Here you’ll find the Google Apps monthly updates from the month of March and April. Are you caught up on everything new? Check out our previous Google Apps updates.
Notable New Features:
- Greater visibility and control of Chrome apps in Admin console
- Unified Network management across devices
- Easier guest access to Hangouts video calls on the Hangouts Android app and Chromebox for Meetings devices
- Updated version of Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange®
- Announcing the Android for Work program
Share Drive links for viewing outside of your domain, no sign-in required
When it comes to sharing Google Drive content outside of your domain, whether giving marketing materials to your design agency or inventory lists to your caterer, you want to make sure they can see it―whether they use Drive or not.
With today’s launch, Google Apps admins now have the option in the Admin console to allow Drive content to be viewed by recipients outside of their domain, without them having to sign-in with a Google account.
This feature will be defaulted off at launch. It can be enabled in the Admin console at: Apps > Google Apps > Drive > Sharing settings.
Set Google Drive sharing settings by organizational unit
Different departments have different needs when it comes to sharing content outside of your domain. You might, for example, have a research department that needs to keep information confidential and a sales team that needs to share presentations with their clients.
With today’s launch, Google Apps admins now have the flexibility to choose Drive sharing permissions based on organizational unit (OU), as you currently can with other apps like Gmail and Calendar.
To enable Drive sharing at the OU-level in the Admin console, click on: Apps > Google Apps > Drive > Sharing settings.
Note: this feature is available for Google Drive for Work and Google Apps for Education customers only
Conditional formatting improvements in Google Sheets
People using Google Sheets will now have more powerful conditional formatting options. This launch will add the following features:
Ability to add gradient conditional formatting rules (e.g. green -> orange, where the lowest numbers are shaded green and the highest are shaded orange, with gradient shades in between)
More style choices like bolding, striking through, and italicizing text based on conditional formatting rules
A new look for the conditional formatting editing pane
Import/export of color scale conditional formatting
Conditional formatting can be added by highlighting the relevant cells and selecting Format > Conditional formatting from the menus.
Google+ Photos coming to Google Drive
Google Drive allows you to store and access your files anywhere—on the web, on your hard drive, or on the go. We’re now making it easier to store and organize your photos and videos in Google Drive as well.
Moving forward, people using Google+ Photos will see their photos and videos automatically in Google Drive. They will appear in a new menu item called Google Photos, and can be shared, moved, and renamed like any other Drive file:
This feature will start rolling out for consumers today in Drive for Android, iOS and the web, and will roll out gradually to Apps customers in the coming weeks. A notification in Drive will give people the option to add a Google Photos folder to My Drive, allowing them to manage their photos and videos alongside other types of files if they so choose. Existing Google+ Photos users will notice their photos and videos available in Drive in the coming weeks.
Note: photos and videos backed up to Drive via Auto Backup will not count towards storage quota, but Apps users may want to review their Google+ Photos Auto Backup settings to avoid inadvertent syncing to their corporate Drive account.
Combined inboxes, smarter search and more with the new Gmail app for Android
A new version of the Gmail app for Android is now available on Google Play. New features include:
All your inboxes in one place―view all your mail at once, regardless of whether it’s from your work or personal accounts, using the new “All Inboxes” option. This way you can read and respond to all your messages without having to hop between accounts.
Conversation View―if you’ve set up separate inboxes in Gmail for your Yahoo, Outlook.com and other IMAP/POP accounts, messages in these accounts will appear neatly stacked as one conversation, just like your Gmail messages.
Smarter Search―searching in the Gmail app for Android now comes with better auto-complete, so you can find what you need even faster.
Other helpful features―larger attachment previews to help you see what’s inside, the ability to save to Drive with a single tap, and new animations that make opening and closing conversations more smooth.
Feature parity for multi-domain Google Apps instances
Complex businesses can require multiple Google Apps domain instances to meet their needs. Previously, certain domain management functionality was restricted to primary domains only, making managing multiple domains a bit cumbersome. With today’s launch, we’re extending several key features to secondary domains to make managing multiple domain instances more seamless:
Custom app URLs―make it easy for people in any of your domains to find your core Google Apps services by creating custom web addresses to each service. For example, mail.primarydomain.com or mail.secondarydomain.com.
