Apps Announcements

More magic in Slides: editable themes and widescreen presentations

posted Oct 10, 2013, 1:48 AM by Prema Howard   [ updated Oct 10, 2013, 1:49 AM ]

Posted on Google's Official Enterprise Blog by Michael Thomas, Software Engineer, Google Slides 

(Cross-posted on the Google Drive blog.) 

Presentations give you the ability to bring a story to life in a visually compelling way—whether it’s a pitch for a new product idea, a deck for a history class assignment, or an introduction to your surfing club. Today you can take the magic up a notch with two new features in Slides—widescreen format and editable master slides.

With widescreen presentations, you get a ton of new space to fill with words, charts, tables or even a simple, beautiful image.
Since the majority of monitors and displays are now widescreen, new presentations will be widescreen by default. You can change the size of your slides using the pull down menu in the theme chooser, or by visiting Page setup in the File menu.
Every presentation you make with Slides has a theme that comes with a set of preset colors, font styles and sizes, backgrounds, etc. to give you a consistent look and feel throughout your deck.

One of your top requests has been to customize these presets throughout your presentation. With editable master slides, you can now easily tailor how content appears on every slide by selecting "Edit master" from the Slide menu. For example, you can set all of your header fonts to Alconica, make all of your first level bullets bold, and add a logo in the bottom right corner.
Voila! The thumbnail previews alongside the master show that all of these changes are made instantly across all of the slides in your presentation. 

And that’s not all. Each theme consists of a variety of slide layouts, which can also now be individually customized or created from scratch

We hope that these new ways to customize Slides help you tell better stories, and look forward to seeing the beautiful themes that you come up with. Look out for these updates throughout the course of the day.

Share Docs, Slides and Drawings with people who do not have a Google Account

posted Oct 10, 2013, 1:03 AM by Prema Howard   [ updated Oct 10, 2013, 1:03 AM ]

As posted on the Google Apps Updates blog.

We are making it easier to share Docs, Slides and Drawings with people who don’t have a Google Account. As a result of this change, files shared outside your domain to an email address not linked to an existing Google Account can be viewed without having to sign in or create a new Google Account. If a file is shared with edit or comment permissions, the recieving user must still sign in with a Google Account in order to edit or comment on that file.

When a user directly shares with individuals who do not have Google Accounts, those recipients will be able to view the file without signing in. Because no sign in is required, anyone may view the file with this sharing link until the person who the file was explicitly shared with creates a Google Account and expends the invitation. Once the person creates a Google Account two things happen: (1) the sharing link will no longer work for new users to access the file and the sharing dialog will indicate that the invitation has been used; (2) any user who accessed the file using the sharing link while it was open and signed in using their Google Account will be added to the sharing access list for that file and will continue to have access. Users with permissions to change sharing settings can revoke this access if desired.

Google Apps admins can prevent this behavior by disabling sharing outside the domain to people who are not using a Google Account via a setting in the Admin console.

For more information:

Rebirth of IT

posted Oct 10, 2013, 1:00 AM by Prema Howard   [ updated Oct 10, 2013, 1:00 AM ]

Posted on Google's Official Blog by Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google

Yesterday I had the chance to deliver the keynote at the Gartner ITExpo in Orlando. I took this opportunity to reflect on how business technology has evolved in the three years since I last spoke on this stage — and, as part of that, how Google’s commitment to enterprise customers has grown.

