Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Google+ Events in Google Calendar


Today at Google I/O, we announced Google+ Events, a new way to create, capture and share public and private events. Google+ Events are seamlessly integrated with Google Calendar to simplify the planning process, so you’ll always know when you have something coming up.

When creating a Google+ event, you can check your Google Calendar to make sure you pick the best time to party. Google+ events also sync to your mobile device's calendar, so you can have them handy when you are on the go.



In week and day views in Calendar, you’ll recognize Google+ Events by the event owner's profile picture. When you click to expand the event in Calendar, it displays a beautiful theme and allows you to set reminders, see other guests, and respond to the event.



Clicking ‘View on Google+’ takes you to the event page, where you can exchange comments with other guests, view photos, and more. Learn about Google+ Events here, and see our post on the Official Google Blog.

Get things done anytime, anywhere: Announcing offline document editing and Google Drive for iOS


In April, we introduced Google Drive, a place where you can create, share, and keep all your stuff. Today at the Google I/O conference we announced two new ways to get things done in the cloud: offline editing for Google documents and a Drive app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Offline document editing 
No internet connection? No big deal. With offline editing, you can create and edit Google documents and leave comments. Any changes you make will be automatically synced when you get back online.

You can enable offline editing from the gear icon in Google Drive and find more detailed instructions for getting set up in the Help Center. Note that you’ll need the latest versions of Chrome or ChromeOS to edit offline. We’re also working hard to make offline editing for spreadsheets and presentations available in the future.

Google Drive for iOS 
We launched the Drive app for Android phones and tablets a few weeks ago, and starting today, Google Drive is available for your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.



With the Drive app, you can open PDFs, photos, videos, documents and anything else stored in your Drive while you're on the go. You can also search all your files, add collaborators to documents, and make filesavailable offline to view them even without an internet connection. For blind and low-vision users, the app also works great in VoiceOver mode. Learn more about what you can do with the app in our Help Center.

Get Drive in the App Store for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running iOS 5.0+ and visit the Play Store to get the latest on your Android phone or tablet.

To learn more about Google Drive, visit drive.google.com/start.

Notification Center support for Gmail on iOS


Our team has been working hard to bring your most-requested features to the Gmail app for iOS. Today, we’re excited to add three new improvements to that list of updates: full notification center support, the ability to send messages from your alternate email addresses and an improved login experience.

First up, Gmail is now fully integrated with Notification Center and supports banners, alerts and lock screen options. Plus, notifications are now incredibly fast -- up to 5x faster than in the previous version.
Next, you now have the option to send mail from alternate email addresses. If you have configured alternate sender addresses in Gmail on your desktop under Settings->Accounts->Send mail as you will see a From: option when composing new messages in the app.
Lastly, we’ve improved the login process to allow you to stay logged into the app for as long as you’d like. You can still choose to sign out of your account, but you won't be automatically logged out after a certain period of time has elapsed.

We’ll continue to improve the app, and we’re looking forward to bringing you more features in future releases, including support for multiple accounts.

Google Apps Vault goes global


In March 2012, we launched Google Apps Vault, bringing enterprise-class information governance to Google Apps. Vault delivers retention, archiving and eDiscovery capabilities for email and chat messages, enabling businesses of all sizes to access and manage business-critical information. Vault offers true manage-in-place capabilities by applying retention policies directly to the Google Apps data, without the need to move, export, or create a copy of data in a separate location. 

Google Apps Vault already archives, searches and manages messages in all languages that Google Apps supports (50+). Now the Google Apps Vault user interface is available in 28 languages, including double-byte languages like Japanese, Chinese and Arabic. This new, global Vault interface enables customers worldwide to more easily access and manage their data, further reducing the costs and risks that businesses today face.
"Google Apps Vault offers compelling capabilities and value for businesses around the world in preparing for litigation, investigation, and managing day-to-day business. Vault integrates seamlessly across the evolving Google platform while integrating with business and industries of all sizes. This is a key component in our forward thinking strategy to drive down costs and provide enhanced client service."