Web address mapping―have your Google Sites appear under custom URLs for all of your domains, such as hr.yourdomain.com, hr.yourdomain.in or hr.yourdomain.fr.
Group renaming―create a Google Group in a primary domain and move it to a secondary domain. For example, rename the group email@example.com to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Final Reminder: Deprecated Google Apps Admin APIs to be discontinued on April 20, 2015
Over the past few years, Google has been updating their APIs with new versions across Drive and Calendar, as well as those used for managing Google Apps for Work domains. These new APIs offered developers several improvements over older versions of the API. With each of these introductions, Google also announced the deprecation of a set of corresponding APIs.
As per previous reminders, the deprecation period for these APIs is coming to an end. As of April 20, 2015, Google will discontinue these deprecated APIs. Calls to these APIs and any features in your application that depend on them will not work after April 20th.
When updating, Google also recommends that you use the opportunity to switch to OAuth2 for authorization. Older protocols, such as ClientLogin, AuthSub, and OpenID 2.0, have also been deprecated and are scheduled to shut down on April 20, 2015.
In the coming weeks, they’ll be contacting domain administrators whose applications are still using these deprecated APIs with a final reminder email and guidance on specific migration paths.
*Note that since their last reminder, where Google recommended the Email Migration API v2 as the replacement for the Email Migration API v1, the Gmail API has been announced as the replacement for both Email Migration APIs (v1 and v2).
Email Migration API v2 will be turned down on November 1, 2015, and Google recommends starting the process of switching to the Gmail API. To aid you with this effort, Google has put together this migration guide. For those who may have recently migrated from Email Migration API v1 (set to be turned down on April 20, 2015) to Email Migration API v2, note that the migration to Gmail API should require relatively minimal effort.
Google Apps Marketplace post-install notifications
Today we’re announcing a new feature that will allow Google Apps admins to automatically notify their users of any newly installed app from Google Apps Marketplace. After installing a Marketplace app from the Admin console, admins will have an opportunity to choose whether to send a notification to their users to inform them about the newly available app:
The notification will only appear to the people in the OU or domain for which the app has been installed. The notification will appear in each person’s Notification Center and will describe how to access and launch the app:
Note that for domains not currently using Google+ and potentially unfamiliar with this kind of notification, the Notification Center icon will appear in the Google One Bar whether admins opt to utilize the post-install notification feature or not. This area will be used for notifications from other Google Apps moving forward, so admins may want to inform their users of this UI change in advance of this launch.
This new feature will be gradually rolled out to all domains starting the week of March 30th.
Enhanced add-ons experience for Google Apps admins
Last year Google launched add-ons, tools created by developer partners that provide even more helpful features in your documents, spreadsheets and forms. Previously, the ability to install add-ons was controlled centrally by Google Apps admins in the Admin console, but users retained ultimate control of choosing which individual add-ons to install or remove.
Today we’re releasing a couple of updates to help developers share their add-ons with an even wider audience and give Google Apps admins more consistent control over which add-ons are used in their organizations.
Developers can now choose to make their add-ons for Docs, Sheets and Forms available for installation across entire domains, which automatically creates a Google Apps Marketplace listing that is easy for customers to find. Admins can then install these handy add-ons for their whole organization using just a couple of clicks.
Admins will continue to have a “disable add-ons” option for their users, but they can also whitelist add-ons via the Google Apps Marketplace for their entire domain or a specific team. Check out the Help Center for details on the available options.
Keep in mind that it will take some time for add-on developers to publish their apps for domain-wide installation, so you might not find all your favorite add-ons in the Apps Marketplace yet.
New versions of the Google Docs editor Android apps
New versions of the Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps are coming to Google Play today. New features include:
Reading view in Docs: hides the formatting toolbar, allowing for scrolling through documents with more room to read. To edit or make formatting changes, just tap the blue pencil icon.
Old Reports UI in Admin console to be removed March 31, 2015
Last June, Google redesigned the Reports section in the Admin console to make it easier for admins to manage Google Apps and gain insights that help their entire organization run more efficiently. The improved Reports section provides domain highlights, user-level reporting, custom filtering/sorting on data, aggregated domain level reports and new audit streams (Login and Calendar Audit).
