Google Adding Application ‘Side Access Panel’ to G Suite

A new “side access panel” will give G Suite users quick access to data in other applications while they are editing a Google Doc or using the Google Calendar, according to the post.

Google G Suite Update

Google G Suite users are gaining new features to make the company's office collaboration application suite easier to use, including a quick-access side panel for Google Docs and Calendar that will provide faster access to other Google apps and data.

Google is giving all G Suite users full access to the Docs Activity Dashboard that previously was not fully available to G Suite Basic users.

The all-new quick-access side panel, which was announced in an Aug. 22 post on the G Suite Updates blog page, is designed to let users access other G Suite applications while they are editing a Google Doc or using the Google Calendar, according to the post.

"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," the post continued.

The new quick-access panel will include three services: 

  • Google Calendar, where users will be able to view, create or edit invites. 
  • Google Keep, where users can take notes, create lists and see their other content. 
  • Google Tasks, where users can manage their tasks and to-do lists.  

Users will be able to access the services from their Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drawings applications. 

The new features are launching now to Google's Rapid Release customers, while it will be available to Scheduled Release users in two weeks for all G Suite users, according to Google. 

The other significant change for G Suite users is the Docs Activity dashboard availability for all G Suite users, according to an Aug. 21 post on the G Suite Updates blog page.   

The Docs Activity dashboard gives users useful metrics about how people are interacting with their Google Docs, Sheets and Slides files, according to Google. This information can be used to help make user collaboration more efficient and effective. 

Users can also use the dashboard to email collaborators using knowledge about viewing histories to pick recipients and send custom follow-up emails. In addition, the dashboard helps to keep track of how many viewers have visited a file over time. 

All G Suite administrators and users “will now have full access to Activity dashboards and associated controls," the post states. "Previously, admins and users in Basic domains could choose whether their viewing data appeared in dashboards, but they could not see dashboards for their own files." 

Those capabilities are now being made available to all users, along with several new configuration options and controls.

Administrators in G Suite Basic domains will be able to decide whether their users can use Activity dashboard. "This new Admin console setting will be available for two weeks before the feature becomes available for users," the post states. "By default this will be turned on, meaning that users will be able to view Activity dashboards for files that belong to their domain and that they have 'Edit' access to." 

At the same time, any existing administrator or user privacy controls will remain the same when the controls and options changes are enabled. "For example, if an admin or user in a Basic domain has previously chosen to prevent their viewing data from appearing in Activity dashboards, this setting will not change." 

These changes will start to roll out for G Suite Rapid Release customers on Sept. 4, depending on any actions taken by administrators. For Scheduled Release G Suite Basic domains, the changes will roll out on Sept. 18. G Suite Enterprise, Enterprise for Education, Business, Education, and Nonprofit domains already have access to the feature