- Eric Hunter - Director of Knowledge, Innovation & Technology Strategies at Bradford & Barthel, LLP
Google Apps Vault is available for new and recent Google Apps for Business and Education customers. Existing customers will be able to deploy Google Apps Vault later this year.

In schools, all you need is web


While students in the northern hemisphere say goodbye to each other and another school year, we’re in sunny San Diego meeting with thousands of educators and administrators at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference. While on break from teaching, these folks are here to teach others how they’re bringing innovation into their classrooms—a lot of which centers around the web. 

While the web was developed well before today’s students were born, it’s come a long way even since a year ago. Today you can access the web on any device, use the web offline and take advantage of amazing graphics. For example, you can get a powerful graphing calculator on the web today, for free.

It’s been really amazing to see how the web is impacting schools. We’ve heard great real-world stories about Google Apps for Education, but lately we’re hearing more and more about schools extending the functionality of Google Apps with educational apps available on the Chrome Web Store. There are tens of thousands of apps in the Chrome Web Store, and today we’re adding some new ones: ST MathVoiceThread and Acheive3000.

To give you an idea of what’s possible on the web: Leyden High School District from Illinois is rolling out Chromebooks to their 3,500 students and are using apps like WeVideoEasyBibVernier Labquest2SlideRocket,Geogebra and Pearson’s OpenClass as part of their 1-to-1 learning initiative.

Students at East Leyden High School work together on their Chromebooks. Photo credit: East Leyden Art Teacher Anna Reed. 

Chromebooks as a tool for 1-to-1 learning
It’s great to see that many schools are choosing Chromebooks as an effective and affordable 1-to-1 education tool. There are more than 500 districts in the U.S. and Europe actively using Chromebooks, and today we’re pleased to welcome a few more to the community, including Rockingham Country Schools, N.C., Transylvania County Schools, N.C., and Fond du Lac School District, Wis.

Chromebooks are always new—just last month we announced new devices, an updated, app-centric user interface and new pricing for schools. Chromebooks also make it just as easy for administrators to distribute 10, 100 or 1,000 Chromebooks, saving precious summer vacation time previously spent installing software and policies on computers. And great news for schools looking to make hardware purchases: the PARCC and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia confirmed Chromebooks meet hardware and operating system requirements for student assessments in the 2014-2015 school year.

Applications for education
Today at ISTE, we are introducing some new features for schools using Chromebooks that make it even easier to find, use, install and manage web apps for your entire school:
  • Grade-level application packs are groups of Chrome Web Store apps that integrate tightly with Google’s suite of Apps for Education, divided by grade levels to meet different classroom needs. These packs are installable from the Chromebook management console. Many of them are free and we’ve worked with the app makers to offer discounts for bulk purchases.
  • Organization-specific web app collections in the Chrome Web Store give administrators the ability to recommend apps to students, teachers and staff. The collection is visible only to the school, and admins can curate apps from the Chrome Web Store, application packs and web apps purchased elsewhere or private apps developed by the school. (This feature is also available to Chromebooks for Business customers from the control panel.)


We’ve enjoyed being a part of ISTE the past several years, and always look forward to hearing about new ways that students and teachers are using the web to do amazing things

Introducing Google Maps Coordinate: Organize teams on the move


Imagine you are a call center operator at an electric utility company. A call comes in reporting a downed powerline in one of the northern suburbs of your city, and an entire neighborhood is without power. You need to quickly dispatch one of your line repairers to the site, which is almost an hour away. To save time and get the power back up quickly, you want to know which line repairers are already in the area and send them the relevant information about the job.

That’s where Google Maps Coordinate comes in, a new tool designed to improve communication between businesses and their employees in the field. As the number of mobile employees continues to grow, so does the need for a location sharing solution that works in real-time. Research firm IDC estimates that there will be over 1.3 billion mobile workers by 2015 (37.2% of the total workforce) 1. Google Maps Coordinate combines the power of Google’s mapping technologies with modern smartphones to help organizations assign jobs and deploy staff more efficiently.


When a business signs up for Google Maps Coordinate, they get access to the Google Maps Coordinate web and mobile apps.