Since the launch of the new Reports section, the old UI has been accessible via the Settings icon. On March 31, 2015, they’ll be removing access to the old Reports UI and shutting it down. All functionality available in the old UI is currently available in the new Reports section.
Simpler deployment of 2-Step Verification
Previously, the deployment of 2-Step Verification (2SV) within a domain could be a tedious process, as it required Apps admins to carefully monitor the 2SV enrollments of their users before the actual enforcement, potentially leading to lock out situations requiring admin intervention.
Today, Google are improving the enrollment and enforcement process for 2SV for Google Apps. Admins can now set a 2SV enforcement date in the future, giving users a monitored amount of time to enroll. Users will be prompted to enroll when they sign-in, and also will receive email reminders if they have not enrolled before the enforcement date.
they highly encourage all Apps customers to take advantage of the simplified set-up process and add an extra level of security protection by implementing 2SV for their domains.
Greater visibility and control of Chrome apps in Admin console
Chrome application settings in the Admin console allow admins to control which Chrome applications and extensions their users can access, and whether users can create and publish their own apps.
With today’s launch, the Admin console has been updated with a new App management view, providing admins with greater visibility and control in managing specific apps and extensions in their domain. Key improvements include:
Manage Chrome Apps one at a time.
Customize Chrome apps by setting policies for supported apps.
Each app in a child org unit can now have inherited or overridden settings from a parent org unit.
The existing app and extension manager view under User Settings will remain available as an option moving forward.
The new interface will roll out gradually over the coming weeks. See the Help Center for more information on the new and existing views for managing Chrome Apps.
Unified Network management across devices
Starting today, from a single interface, Google Apps admins can define and push networks to Mobile, Chromebook, and Chromebox for Meetings devices. Previously, admins had to configure the same network in multiple places to make it available to different device types. With today’s launch, they have removed the redundant network configuration points in the Admin console:
To access the new settings interface, select Device Management > Network in the Admin console. Learn more about the full capabilities in the Help Center for mobile and Chrome devices.
Greater mail flow transparency with email alerts
Sending and receiving emails is something we all do many times a day, and it nearly always works flawlessly. When something does go wrong, however, it’s not always clear that there is even a problem and, once identified, it can be very difficult to determine the problem’s root cause.
With today’s launch, Google is adding greater transparency for Google Apps admins into any mail flow issues that arise with Email alerts. These alerts can be managed by admins in the Admin console and will trigger email notifications to super admins (or other designated recipients) around the following potential mail failures (see Help Center for more details):
Exchange journaling failure
Mail flow notifications can be managed in the Admin console under the Reports > Manage Alerts > Email section.
Google Calendar app for iPhone
Last year Google brought you the new Google Calendar app for Android, built to save you time and help you make the most of every day. Today, Google is bringing the new Google Calendar to iPhone:
Just like on Android, you’ll get the following features:
Assists, which make suggestions that save you time creating events.
Schedule View, which makes your calendar easy to scan and lovely to look at.
Plus, Google Calendar for iPhone works with any calendars you’ve already set up on your phone.
The Calendar app for iPhone is available now in the App Store.
New Birthday settings for Calendar web
As mentioned in the announcement of the new version of the Google Calendar app for Android last week, Google has launched new Birthday calendar settings for Calendar web this week:
Birthday calendar can be hidden from ‘My Calendars’
Control whether birthdays from Google+ are shown
Easier guest access to Hangouts video calls on the Hangouts Android app and Chromebox for Meetings devices
Last year, Google announced a new feature for Hangouts on the web allowing Google Apps customers to share links to Hangouts video calls so that external meeting guests may request to join if not explicitly invited. Google recently announced this functionality for iOS as well.
Today, Google is announcing that this functionality has been added to the Hangouts Android app and to Chromebox for Meetings devices.
The latest release of the Hangouts Android app now allows external guests using the app to join Hangouts video calls from their mobile device with a meeting link provided by the organizer. Video calls that are shared with the link require someone in the Apps domain of the Hangout video call to accept those requesting access on the web.