In 2010, the suggestion that a company could move all of its employees to the cloud was often met with skepticism. People relied on desktop computers and Exchange servers because that was what they’d used in the workplace for the past two decades. And, the few companies that did embrace the cloud tended to see it as a more cost-effective way to do things they’d always done. But over time, they started to recognize the transformational benefits of working in the cloud.
Today, moving to the cloud is not a questionable proposition — it’s inevitable. This is good news for IT staff, who don’t need to spend time maintaining servers and installing upgrades, and also for employees, since the cloud makes it easy to collaborate and get more stuff done quickly. Sooner than almost anyone thought possible, hundreds of large-scale companies have succeeded in moving their businesses to the cloud, paving the way for millions more to follow. Consider a few recent examples:

  • Woolworths is Australia’s largest retailer, with more than 3,000 stores and a staff of 200,000. They moved to Google Apps and Chrome.
  • The country of Malaysia adopted Google Apps for 10 million students, teachers and parents, and deployed Chromebooks to schools nationwide.
  • And yesterday, Whirlpool — which owns Maytag and KitchenAid — announced that they’re rolling out Google Apps to help 30,000 employees collaborate and innovate more quickly.

These organizations realize that the cloud is not just a cheaper way to maintain the status quo, but also a way to fundamentally transform the way a business is run and how people can get work done together. Inviting 50 people to collaborate on a Google document in real-time is an order of magnitude more efficient than sending attachments back and forth to those same people. 
More than half of Americans now own smartphones, while PC sales are steadily declining. In their personal lives, employees expect to check email on their phone and join a video call from their tablet, at any time, from wherever they are. Increasingly, people want to bring these habits to the workplace so they can work the way they live.

Companies like Google play a pivotal role in this “consumerization of IT.” More than 425 million people around the world rely on Gmail in their personal lives, and now more than 5 million businesses are using Gmail as part of Google Apps at work. At Google, there are now thousands of employees — a substantial portion of the company — who help us build and support products for these business customers. 

The real beneficiaries of this rebirth of IT are not technology companies, but the rest of us — business ownersmakers,teachersstudents and employees. Having the power of massive data centers and smart mobile devices at our fingertips makes it easier than ever to create, communicate, learn and collaborate. 

Monitor user logins, storage consumption and apps usage with the Admin SDK

posted Oct 4, 2013, 2:12 AM by Prema Howard   [ updated Oct 4, 2013, 2:12 AM ]

As posted on Google's Official Blog

We have added a few new features to the Admin SDK 
Reports API to let you more easily visualize Google Apps' usage and security in your domain. These new features include:

Security Reports
Login audit: View all web browser based logins with IP information for all users in your domain. You can use this data to monitor all successful, failed, and suspicious logins in your domain.
Authorized applications: View a list of third-party applications that users in your domain have shared data with. Gain visibility into how many users are accessing each application. Revoke access to specific apps using the security tab on Admin console.

Usage Reports
Storage quota: View user-level quota usage. This is available both as total usage and split by Gmail, Drive and Google+ photos for every user in the domain. Monitor which users are nearing their quota limits and acquire more storage if necessary.
Google+ usage: View 1-day, 7-day and 30-day active Google+ usage in your domain. See the number of Hangouts attended by users in your domain.

Editions included: 
Google Apps for Business, Education, and Government

For more information:

Four new ways to customize your Google Forms

posted Sep 11, 2013, 10:36 PM by Prema Howard   [ updated Sep 11, 2013, 10:36 PM ]

Posted by Elynn Lee, Software Engineer, Google Forms on Google's Official Blog

From classroom pop quizzes to RSVPs for your team offsite, you can use Google Forms in tons of different ways -- which is why it's important to be able to customize each form to fit your needs. Starting today, you’ll be able to take advantage of four new features to create your perfect form: progress bars, data validation, embedded YouTube videos, and custom messages.

Guide respondents through your survey with a progress bar
Sometimes it’s helpful to give respondents a sense of how much of a survey still needs to be completed, and now you can by turning on a progress bar in your form.
To turn it on, just check the progress bar box in the Form Settings tab.
Get results the way you want them with data validation
Let’s say you’re using Forms to collect sign ups for an email newsletter. With data validation, you can now ensure that the email addresses are formatted correctly, and consequently avoid those unpleasant bounce-back messages.