Employees in the field download the mobile app to their phone and then can:
  • Share real-time location. Google Maps Coordinate is built on Google’s mapping and geolocation infrastructure so the app will send an accurate location, even if you’re indoors (Google Maps Coordinate integrates with Google Indoor Maps).
  • Record data. Mobile teams often need to collect information while out in the field. Google Maps Coordinate allows the admin to customize the fields that the mobile team needs to capture and collect – from measurements to client contact details – directly in the app.
Meanwhile, a designated dispatcher back in the office can:
  • Create teams. Add team members to a Google Maps Coordinate team and see their locations in the Google Maps Coordinate web and mobile app. For example, our electric utility company might create a special team for home electricians and another for line repairers.
  • Manage jobs. Easily create jobs, precisely locate the job, assign the job to the nearest team member and notify them instantly. The next time there is a downed powerline, the operator at the utility company will have no problem identifying the closest team member and assigning them to investigate the issue.
  • View past jobs and locations. Get the hard data you need to make strong business decisions. With Google Maps Coordinate, businesses can easily visualize the locations of all their jobs and teams, including current and past jobs. Businesses can assess where they should be assigning or hiring more workers and how to optimally place their teams.
Any business can sign up for Google Maps Coordinate. Google Maps Coordinate is built to work seamlessly with the entire Google Enterprise Maps and Earth experience, and it comes with an API that can integrate with any of your existing systems.


1 IDC, Worldwide Mobile Worker Population 2011-2015 Forecast, Doc #232073, December 2011

Custom themes in Gmail


Themes have been an important part of Gmail ever since we launched them back in 2008. Not only do they let you personalize your inbox with fun backgrounds, but they’re also practical, helping you easily differentiate between multiple Gmail inboxes (e.g. work and personal).

When we unveiled Gmail’s new look back in November, we introduced a number of new, beautiful HD themes. We also heard that many of you wanted to bring an even more personal touch by setting your own background. So over the next couple of days we are rolling out a new Custom themes section with two options, Light and Dark where you can do just that. Watch the video to see some examples:

You can upload your own images directly, select from your Google+ photos or simply paste any image URL. Or, if you don't have a particular image in mind, you can browse our searchable Featured Photos section to find one that speaks to you. With so many great options, it may be hard to choose, so to get a sense of the images available, try searching for ‘hdr scenery’ or ‘bokeh wallpaper' in the Featured tab.

Whether you want to bask on a tropical island or simply reminisce about last year’s holiday with the family, your Gmail can now be customized to your mood. Find your perfect image and make your Gmail your own with custom themes.

Two new security features for Google Apps


Keeping Google Apps accounts secure is important to us, and we've recently added two security features that can better protect user accounts. The first helps businesses deploy 2-step verification and the second enhances integration with Microsoft Active Directory®.
Since we launched 2-step verification, we’ve seen millions of users enable it and thousands more do so every day. 2-step verification requires two means of identification to sign in to a Google Apps account: something you know (a password) and something you have (a verification code from your mobile phone). Even if someone has stolen your password, they'll need more than that to access your account. This additional layer of security greatly reduces the chance of unauthorized access via account hijacking or other means.
Starting today, domain administrators can require the users in their domain to use 2-step verification. This new feature will help Google Apps customers accelerate their deployment of 2-step verification.

For businesses that use Microsoft Active Directory® (AD), we’ve added new capabilities to synchronize and manage passwords. Businesses can manage password policies (e.g. password strength, reset intervals, etc.) using AD and then synchronize from AD to Google Apps when passwords are changed. Passwords are transmitted hashed and encrypted during synchronization.

Learn how to configure this new 2-step verification policy in the Google Apps help centerDownload the Google Apps Password Sync for Active Directory (GAPS), and learn how to configure it in the help center.

Energy efficiency in the cloud


At Google, we’re obsessed with building energy efficient data centers that enable cloud computing. Besides helping you be more productive, cloud-based services like Google Apps can reduce energy use, lower carbon emissions and save you money in the process. Last year, we crunched the numbers and found that Gmail is up to 80 times more energy-efficient than running traditional in-house email. We’ve sharpened our pencils again to see how Google Apps as a whole—documents, spreadsheets, email and other applications—stacks up against the standard model of locally hosted services. Our results show that a typical organization can achieve energy savings of about 65-85% by migrating to Google Apps.