Chromebox for Meetings devices
People can now use their Chromebox for Meetings devices to both request to join Hangouts video calls as a guest using a link, and accept requests from guests wishing to join using a link.
To join a Hangouts video call from your Chromebox for Meetings device, enter the domain in which the meeting is hosted followed by a ‘/’ and the meeting name (e.g. altostrat.com/meeting-name). As before, if the meeting is hosted in your organization, the domain name is not necessary. To see and accept or reject a request from outside your organization, the meeting must be in ‘shared with the link’ mode.
New versions of the Google Docs editor iOS apps
New versions of the Google Docs editor iOS apps are now available in the App Store. New features include:
Ability to make a copy of documents, spreadsheets and presentations
Accessibility improvements in the Sheets app
Performance improvements in all apps
Improved bulk operations, PDF viewer and more for the Google Drive Android app
A new version of the Google Drive Android app is coming to Google Play. New features include:
Improved bulk operations like moving, starring, pinning and downloading multiple files at once by long pressing (see below)
PDF viewer improvements
Performance and design improvements
Share extensions, actionable notifications and more added to Gmail iOS app
A new version of the Gmail iOS app is now available in the App Store. New features include:
Email files from other apps – Attach photos, links, and documents directly to a Gmail message from iPhoto, Chrome, and other apps.
Easily open attachments – With the new attachment viewer you can now open files of any kind directly into the app of your choosing.
Take quick actions on notifications – Decide whether you want to reply to or archive new messages straight from your lock or notifications screen without having to open the app:
Google Apps Mobile Management improvements with Android for Work
Last week Google announced the Android for Work program, which helps businesses bring more devices to work by securing, managing and innovating on the Android platform. Today, Google Apps Mobile Management is ready for you to take full advantage of Android for Work.
The Android for Work platform offers three main benefits: more granular control of Android devices, a framework for mobile application management via Google Play for Work, and a new layer of separation for work-related applications known as the Work Profile.
The Work Profile is an addition to the existing Android Sync for Google Apps offering. As domain admin, you now have the ability to choose a level of data separation that balances end user productivity with your organization’s security requirements. There are two secure Work Profile operating modes, governed by a setting in the Admin console:
third-party mobile app distribution – Employees may continue to safely operate Gmail and other Google mobile apps using the built-in account switcher, while admins curate third-party apps, available for download from Google Play for Work, in the Work Profile.
separate container – Admins approve and whitelist all work-related apps (both Google and third-party) for the Work Profile, and employees download the apps appropriate to their job function from Google Play for Work.
Whichever mode is chosen, employees have a seamless experience on their mobile device and all work information is encrypted and can be remotely wiped, thereby keeping corp data secure from other activity on the phone. On one’s phone, work apps are identified by an orange briefcase badge:
‘Shared with me’ is coming to the new Google Drive UI
With the launch of the new Drive UI last year, Google renamed the ‘Shared with me’ section to ‘Incoming’ and tweaked the functionality a bit. Google has since heard feedback from people using the new UI that they miss the ‘Shared with me’ functionality, so today, Google is bringing it back.
Admin quarantine for inbound and outbound email
The admin quarantine feature provides greater email security and control by allowing admins to moderate when messages satisfying certain conditions are encountered in their domain’s mail traffic.
When a message is flagged by a policy for quarantine (e.g. subject contains the word ‘confidential’), it will not be delivered to the intended recipient. Instead, this message will show up in the admin’s quarantine review UI. Admins can then review the message, choose to allow delivery to the intended recipient, deny delivery with or without rejection notice or do nothing. If no action is taken, messages expire and are removed from quarantine after 30 days.
To make quarantine management easier, up to 20 named quarantines may be set up with unique quarantine criteria. Admins may choose to put messages in different quarantines based on several classification criteria by setting mail flow policies (content compliance, objectionable content, etc.).
Suspicious login alerts no longer included in Admin console notification inbox
Based on admin feedback―and in an effort to reduce overall notification volume―Google has stopped including suspicious login alerts in the Admin console notification inbox. These alerts will continue to be sent via email.
Google Docs editors URL format change
To help people use the Google Docs editors when signed in to multiple accounts in an upcoming release, Google is changing the structure of Docs editor URLs to no longer use the format /a/DOMAIN for Google Apps customers and to instead use a format containing /u/.
