New features, new look for the Google Admin mobile app

The Google Admin mobile app allows Apps super admins to easily manage users and groups, contact support, view audit logs and do other common administrative tasks all from their Android and iOS devices. 

With today’s launch, we’re streamlining some of the most popular admin experiences, integrating admin actions with mobile communications and introducing a new look and feel. 

The new features, launching today for both Android and iOS, include:

  • Richer user profiles with support for groups and several new attributes
  • Ability to perform bulk actions on users and groups
  • Ability to send text (SMS, WhatsApp, etc.) messages to users when adding them or resetting their password

The user experience has been redesigned using material design principles―aligning with the new look and feel announced for the Admin console on desktop earlier this year―providing a seamless experience across platforms and devices.
Check out the Help Center for more information on the new Google Admin app for Android and iOS.

Launch Details
Release track:  
Launching to both Rapid release and Scheduled release

Rollout pace: 
Full rollout (1-3 days for feature visibility)

Impact: 
Admins only

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Android
Help Center: iOS
Get the app on Google Play and the App Store


Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Hangouts services to be served from ‘hangouts.google.com’

Following the launch of the new standalone Google Hangouts homepage, Hangouts-related services and web traffic will be served from ‘hangouts.google.com’ in addition to existing host names.

This change is happening gradually over the coming weeks. There is no required action for Apps customers.

Launch Details
Release track:  
Launching to both Rapid release and Scheduled release for Hangouts-related services (G+, Gmail, etc) over the coming weeks

Rollout pace: 
Gradual rollout (potentially longer than 3 days for feature visibility)

Impact: 
All end users

Action:
FYI



Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Launch detail categories
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Send students to the same website with Share to Classroom Chrome extension

Today, we’re launching a new Chrome extension for Classroom called Share to Classroom. This extension makes it easy for teachers to send all of their students to the same website during class. Once the extension is installed, a teacher can simply open a website and “push” it to his or her students, triggering that website to open on the students’ devices as well. (It also works the other way—students can “push” websites to their teachers.)

Google Apps admins can install the extension for their entire domains, making it simple for teachers and students to get started. Both teachers and students need to have the extension installed in order to push web pages to one another. Note that the Share to Classroom extension works on any laptop, including Chromebooks, Macs, and PCs.

The Share to Classroom extension is only available to Google Apps for Education and Google Apps for Nonprofits customers using Google Classroom.

Launch Details
Release track: 
Launching to both Rapid release and Scheduled release

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center
Google for Education Blog


Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

Android Wear: New watch styles and sizes


As the season turns, it's the perfect time to update your look: out with swimsuits and flip flops, and in with scarves and Fall coats! Regardless of where your wardrobe lands, today's new Android Wear watches let you express your style—whether you rock Android or iPhone.
  • Get the Huawei Watch in six different designs with silver, gold, and black metal finishes. With an ultra-high resolution display, you’ll get a crystal clear view of all 40+ built-in watch faces. The watch’s sensors let you track not only running and walking, but also stair climbing.
  • Choose between the small or large ASUS ZenWatch 2, starting at $129. Both come in silver, rose gold, and gunmetal finishes with bands of different styles and materials. Get instant access to agenda and email with the built-in productivity app as well as fitness reminders with the wellness app. 
  • Check out four new Moto 360 watches: Moto 360 for Women, Moto 360 in two different sizes, and Moto 360 Sport. Pick among rose gold, gold, silver, and black metal finishes for Moto 360 and a variety of stainless steel and leather bands. Want to go on a run without your phone? The Moto 360 Sport features built-in GPS and a display that’s easy to read outdoors. 
All of today's watches also include improved battery life, always-on displays, and quick-release bands, so it's even easier to glance at your important info, and make your watch your own.

The Huawei Watch, Moto 360 for Women, and new Moto 360 are available for pre-order today. And all other watches will go on sale in the coming weeks. So choose the watch that fits your style and wear exactly what you want!

Posted by Ryan Barnett, Partner Technology Manager, Android Wear

Do your best work with Google Docs

To help you and your employees be as efficient as possible, collaborate more effectively, and create beautiful, compelling content, we’re launching several new features in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms. Read on for more information about each!

Be more efficient
New functionality in Docs saves you time by enabling you to work on the go, in the way that’s fastest and easiest for you.