Lower energy use results in less carbon pollution and more energy saved for organizations. That’s what happened at the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), which recently switched approximately 17,000 employees to Google Apps for Government. We found that the GSA was able to reduce server energy consumption by nearly 90% and carbon emissions by 85%. That means the GSA will save an estimated $285,000 annually on energy costs alone, a 93% cost reduction.

How is the cloud so energy efficient? It’s all about reducing energy use for servers and server cooling. Here’s how it works:


A typical organization has a lot more servers than it needs—for backup, failures and spikes in demand for computing. Cloud-based service providers like Google aggregate demand across thousands of people, substantially increasing how much servers are utilized. And our data centers use equipment and software specially designed to minimize energy use. The cloud can do the same work much more efficiently than locally hosted servers.

In fact, according to a study by the Carbon Disclosure Project, by migrating to the cloud, companies with over $1 billion in revenues in the U.S. and Europe could achieve substantial reductions in energy costs and carbon emissions by 2020:

  • US companies could save $12.3 billion and up to 85.7 million metric tonnes of CO2
  • UK companies would save £1.2 billion and more than 9.2 million metric tonnes of CO2
  • French companies could save nearly €700 million and 1.2 million metric tonnes of CO2

We’ve built efficient data centers all over the world, even designing them in ways that make the best use of the natural environment, and we continue working to improve their performance. We think using the super-efficient cloud to deliver services like Google Apps can be part of the solution towards a more energy efficient future.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Extra screen space in Docs and Sites


Posted: 12 Jun 2012 01:37 PM PDT
Starting this week, the new Google bar look will be rolling out to all Google Apps users. As a part of this launch the Google bar will not show while viewing or editing Docs or Sites. This change frees up space on the screen.

New ways to share and manage your contacts


Posted by Amanda Camp, Software Engineer, Google Contacts 

Today we’re adding a couple of new ways to share your contacts: Contacts Delegation and an enhanced shared Directory. Both of these features were inspired by feedback from customers who wanted more ways to manage shared contacts.

Contacts Delegation
Google Apps users can now delegate their contacts to other people at their organization. Many of you might already have someone help manage your inbox or schedule with our email and calendar delegation features. Now, you can delegate management of your contacts without granting access to your entire email inbox. While this feature is great for support staff, it can also be used by anyone who wants to share their contacts with a colleague at their organization.

Shared Directory
We’ve also improved the Directory shared across your organization to make it a more functional collection of shared contacts for everyone in your domain. Now, the Directory can display all of the domain's users, all of the domain's shared contacts, or both. As before, individual users may also be selectively hidden from the Directory.

We’re always adding new enhancements to Apps. On the Contacts front, we plan to continue improving access to fresh, relevant and appropriate contact information to keep you more connected.

Google Apps receives ISO 27001 certification


Posted by Eran Feigenbaum, Director of Security, Google Enterprise

In the early days of the cloud, security concerns were often at the top of business minds as they considered moving toGoogle Apps. More recently, though, security has become a major reason businesses are moving to the cloud. The reason for this shift is that businesses are beginning to realize that companies like Google can invest in security at a scale that's difficult for many businesses to achieve on their own. This investment has produced an infrastructure and a set of services with robust data protections for our customers.

Today we are proud to announce that Google Apps for Business has earned ISO 27001 certification. ISO 27001 is one of the most widely recognized, internationally accepted independent security standards and we have earned it for the systems, technology, processes and data centers serving Google Apps for Business. Our compliance with the ISO standard was certified by Ernst & Young CertifyPoint, an ISO certification body accredited by the Dutch Accreditation Council, a member of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF). Certificates issued by Ernst & Young CertifyPoint are recognized as valid certificates in all countries with an IAF member.

