, it intelligently auto-completes your emails. At launch, it can fill in common phrases and relevant addresses, like that of your home and office; in the future, it will get smarter—learning your most-used greetings.

Smart Compose is on by default for all G Suite users. They can turn it off in their Gmail general settings (Smart Compose > Writing suggestions off).

Visit the Help Center for more details on how to use Smart Compose.

We’re adding a quick-access side panel to the Docs editors and Google Calendar to help you quickly access other G Suite products without leaving what you’re working on. A similar side panel has been a popular feature of the new Gmail, and we hope that this integration will help you work more efficiently within and across G Suite.

You’ll be able to access three G Suite products from Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings:

  • Google Calendar: Quickly reference, create or edit invites. 
  • Google Keep: Easily take notes, create lists, and see your other content. 
  • Google Tasks: Manage your tasks and to-dos. 

You’ll also see the side panel in Google Calendar, where you’ll be able to use Keep and Tasks.

To create a more consistent, streamlined Google Contacts experience, we’re removing the embedded contacts feature in Gmail, which gives users access to their contacts from the top left corner of the user interface. This feature doesn’t appear in the new version of Gmail that recently launched, and it will soon be removed from the old UI as well.

Former way to access Google Contacts in left-hand navigation

Going forward, G Suite users can access Contacts via their web browser at or the app launcher. This will direct them to the new Contacts (a.k.a. Contacts preview) or the classic Contacts Manager, depending on which is enabled for their domain.

Updated way to access Google Contacts, via the App Launcher in the upper-right hand corner

In Gmail, replies to emails are grouped together as “conversations,” to make them easier to digest and follow. Some users, however, prefer to see each of their emails listed individually in their inbox. This is possible on the web by toggling “Conversation View” off in the Settings menu.

We’re now bringing this same feature to the Gmail Android and iOS apps. If you currently have Conversation view turned off on the web, it will be turned off on your mobile app as well.

G Suite apps currently under evaluation

See our Google Apps for LionMail page for a list of the applications enabled by CUIT outside of the core set of Google services (Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Drive).

  • Hangouts
  • Adwords
  • Sites
  • Team Drive
  • Jamboard