To get started, create a new Text question in Forms, then click on the Data validation tab. Click the checkbox and select “Text,” then “Email address,” and voila, the survey taker will see an error message if they don’t enter an email address.
You can also set up data validation for maximum character count, numbers, zip codes, and more.

Embed YouTube videos
You can now embed a YouTube video right inside a form -- perfect if you want to get feedback or ask questions about a video.

This works really well for quizzes in class, especially if paired with data validation and the progress bar. Embed a video and then use data validation to give hints when students enter incorrect answers, and add a progress bar so they know how far along they are in the quiz.
Add a custom message to closed forms
Sometimes when a form is closed, you still want to make information available for respondents who weren’t able to complete it in time.
After you’ve switched your form to “Not accepting responses,” you can now add your own message and instructions for follow up.

Mobile updates and a new API for using Google+ at work

posted Aug 29, 2013, 12:29 AM by Prema Howard   [ updated Aug 29, 2013, 12:29 AM ]

Posted by Joël Kalmanowicz, Product Manager, Google Apps Team on Google's Official Blog.

If you're a Google Apps for Business, Government or Education customer, [we've released] a few new features designed to make it even easier for you to get things done with Google+. New business-focused features for the Google+ app on Android and general availability of the Google+ Domains API will be rolling out.

Share with coworkers on the go
First, the Google+ app on Android now supports multiple accounts, so you can log in to both a personal and a work account, and easily switch between them as you can in other apps such as Gmail.

Next, you can create restricted posts from the Google+ app on Android. Restricted posts can’t be shared outside your organization, so your private conversations are only visible to your coworkers.

Finally, new 
domain labels in both the mobile app and on the web help you quickly identify your coworkers’ profiles so you’re connecting and sharing with the right people.

Develop business apps that integrate with Google+

At Google I/O in May we announced a limited preview of the Google+ Domains API. [Now] the Google+ Domains API is available to all Google Apps customers. The API allows Apps customers to integrate Google+ into their existing tools and processes, and allows enterprise software vendors to access Google+ from their products.

For example Ocado, a Google Apps customer, is using the Google+ Domains API to sync Active Directory teams with employees’ circles. This will ensure that every employee always has an up-to-date circle containing all the other members of their team.

Cloudlock, an enterprise software vendor in the Google Apps Marketplace, is using the Google+ Domains API to add support for Google+ to its suite of data loss prevention, governance and compliance applications.

Learn more about the Google+ Domains API on the Google Apps Developer Blog and read the documentation on the Google+ developers site.

These changes will be rolling out to Google Apps customers over the next several days. To use the new mobile features, download the Google+ app from the Google Play Store. Stay tuned for more Google+ features built for businesses.

Google Apps Vault for a subset of your users

posted Aug 8, 2013, 1:30 AM by Prema Howard   [ updated Aug 8, 2013, 1:30 AM ]

Posted by Jack Halprin, Head of eDiscovery, Enterprise, on Google's Official Blog.

Since we launched Google Apps Vault, thousand of businesses, schools, and governments have adopted it to archive, retain, and manage business-critical information. Until now, customers have only been able to buy Vault for their entire domain. Now, with partial domain licensing, you can buy Vault for specific users or by organizational units, enabling you to save money and focus your efforts.

Google Apps Vault helps protect organizations of all sizes from lawsuits by enabling them to quickly find and preserve email messages that may be relevant to litigation, reducing investigation costs. Vault also helps manage and preserve business-critical information for continuity, compliance, and regulatory purposes. 

You can add Vault to an existing Apps account, or purchase it in conjunction with Apps, for $5 per user per month. If you purchased Google Apps online directly from Google, you can purchase Vault from your Apps Admin Console. If you purchased Vault from a reseller partner, please contact them to purchase additional Vault users. And, finally, pleasecontact us if you are a Google Apps for Education or Government customer interested in Vault.

