Thursday, January 19, 2012

Adding business class management features to Gmail

Posted by Adam Dawes, Gmail Product Manager

Last year, we started integrating Postini’s business-class email security and management capabilities into Gmail and today we’re excited to be rolling out the latest round of integrated features. Google Apps administrators can now take advantage of improved email compliance footers, approved/blocked sender lists and file attachment policies. These capabilities help our customers address compliance requirements and effectively manage email traffic. Previously, Google Apps customers used Google Message Security, powered by Postini, to provide these capabilities.

With this new release, we’ve improved these features and designed them specifically to meet the needs of our Apps customers. Admins will manage the features natively in the Google Apps control panel (localized in 28 languages), leverage our granular policy framework to customize settings for different types of users, and join multiple rules together to address very targeted use cases.

These new features are available globally for Google Apps for Business, Google Apps for Government and Google Apps for Education editions.

Dominie Liang, IT Director at New Media Group in Hong Kong, was able to use the new features to quickly address his company’s compliance requirements:

"Our legal team wanted us to add a compliance note to all of our outbound email. Thanks to Google's new email feature set, we could easily add the rich text format disclaimer with Chinese characters to the email footer, and solved the issue within a minute."

George Krieger, Technical Services Manager, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, adds:

"The new message footers in Gmail have made it easy for us to standardize our email signatures and more effectively promote our race schedules. And I love the ability to delegate control of these to our Media department so they can change them when they want without having to call me. This is a major improvement for us."

With the addition of these features to Gmail, there is no longer a need to use Google Message Security (GMS) with Google Apps so we will no longer offer GMS to Google Apps customers. We’ll work with those customers currently using GMS to migrate their settings to these new features. For more information on these features and how customers can migrate to them please refer to this Google Apps Help Center article and the Transition Guide.

Improvements to the Gmail offline Chrome app

When we first announced Gmail offline last August, we told you that it was only the beginning of our HTML5-powered offline journey. Since then, we’ve been listening to your feedback and today, we want to let you know about some of the key updates we’ve made to the Chrome Web Store app.

The first update - and a personal favorite of the team- is the addition of a settings page (look for the new settings icon). You can now choose whether you want to synchronize 7, 14 or 31 days worth of mail. So the next time you get on an airplane, you can sit back and tackle up to 31 days of mail all while offline.

We’ve also made a number of other updates to Gmail offline:
  • Improved attachments: All attachments are now downloaded and available for offline use
  • Keyboard shortcuts support: If you have keyboard shortcuts enabled in Gmail, your setting will transfer over to the Gmail offline app. If you're not sure what you can do with keyboard shortcuts, try pressing ‘?’ next time you’re using Gmail or Gmail offline.
  • Numerous performance enhancements: Messages and attachments now download at a faster rate and some bugs have been fixed.
If you haven’t tried it already, you can install the Gmail offline app from the Chrome Web Store. If you’re already using Gmail offline, you'll see these improvements the next time you open the app. To get the best experience using Gmail offline, please make sure you are using the latest version of Chrome as some features may not work on older versions.