“As a multi-billion dollar, global provider of packaging and packaging solutions, MWV understands the value of international standards. Many of our own processes are ISO certified. So, I am thrilled that Google Apps, our core communications platform, is also now ISO certified with its recent ISO 27001 certification. This certification validates what I already knew, through due diligence, about Google Apps - that the technology, process and infrastructure offers good security and protection for the data that I store in Google Apps. I think it's important, find it assuring and are very pleased that Google Apps will be audited and certified to this Information Security Management System ISO standard on an ongoing basis”

- Chet Loveland, CISO and Global Compliance Officer, MWV
This new certification, along with our existing SSAE 16 / ISAE 3402 audits and FISMA certification for Google Apps for Government, help assure our customers that Google is committed to ongoing development and maintenance of a robust Information Security Management System (ISMS) that an independent, third-party auditor will regularly audit and certify. For more information on the security audits and certifications for Google Apps, please review our certification 1-pager.

Improved search in Gmail


Posted by Isaac Elias, Software Engineer

When we built Gmail, we wanted to bring that same great search experience Google is known for to email. And today, we are making that experience even better by improving the autocomplete predictions you see when you search in Gmail.

Now when you type something into the Gmail search box, the autocomplete predictions will be tailored to the content in your email, so you can save time and get the information you want faster than ever before. For example, you might now get lax reservation or lax united as predictions after typing "lax" if you have received an email with a flight confirmation for your trip to Los Angeles in your inbox recently.


We will be rolling out improved autocomplete in English over the next few days and will follow with more languages over the next few months. While initially improved autocomplete will not be available for Google Apps customers, we plan to bring this feature to Apps domains in the future.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Scheduled Release track features update 5/23/12


The following features are now available to domains following the Scheduled Release track:
- Docs: Comments and discussions available to Government Edition domains.
- Gmail: Graduation of three labs: Message translation, Smart Mute and Title Tweaks.



The following features are intended for release to these domains on May 29th:
- Docs: 

Research pane which allows you to look up information and search from inside your document.
Gmail:
- Quick access to contact details: When searching for an email address, the results will now show you contact details in addition to that person's profile photo and the emails sent from and to them. From here, you can start a chat, call their phone and more. Plus, if your contacts have a Google+ profile, this information will stay up to date automatically.
- More circle integration and circle search: Users on Google Plus will also now see profile photos of people in their selected circle and circles are now supported in search and filters.

Contacts: 
Contacts delegation allows users to delegate full access to the contacts in their “My Contacts” group without granting access to their mail or anything else in their accounts.

Improved search in Gmail


When we built Gmail, we wanted to bring that same great search experience Google is known for to email. And today, we are making that experience even better by improving the autocomplete predictions you see when you search in Gmail.

Now when you type something into the Gmail search box, the autocomplete predictions will be tailored to the content in your email, so you can save time and get the information you want faster than ever before. For example, you might now get lax reservation or lax united as predictions after typing "lax" if you have received an email with a flight confirmation for your trip to Los Angeles in your inbox recently.


We will be rolling out improved autocomplete in English over the next few days and will follow with more languages over the next few months. While initially improved autocomplete will not be available for Google Apps customers, we plan to bring this feature to Apps domains in the future.

Continuing to bring people front and center in Gmail


Email is more than just messages going back and forth -- it's also about the people sending them. That's why today we're introducing changes that continue to bring people front and center in Gmail, just as we did with profile photos in conversation view, the people widget and last year's integrations with Google+. Today’s changes include quick access to contact details when viewing past conversations as well as improved integration with Google+ circles.

Quick access to contact details
When you search for an email address, the search results will now show you contact details in addition to that person's profile photo and the emails sent from and to them. From here, you can start a chat, call their phone and more. Plus, if your contacts have a Google+ profile, this information will stay up to date automatically.


You can get to these same results in a variety of ways including from the people widget, contacts and the chat list search menu.

Improved circle integration and circle search
In addition to adding contact details to search results, we've made some improvements to thecircles integration announced in December. When you select a circle, you'll now see profile photos of people in that circle at the top right of the page. Plus, when you click on these images you'll be taken directly to search results with contact details.


Circles are also now supported in search and filters. Find messages from a specific circle by typing circle:[circle name] in the search box. You can also find mail from any of your circled contacts by searching with has:circle. You can refine your search even further with other criteria and create filters based on circles. This means you can now view all the unread emails from your ‘Friends’ circle or automatically star every message that comes from your ‘VIP’ circle.