Email alerts for admins

posted Aug 8, 2013, 1:28 AM by Prema Howard   [ updated Aug 8, 2013, 1:28 AM ]

Posted by Rishi Dhand, Product Manager, Google Apps, on Google's Official Blog.

If you’re a Google Apps for Business administrator—or if you know one—you know it’s not just about managing users, services and devices. It’s also about keeping users secure and productive—and, after receiving some great feedback from our customers, we’ve found a way to make that easier.

Now, admins can elect to receive customizable email alerts when certain events of interest occur. By subscribing to alerts, admins can stay informed and, when needed, take prompt corrective action. These alerts are also helpful when multiple admins work together and want to stay informed on these changes.

There are two kind of alerts:

  • User Alerts: Generated when our systems detect suspicious or unusual login events as well as on user-level administrator actions such as additions, deletions or suspensions. Real-time alerts allow admins to review the changes and take corrective action.
  • Settings Alerts: These alerts are automatically generated when any change by administrators to applications, device management or service settings is detected.

To see the latest alerts – and to subscribe to emailed alerts – simply login to your Admin console ( and go to Reports > Alerts. Questions? To learn more, visit the help center or contact our support team that is available by phone or email 24/7.

Full screen option in the new Gmail compose experience

posted Jul 31, 2013, 1:31 AM by Prema Howard   [ updated Jul 31, 2013, 1:33 AM ]

A full screen option has now been enabled in the new Gmail compose experience for Rapid release domains. Scheduled release domains will have this feature on August 6th, 2013. To try it out:

1. Click Compose.
2. Click the double-arrow icon at the top right of the compose window.
3. Enjoy a larger composition mode that displays all of the formatting options by default.

If you want to make this option your default view, click into the options menu at the bottom right corner of compose and choose “Default to full-screen.” The next time you click Compose, you’ll be sent to this mode. Both types of compose can be minimized by clicking the black bar at the top.

Editions included: 
Google Apps for Business, Education, and Government

For more information:

Happy SysAdmin Day

posted Jul 31, 2013, 1:30 AM by Prema Howard   [ updated Jul 31, 2013, 1:30 AM ]

Posted by Ben Fried, CIO at Google, on Google's Official Blog.

System Administrators’ responsibilities can’t be captured in a simple job description. They vary from company to company and even within organizations, but one thing is constant: systems administrators are the people who do what it takes to keep companies running. After more than 25 years in IT, I’ve worked with an incredibly talented and dedicated group of systems administrators and on this SysAdmin Day, I want to thank you for all that you do. 

Thank you for being the ones behind the scenes who make sure things “just work.” For coming in on holidays and in the middle of the night to do an upgrade or fix a server issue. For answering all of our questions, no matter how challenging or strange. For hours spent fixing the simplest email support issue to monitoring servers during a hurricane. I actually think that it’s what we don’t know about that deserves the most thanks. All too often, users don’t understand the amazing efforts that go into making things “just work”: physical plant, hardware, storage, networking, security, backup, disaster recovery, configuration, upgrades, patches... and it’s all only really successful if users only have to think about their own work.

What we do in IT has evolved over the years, (hey, that’s a big part of why we’re here, right?), but your role has only gotten more demanding. I’ve worked in technology since I was in high school; in my earliest days, the hardest problems might have been helping researchers convert their data from one tape format to another, which seemed equal parts engineering and magic. I remember another time, someone had a program that made a washing machine-sized disk drive vibrate across the machine room. It took us a while to figure that one out. And back then, before the Internet, a break-in meant the intruder was in one of our computing centers, and we’d have to send the most intimidating-looking system administrators to guard the door until the police came.

I know the role has changed, and the challenges many of you face are much more complicated than they used to be. We thought the best way to say thanks would be to hear directly from you. Earlier this week we asked you to share some of the most far-fetched requests you’ve received from colleagues. The stories shared made us laugh, and reminded us how much hard work you do. If we don’t say it enough, thank you again for everything you do. 

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