Google Workspace Feature Implementation
January 11th 2021
Another week, another Chromebook article. As you know, we use G-Suite (which has recently been re-branded as "Workspace") to do most of our educational work here at Mansfield. This collection of tools is constantly being updated and improved by the engineers at Google. Do you ever wonder what they've got planned for the future or anything new that they've added? Well, look no further! Google has a blog detailing every new feature that they've implemented along with the domain configurations that will experience the update. They also have a spreadsheet of features that they're actively working on. Each implementation has a rollout pace (speed that end-users receive the update) that is determined by Google based on the complexity of the feature.
Full rollouts (1–3 days for feature visibility)
Gradual rollouts (up to 15 days for feature visibility)
Extended rollouts (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility)
Google staggers the release of these features for one very important reason: in case it introduces a major bug that impacts the use of the tool. That way it affects the fewest number of users possible before they get a chance to fix it. This is a deployment strategy that is referred to in software engineering as A/B testing. It's also why you may have noticed that when Google Meet got the video backgrounds update, it may not have been accessible on your account even though it was accessible to others. If that ever happens again in the future have faith that you will eventually be a part of Google's cool kids club. If you're interested in learning more about Workspace you can visit their Learning Center.
-Leo Bunyea, Technology Technician and Impatient Nerd