These updates are helping us to provide a more consistent, beautiful experience across all of our products. Quick access to contact details will be rolling out to everyone today. To take advantage of circles and more in Gmail, you'll need to join Google+.

Find facts and do research inside Google Documents


Today we’re introducing the research pane—a new feature that brings the web’s wealth of information to you as you’re writing documents.

The research pane taps into Google Search directly from Google documents, so whether you want to add a cool destination to your itinerary for an upcoming trip to India or you're looking for the perfect presidential quote for a political science paper, you don’t even have to open a new tab.

You can access the research pane from the Tools menu by right clicking on a selected word that you want to learn more about, or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+R on Windows or Cmd+Alt+R on Mac. From the research pane, you can search for whatever info you need to help you write your document. With just a couple clicks you can look up maps, quotes, images, and much more.



If you find something you like, you can add it by clicking the insert button or, for images, by dragging them directly into your document. If appropriate we’ll automatically add a footnote citation so there’s a record of where you found the info.

Hopefully bringing knowledge from the web to Google documents will make your writing process just a little bit more efficient.

Follow an email’s journey with Story of Send


If you’re anything like me, you send and receive a lot of emails every day. But have you ever wondered where your message goes after you hit “send?” How does an email travel from your computer to your friend’s smartphone across the country or around the world? 

We’re answering those questions with Story of Send, a new site that gives you a behind-the-scenes look into how all that virtual information makes its journey through the real world—from your Internet service provider to our data centers and beyond. Along the way, you’ll discover everything from where we filter for spam and scan for viruses to how we’re minimizing our impacton the environment through energy efficiency and renewable power.



We’ve included videos and photos throughout the journey so you can explore certain areas more deeply. For example, if you’re curious what data center servers look like, we’ve included some photos. Or you can watch a video to learn about how we purchase clean energy from wind farms near our data centers. And because technology doesn’t always have to be serious, you might find a vampire or two lurking around or uncover other surprises on the journey.

In the past, Gmail fans have shown us how emails connect people across the world. Now we’re providing a glimpse into how those emails go from one place to another. So hit send and start the journey today. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Say hello (or olá or halo or salam) to automatic message translation in Gmail


Posted by Jeff Chin, Product Manager, Google Translate

We're excited to announce three Gmail Labs graduations today: Automatic Message Translation, Smart Mute and Title Tweaks.

Automatic Message Translation
Did you ever dream about a future where your communications device could transcend language with ease? Well, that day is a lot closer. Back when we launched automatic message translation in Gmail Labs, we were curious to see how people would use it.

We heard immediately from Google Apps for Business users that this was a killer feature for working with local teams across the world. Some people just wanted to easily read newsletters from abroad. Another person wrote in telling us how he set up his mom’s Gmail to translate everything into her native language, thus saving countless explanatory phone calls (he thanked us profusely). I continue to use it to participate in discussions with the global Google offices I often visit.

Since message translation was one of the most popular labs, we decided it was time to graduate from Gmail Labs and move into the real world. Over the next few days, everyone who uses Gmail will be getting the convenience of translation added to their email. The next time you receive a message in a language other than your own, just click on Translate message in the header at the top of the message,


and it will be instantly translated into your language:


If you're bi-lingual and don't need translation for that language, just click on Turn off for: [language]. Or if you'd like to automatically have messages in that language translated into your language, click Always Translate. If you accidentally turned off the message translation feature for a particular language, or don't see the Translate message header on a message, click on the down arrow next to Reply at the top-right of the message pane and select the Translate message option in the drop-down.

Title Tweaks
With the graduation of Title Tweaks, we've changed the text in the browser tab so that you can more easily see if you have new messages. The tab now reads "Inbox (20) - user@example.com - Gmail" instead of "Gmail - Inbox (20) - user@example.com.”

Smart Mute
We've made improvements to muting based on the graduation of the Smart Mute lab so you can be sure that noisy email threads stay out of your inbox. You can learn more about muting email threads in the help center.

In addition to graduating these three labs, we'll also be retiring some less popular labs over the next few days: Old Snakey, Mail Goggles, Mouse Gestures, Hide Unread Counts, Move Icon Column, Inbox Preview, Custom Date Formats and SMS in Chat gadget. Please note that the SMS in Chat lab is not being retired, just the gadget associated with it.

