Monday, October 31, 2011

Google+ is now available with Google Apps


Google Apps fans, today we’re ready to add you to our circles. Google+ makes sharing on the web more like sharing in the real world, and now Google+ is available to people who use Google Apps at college, at work or at home. 

Starting now you can manually turn on Google+ for your organization. Once Google+ is turned on, your users will just need to sign up at google.com/+ to get started. For customers who use Google Apps for Business or the free version of Google Apps and who have chosen to automatically enable new services, Google+ will automatically become available to all of your users over the next several days.*

Google Apps users will have access to the same set of features that are available to every Google+ user, and more. In addition to sharing publicly or with your circles, you’ll also have the option to share with everyone in your organization, even if you haven’t added all of those people to a circle.



Google+ at home, at work and at college
You use Google Apps in lots of different ways, and we expect the same for Google+. Apps users from artists to doctors to parents to students to teachers have told us that they are ready to join the 40 million people already sharing on Google+.

Circles is a great way to share relevant content with the right people. With Circles, your photography crew doesn’t have to get an update about your morning workout, your triathlon team doesn’t have to see all your thoughts on the latest camera gear, and your project teams can be kept separate from all of this.



Hangouts with extras, which combines multi-person video chat with screen sharing and collaboration in Google Docs, lets you work together on projects even when your team can't be in the same room. Whether you’re out of town, working on a project with a distributed group, or just don’t feel like walking to the next building for your meeting, Hangouts with extras can give your team the productivity boost it needs.



Google+ coming to a campus near you
Many students and teachers have sent us their ideas about how they can use Google+ to teach, learn, work, and play. These are a few Google Apps for Education universities from around the world that are bringing Google+ to their campuses today:

  • Abilene Christian University
  • American University in Cairo (Egypt)
  • Arizona State University
  • AT Still University
  • Boise State University
  • Central Piedmont Community College
  • Dublin City University (Ireland)
  • ESSEC Business School (France)
  • Leeds Metropolitan University (United Kingdom)
  • Loughborough University (United Kingdom)
  • Saint Louis University
  • Strathmore University (Kenya)
  • Universidad Panamericana (Mexico)
  • University of Ferrara (Italy)
  • University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Pavia (Italy)
  • University of Portsmouth (United Kingdom)
  • University of Washington
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Wake Forest University

Just the beginning
For those of you who’ve already started using Google+ with a personal Google Account and would prefer to use your Google Apps account, we’re building a migration tool to help you move over. With this tool, you won’t have to rebuild your circles, and people who’ve already added you to their circles will automatically be connected to your new profile. We expect this migration option to be ready in a few weeks, so if you’d like, you can go ahead and get started with your Apps account today and merge your connections once the tool is available.

It took more technical work than we expected to bring Google+ to Google Apps, and we thank you for your patience. This integration is just the beginning. We’ll continue to add features and improve the way that Google+ works with Google Apps, and we encourage you to share your ideas.


* Google+ requires Picasa Web Albums for photo sharing and Google Talk for chat, so if these services are not enabled then Google+ will not automatically become available, even if your domain has chosen to automatically enable new services. The option to automatically enable new services is controlled in the Domain settings tab of the administrator control panel. More information about using Google+ with Google Apps is available in the Help Center.

New option when granting access to Gmail


A new option is now available to users when granting access to their Gmail account. This option controls whether a message is marked as read or unread when accessed by the person delegated to access the account. This is useful for the manager/assistant use cases.

How to access what's new:
In Gmail settings, select the ‘Accounts’ tab and navigate to the ‘Grant access to your account section’. When setting up or modifying access, the new options to mark or leave conversations as read when opened by others are available there.

Note: Administrators can control whether their users have this option to grant access or not via the administrator control panel.

For more information:
https://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&ctx=mail&answer=138350

A fresh start for Google presentations


From the Google Enterprise Blog:
A year and a half ago, we released completely new document, spreadsheet and drawing editors. Google Docs has been picking up speed ever since with more than 60 new features and millions of new users. Today we’re rounding out the suite by previewing a new version of presentations with faster collaboration and more features.


A collaborative approach 
Presentations are made to be shared—whether it’s presenting your thesis to your professors or inspiring colleagues at a conference. And the best presentations are made together, collaborating with others to build a compelling story that captivates your audience. Creating presentations together is easy because you can:
  • See exactly what others are working on with colorful presence markers
  • Edit with your team members simultaneously from different locations
  • Use revision history to see who made changes or to revert to earlier versions
  • Say hello, start a conversation or share new ideas using built-in chat


More than 50 new features 
In the new presentations, we’ve added many of your most requested features, including:
  • Transitions to move between slides with simple fades or spicier 3D effects
  • Animations to add emphasis or to make your slides more playful
  • New themes to create beautiful presentations with distinct visual styles
  • Drawings to build new designs, layouts, and flowcharts within a presentation
  • Rich tables with merged cells and more options for adding style to your data



What’s next
We’re gradually rolling out the new presentations. To get an early start, click on the gear icon in your document list, and selectDocument settings. Then, from the editing tab, check the box to “Create new presentations using the latest version of the presentation editor.” Learn more about getting started with the new presentation editor over at our Help Center.

Many of the new features were built using technologies that are only available in modern browsers. If you’re using an older browser you’ll be able to view, but not edit, the new presentations.

With today’s launch, the Google Docs suite is now built on a single, solid foundation. Now that the groundwork is in place, you can expect more useful and collaborative features, delivered faster than ever before.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Visualize your data with Charts in Google Sites



You can now display charts directly in Google Sites. Once you select a spreadsheet, the editor picks existing charts from the spreadsheet to embed into a Site.

You can decide to choose between two modes Live and Snapshot to show the data.
- Live provides you with dynamic charts. Whenever the chart is loaded in the Site, the chart will display the most recent data in the spreadsheet. This is very useful in cases when the spreadsheet data is updated manually or using a script.
- Snapshot means just that. It’s a snapshot at a point in time, so the chart will store and display the exact same data, regardless of whether you make changes to the underlying data sheet.

How to access what's new:
When editing a page, click ‘Insert Menu’ and choose ‘Charts'.

For more information:
Help Center: http://www.google.com/support/sites/bin/answer.py?answer=1680639 

Experience the new look of Docs and Sites

Reposted from Google Apps Blog: 03 Oct 2011 10:13 AM PDT



Starting today, we’re rolling out the new design for Google Docs and Sites to everyone.

We began rolling out these improvements in early August with the documents list and have since upgraded our entire collaboration suite. You may have noticed that our new look matches other recent Google visual updates, which aim to bring a consistent, improved experience across our products.

Your content is what’s important, and we aim to highlight it with this new design. You’ll see clean menus and toolbars, prominent action buttons, and colorful presence that pops when you’re editing with others.


To people who opted-in to try the new look — thank you. Based on your feedback, here are some of the improvements we made:
  • We made it clearer that your document is always saved, by showing “Saving...” right after you make a change and then “All changes saved” once it’s fully saved.

  • We added an icon to the Share button so you can tell if your document is shared at a glance.

  • If you’re looking for options that were previously under the Share button (e.g. “Email as attachment...”), you can now find these in the File menu.

  • By default, the documents list automatically fits a comfortable number of documents on your screen (large desktop monitors show more, smaller laptop screens show fewer). We also added density options to give you more control:
If you’re not quite ready for the new look, choose Help > Use the classic look (or in the gear menu, for some products). We’ll support the classic look for at least a few more weeks, but encourage you to use the new look, get settled in, and send us any feedback you have.

We hope you enjoy this refreshed experience.

Posted by: Vance Vagell, User Interface Software Engineer