Doug Anderson

Tech Tip Tuesday: Keep Your Device’s Operating System Up to Date

If you use a smartphone or tablet, it’s important to keep the operating system (OS) up to date. Doing so can help avoid security risks, improve performance, and keep everything running smoothly.

blurred photo of a person holding a tablet

Taking the steps outlined on this page from the Federal Communications Commission both for before and after the update will help make the transition to the updated OS as seamless as possible.

Remember that each type of device uses a specific OS, and the update process for each OS is a little different.

The OS used by Apple mobile devices such as iPads and iPhones is known as iOS. Here’s how to update iOS on your mobile device.

Android devices are a little more complex, because different manufacturers may customize the OS in different ways, and the update methods vary a little with each successive version of the OS. Google provides instructions that will work on most devices for updating your Android OS.

Learn more about adopting safer habits with your devices at Allegheny.

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Tech Tip Tuesday: Create Meeting Notes in a Calendar Event

Now you can create a document for your meeting notes right when you schedule an event in Google Calendar, in addition to adding other attachments.

Here’s how:

  1. From within Google Calendar in a web browser, choose Create.
    Screenshot of the "Create" button in the Google Calendar web interface
  2. Set the options for the meeting, such as the date, time, title, and guests.
  3. Choose Add description or attachments.
    Screenshot of the event creation dialog in the Google Calendar web interface
  4. If you have other documents in your Google Drive to attach to the meeting, use the dialog box to choose those.
    If not, choose Cancel.
  5. After you close that dialog box, you will find an option to Create Meeting Notes.
    Screenshot of the "Create Meeting Notes" option in a meeting creation dialog box in Google Calendar
  6. Creating a notes document from Calendar will automatically populate the document with the event information and attach the document to the event.
    Screenshot showing a meeting notes document listing in the event details in a Google Calendar event
  7. Choose Save. This will automatically create the document in the Google Drive of the person scheduling the meeting.
  8. The first time you open the meeting notes from within the Google Calendar event, it will be automatically populated with the meeting details and some common tools.
    Screenshot of the Meeting Notes document showing the basic tools and meeting details prepopulated
  • Be aware that the meeting notes will be shared with all guests, including those outside Allegheny College (if any).
  • This feature is currently only available when creating events in a web browser; it is not yet available in the Google Calendar app on mobile devices.
  • Meeting notes can also be added in a similar fashion after the event is created.
  • Anyone with permission to edit the event details can add meeting notes.

Learn more about adding attachments to Google Calendar events.

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Tech Tuesday: Using Labels in Google Contacts

We’ve talked before about using labels in Google Keep. Google Contacts is another service where labels can help you keep things organized.

On your Android phone or tablet:

Create a label

  1. Open the Contacts app .
  2. At the top left, tap Menu and then Create label.
  3. Enter a label name and tap OK.

Add contacts to a label

  • Add one contact to a label: Tap Add contact and then choose a contact.
  • Add multiple contacts to a label: Tap Add contact and then touch and hold a contact and then tap the other contacts and then tap Add.

In a web browser:

Create a label

  1. Go to Google Contacts.
  2. At the left under “Labels,” click Create label.
  3. Type a name, then click Save.

Add contacts to a label

  1. Go to Google Contacts.
  2. Select one of the following:
    • A single contact: Check the box next to the contact name.
    • Multiple contacts: Check the boxes next to all the contacts you want to add.
    • All contacts: Check the box next to any contact and in the top left, click Selection Actions and then All.
  3. At the top, click Manage labels .
  4. Click the group label you want.
  5. Click Apply.
If a contact has multiple email addresses, only their default email address is added to the label group. You can use the Contacts app  on an Android device to change the default email address for a contact.

You can email all your contacts under a particular label from within Gmail.

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. At the top left, click Compose.
  3. In the “To” field, start typing the name of the Contacts label, then select the label name from the list that appears.
  4. You’ll see a list of contacts in the “To” field.
What else can you do with Google Contacts?

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Canvas and the Google LTI

On the afternoon of September 30, Canvas users reported an issue accessing Google documents from within Canvas.

As of 2:08 p.m., Canvas support announced that a fix had been implemented and the issue was resolved.

Many thanks to those across campus who alerted LITS to the issue.

If you are still encountering issues with Google documents within Canvas, we encourage you to reach out to Canvas Support using the Report a Problem link from the Help menu within Canvas.

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Comment on Microsoft Office Files & PDFs in Google Drive

You may already be familiar with using comments in Google Docs and Google Sheets. Did you know you can use similar features to comment on Microsoft Word files, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, and PDFs that you’ve uploaded to Google Drive?

Comments can be a great way to collaborate–letting your team know your thoughts and asking questions about a document that all of you have access to.

To comment on a PDF file, double-click on the file in your Google Drive.

In the upper right corner, click on the “Add a comment” button:

Screenshot of the interaction menu from a PDF file in Google Drive, highlighting the "Add a Comment" button

You can then select a portion of the PDF to comment on, type your comment, and use the Comment button to save it:

Screenshot of a comment being left on a Google Drive PDF file, reading "This is a great illustration of this feature."

To be able to add comments, you must either be the owner of the file, or have editing or commenting privileges on the file.

You can also comment on images and video files!

Learn more about file storage and collaboration in Google Drive, Docs, and Sheets.

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“Disabled” account issue

On the morning of Friday, September 10, LITS received numerous reports of certain student accounts being disabled. Printing, WiFi, email, Google Workspace, Canvas, Self Service, and other Allegheny College services were affected by this outage.

We believe that the issue has been resolved. If any students are still receiving this error message, please alert the InfoDesk at 814-332-3768, or stop by the InfoDesk so we can help troubleshoot.

Reduce Background Noise in Google Meet

Google Meet now includes an option to reduce background noise on both desktop and mobile. Meet can remove background noises such as typing, closing a door, or the sounds of a nearby construction site.

  • Audio capture from screen sharing won’t be affected by noise cancelling.
  • Meet filters out noises that don’t sound like voices. Voices from TV, or other people talking at the same time, won’t be filtered out.
  • If non-speech sound is an important part of your call, like playing musical instruments, turn off noise cancellation.

Turn on noise cancellation in your desktop browser:

Before a video call

  1. Go to
  2. Select a video call.
  3. Before you join, on the top right, click More options More
  4. Choose Settings Settings.
  5. Click Audio.
  6. Turn on Noise cancellation.
  7. Click Join now.

In a video call

  1. On the bottom, click  More options More
  2. Choose Settings Settings.
  3. Click Audio.
  4. Turn on Noise cancellation.

Tip: To check how much noise is cancelled out, next to your self preview at the top right corner of your screen, look at the Voice indicator  Voice indicator. The Voice indicator reflects what others may hear. Sounds that are blocked and cannot be heard by others will not move the indicator line.

Turn on noise cancellation on mobile:

  1. Tap the screen .
  2. Tap More More
  3. Tap Settings Settings.
  4. Tap Noise cancellation.

Here’s an example showing the difference it can make:

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LITS Website Redesign

Library and Information Services is pleased to announce significant revisions to the LITS web site. The LITS web team has worked to streamline the main LITS page, with careful attention to the resources that Allegheny students, faculty, and employees need the most. In addition, we have added a new pages focused on services for employees, and streamlined our page focused on services for students.

LITS would like especially to thank the members of AAC and SAC who provided feedback and suggestions during the development process.

LITS invites input from our campus community. Please reach out to the InfoDesk at with any questions.

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