New feature: Contacts delegation


Contacts delegation allows users to delegate full access to the contacts in their “My Contacts” group without granting access to their mail or anything else in their accounts. 

You may delegate your contacts only to other users within your domain. Like mail delegation, you may delegate your contacts to no more than 25 other users at the same time. Delegation allows the sharing of the entire “My Contacts” list only. You cannot delegate a subset of your “My Contacts” or delegate contacts not in your “My Contacts.” 

Posted: 24 Apr 2012 09:34 AM PDT
Posted by Scott Johnston, Product Manager 

Today, we’re introducing Google Drive—a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your work. Whether you’re drawing up floor plans with a client, creating a presentation with classmates or planning next year’s budget with colleagues, Drive makes it easy to work together. You can upload and access all of your files, including videos, photos, Google Docs, PDFs and beyond.




With Google Drive, you can: 
  • Create and collaborate. Google Docs is built right into Google Drive, so you can work with others in real time on documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Once you choose to share content with others, you can add and reply to comments on anything (PDF, image, video file, etc.) and receive notifications when other people comment on shared items. As a business user, you can share files or folders with specific people, your entire team, or even customers and partners outside your company, controlling who can view or make edits.
  • Store everything safely and access it anywhere (especially while on the go). All your stuff is just... there. You can access your stuff from anywhere—on the web, in your home, at the office, while running errands and from all of your devices. You can install Drive on your Mac or PC and can download the Drive app to your Android phone or tablet. We’re also working hard on a Drive app for your iOS devices. And regardless of platform, blind users can access Drive with a screen reader.
  • Search everything. Search by keyword and filter by file type, owner, activity and many more. Drive can even recognize text in scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. Let’s say you upload a scanned image of an old newspaper clipping. You can search for a word from the text of the actual news article. We also use image recognition so that if you drag and drop photos of the Grand Canyon into Drive for an upcoming ad campaign, you can later search for [grand canyon] and photos of its gorges should pop up. This technology is still in its early stages, and we expect it to get better over time. Open more than 30 file types right in your browser—including HD video, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop—even if you don’t have the corresponding program installed on your computer.

We know you rely on your files to get work done every day. Drive uses the same infrastructure as other Google Apps services, meaning it also has the same admin tools, security and reliability, including:

  • Centralized management: New tools available in the Apps control panel for administrators to add or remove storage for individuals or teams of users.
  • Security: Encryption on data transfer between your browser and our servers, and optional 2-step verification that prevents unauthorized account access by having users sign in with a secure code from their mobile phone.
  • Data Replication: Simultaneous data replication in multiple data centers, so that in the unlikely event that one data center is unavailable, your files will still be safe and accessible.
  • Uptime: 99.9% uptime guarantee so you can be confident that your files will be available whenever you need them.
  • Support: 24/7 support for assistance when you need it.

Each Apps user gets 5GB of storage included and administrators can centrally purchase and manage more. When a user reaches their limit, administrators on Google Apps for Business accounts can buy storage as it’s needed. Start with an additional 20GB for $4 per month and add as much as 16TB. (Just as before, Google Docs don’t count against your storage quota.)

Starting today, Google Apps administrators will see new controls for Drive in the control panel.  Users at organizations on the Rapid Release track will be able to opt-in to Drive at drive.google.com/start.


Drive is built to work seamlessly with your overall Google experience. Drive is also an open platform, so we’re working with many third-party developers so you can do things sign documents with DocuSign and HelloFax, design flowcharts with Lucidchart and manage projects and tasks with Smartsheet directly from Drive. To install these apps, visit the Chrome Web Store—and look out for even more useful apps in the future.

This is just the beginning for Google Drive; there’s a lot more to come. Contact our sales team or a Google Apps reseller if you are interested in signing up for Google Apps and Drive.