All current URLs will continue to work after this change. If you click on an old URL, you will be redirected to the new structure that removes /a/DOMAIN without having to do any additional work. Note that users may still see /a/DOMAIN included in Docs editor URLs for an approximately one week-long transition period after this launch.
Why are they making this change?
Currently, when people are signed-in to multiple Google accounts and open a Docs editor file, they may be asked to select which account to use to open the file. After this change, the Docs editors will be able to select which account to use automatically by examining all logged in account sessions and choosing the first one with view access (prioritizing accounts in the same domain as the document owner) without people needing to specify.
In the future, the change will also enable us to lift the one account per domain restriction currently imposed while using the Docs editors.
they vetted this change with trusted Apps customers and partners and do not anticipate any disruptions as a result. However, to mitigate any unforeseen impact on Apps customer and partner systems and processes, they are announcing this change four weeks in advance to allow for any necessary adjustments.
New UI language in Gmail: Burmese
People using Gmail now have the option to view the Gmail UI in Burmese, the 74th different language offered. Language settings can be changed from the “display language” drop-down in Settings. One’s display language doesn’t affect the language in which messages are sent and received.
Note that the ornate Burmese script requires some specific fonts to make sure it displays correctly.
Announcing the Android for Work program
Today Google announced the Android for Work program. With a group of partners, Google is helping businesses bring more devices to work by securing, managing and innovating on the Android platform.
Check out the Google for Work blog post for details on how the program provides businesses and workers with the choice and flexibility they need to get things done at work.
Google Apps supports Android device management today and will fully support these Android for Work features when available. Stay tuned for more information.
New views, settings and more for the Google Calendar Android app
A new version of the Google Calendar app for Android is coming to Google Play over the next few days. Based on your feedback, Google has made a number of improvements―with more on the horizon:
- See more events at a glance with 7-day week view and pinch-to-zoom
- Add Google Drive files to events
- Drive will check if all event invitees can open them
- New Birthday calendar settings (coming to Calendar web next week)
- Birthday calendar can be hidden
- Control whether birthdays from Google+ are shown
- A new option to show week numbers in settings
- Import .ics files sent to you in Gmail and other apps
Custom themes, mobile app improvements for Google Classroom
Today Google announced several improvements to Google Classroom. On the web, teachers can now bring their own personal touches to Classroom by uploading their own images to use as themes. They can add their own custom images, or choose from the gallery of options, which has been updated with 18 new images and 30 pattern themes.
For the Android and iOS Classroom apps, they added the ability for students and teachers to view the class resource page, and a few other features for both Android and iOS.
The Classroom app allows students to do their work anytime, anywhere and is designed for schools with iPads or Android tablets and students’ personal devices. If you are a Google Apps for Education admin and your school is using managed Android tablets, iPads, or ChromeOS devices, please consider installing the Classroom app centrally, as students may not be able to install it themselves. To make sure students have a great experience using the Classroom app, be sure to install the Drive and Docs apps (Docs, Slides, and Sheets) to the devices at the same time.
Customizable headers and footers, page numbers in Google Docs
People using Google Docs can now use different headers and footers on the first pages of their documents, which comes in handy for:
- Following academic formatting guidelines (e.g. MLA, CMS, APA)
- Starting page numbering on the second page
- Making a title page without headers or footers
After inserting a header or footer in your document you’ll see a new checkbox―just tick it and you’ll be able to set a different header and footer on the first page:
There’s also a new Insert > Page Number menu that lets you customize how and where you start your page numbers―like on the bottom of the second page, for example.
Updated version of Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange®
Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange® v4.1 is now available with the following new features:
- Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange® Email migrations now uses the latest Email Migration API (version 2).
- Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange® now uses latest Admin SDK API (version 1) for user validation and group creation.
- Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange® now uses the latest Contacts API (version 3)
- Administrators can choose to have message content that can not be migrated due to file size restrictions or blocked file types written to a user specific mbox file.
See what’s new in this release for more details.
Note: All customers running previous versions of GAMME must upgrade to GAMME 4.1 before April 20, 2015. Older versions will stop functioning after this date.