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.