Note: At launch it is not possible for organizations using Google Apps for Education or Google Apps for Government to centrally purchase and manage additional storage.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Introducing Gmail Tap


The QWERTY keyboard was invented in 1874 and yet it is still used today, largely unchanged. Today we're excited to introduce a new input method designed for the future: Gmail Tap for Android and iOS. Watch the video for an overview:

Gmail Tap takes the keyboard from 26 keys to just two. Every letter of the alphabet is represented by a simple pattern of dots and dashes, and once you know them you can type without even looking at your screen. This makes it ideal for situations where you need to discreetly send emails, such as when you're on a date or in a meeting with your boss.


We're also introducing a new mode, multi-email. Double your productivity by typing multiple emails at once:


To get started with Gmail Tap, head over to our informational page and watch our video.

Audit your Marketplace app logins


The new Audit Log's Marketplace Login Activity page lists when a user successfully logs in to Google Apps Marketplace applications installed in your account. Only an account's super administrator can view an Audit Log. 

Each auto log entry describes a user's successful Marketplace login activity including the Marketplace application's name and login page URL, the user's primary email address, and the activity's date.

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

Google Apps Vault Brings Information Governance to Google Apps


Today we’re announcing the availability of Google Apps Vault (Vault) for Google Apps for Business customers. Vault is an easy-to-use and cost-effective solution for managing information critical to your business and preserving important data. It can reduce the costs of litigation, regulatory investigation and compliance actions.
Businesses of all sizes need to be prepared for the unexpected. In today’s environment, using Vault to manage, archive and preserve your data can help protect your business. Litigation costs can really take a toll on a business when minor lawsuits can run up to many thousands of dollars, and larger lawsuits can cost even more. Significant litigation costs come from having to search and find relevant data, which is also known as electronic discovery (eDiscovery).
E-discovery can be part of virtually any litigation and requires you to search, find and preserve your electronic information such as email. Vault helps protect your business with easy-to-use search so you can quickly find and preserve data to respond to unexpected customer claims, lawsuits or investigations. With an instant-on functionality and availability of your data a few clicks away, Vault provides access to all of your Gmail and on-the-record chats and can provide significant savings to your business over the traditional costs of litigation and eDiscovery.

Additionally, Vault gives Google Apps customers the extended management and information governance capabilities to proactively archive, retain and preserve Gmail and on-the-record chats. With the ability to search and manage data based on terms, dates, senders, recipients and labels, Vault helps you find the information you need, when you need it. Vault gives management, IT, legal and compliance users a systemized, repeatable and defensible platform that will reduce the costs and risks of doing business. With just a few clicks, the business can access a service designed for security and providing auditable access to critical information.
Vault is built on the same modern, 100% web-based architecture as Google Apps. Unlike traditional solutions, it does not require a complex and costly IT environment, and can be deployed in a matter of minutes. Vault brings the security, ease-of-use and reliability of Google Apps to information governance. It can help meet the sophisticated requirements of large organizations and makes these advanced capabilities available to business of all sizes.
Google Apps Vault can be added to your Google Apps account for an additional $5 per user per month starting today, so contact our sales team or a Google Apps reseller if you are interested in signing up for Google Apps and Vault.
We hope that Vault, together with Google Apps, will make a difference to your business and provide the right solution to reducing risk and cost so you can focus on growing your business.

Update to Google Docs and Presentations spell checking


The spell checking feature in Google Docs and Presentations now uses the power of Google search. The major benefits of this are:

- Suggestions are contextual
- Contextual suggestions are made even if the misspelled word is in the dictionary
- Suggestions constantly evolve

The new spell checker is available for English documents and presentations, but we plan to bring it to more languages soon.

Learn why a message ended up in your spam folder


Many of our users say the accuracy of our spam filter is one of the key reasons they love Gmail. And while we think you should never have to look in your spam folder, we know some of you may want to know why the messages there were marked as spam. 

So starting today, we’ll be showing a brief explanation at the top of each of your spam messages. Simply look at any message in your spam folder and now you can find out why it was put there and learn about any potentially harmful content within the message.


We hope that this is not only interesting, but also helps you learn about scams and other harmful messages that Gmail filters out. Whether you prefer to leave your spam folder untouched or do some educational digging, the information will be there for you. And if you're interested in learning more, check out our new series of spam articles in the Gmail help center.