Research in Docs on Android
Research in the Docs Android app makes working whenever, wherever, easier. Use the feature to search Google without leaving the app, then add those facts, images, and quotes you find directly to your document with only a few taps on the screen. Spend less time toggling between apps and copying and pasting and more time on the work that’s important to you!


Voice typing in Docs
Voice typing allows you to dictate your ideas directly to Docs, both in Chrome on the web and via the Android and iOS mobile apps. When using Docs on the web, simply select Voice typing in the Tools menu, click the microphone button to activate the feature, and start speaking —no keyboard necessary. When using your phone, just tap the microphone button on your keyboard to begin. Voice typing is available in more than 40 languages.

Work better together
Collaborate more effectively with your colleagues and partners using the following new features in Google Docs, Slides, and Forms.

See new changes in Docs
Easily check out the changes made to a Docs file since you last viewed it—and who made them—by clicking See new changes at the top of your document or from the File menu in Docs on the web. Quickly glance at the latest edits and pick up right where your teammates left off.

Revamped Google Forms
Ask and get answers in style with the brand new Forms look, feel, and functionality. In addition to an improved mobile-friendly interface, the revamped Forms features a selection of new themes and color palettes, the ability to customize your form with your own photo or logo, and buttons to quickly insert images, GIFs, and videos. Responses are easier to analyze as well, as they now appear in the same window as the form editor (you can also view them in Sheets).

Try out the new Forms by visiting this site (don’t worry—you can revert back to the old UI at any time). Responders will only see the new UI for those forms created or edited in it. Remember—this is an early, opt-in-only release of the new Forms, and we’ll continue to add features and functionality in the future.

Google Fonts preserved in Microsoft® Word and PowerPoint on PCs
You no longer need to worry about sending documents and presentations created in Docs and Slides to customers and partners using Word and PowerPoint on PCs—even when those documents and presentations contain Google Fonts. Google Fonts will now be preserved when you download Docs and Slides files in Word and PowerPoint.

Create compelling content
Create your best and most beautiful work with a bit of help from Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides—in particular, using the features described below.

Explore in Sheets
Spend less time trying to make sense of your data and more time acting on it with Explore in Sheets. This new feature on the web and in the Android app analyzes the data (including some types of text) in your spreadsheets and automatically creates charts and surfaces insights based on that information. Highlight different sets of data and watch as the charts change dynamically, then drag and drop those charts directly into your spreadsheet. You can do the same with instant calculations (for example, the sums and counts of certain ranges). Like a built-in analyst at your beck and call, Explore allows you to easily visualize trends and better understand your data.

Partial cell formatting in Sheets
When it comes to spreadsheets—and the cells that comprise them—we know that one size doesn’t always fit all. That’s why it’s now possible to select only a portion of the characters within a cell in Sheets and to apply text formatting to only those characters (as opposed to the entire cell). This functionality is available on the web and in the Sheets Android app.

Templates in Docs, Sheets, and Slides
Focus on your content, not your formatting, with the new templates in Docs, Sheets, and Slides on the web. Choose from a wide variety of documents, spreadsheets, and presentations pre-designed for a multitude of use cases, including newsletters, invoices, pitch decks, case studies, and more. Simply visit the Docs, Sheets, and Slides home screens to access these new templates and get started. While these templates are only available in English at the moment, we’ll be rolling them out in additional languages soon.

If you and/or your employees previously created your own templates, you can still access them (and create new custom templates) at drive.google.com/templates. We understand that some businesses and brands have additional needs when working with templates, and we’re looking to address these in future updates.

Themes in Slides
In addition to using the new templates described above, you can also use a set of 22 new themes in Slides to quickly create compelling presentations. Some of these new themes are simply updated versions of old themes (e.g. Simple Light, Simple Dark, and Swiss), while others are completely new (e.g. Beach Day, Modern Writer, and Spearmint). These themes can be accessed from a new Themes side panel in Slides, so you can easily experiment with and toggle between them when crafting presentations. Though the old themes are no longer accessible from this panel, they will continue to work in any presentations already using them.

Check out the Help Center articles below for more information on each of these new and improved features!

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid release and Scheduled release:

  • Research in Docs on Android
  • Voice typing in Docs on Android and iOS
  • Google Fonts preserved in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint on PCs
  • Explore in Sheets on Android
  • Partial cell formatting in Sheets on Android
Launching to Rapid release, with Scheduled release coming the week of September 21st:
  • Voice typing in Docs on the web
  • See new changes in Docs
  • Revamped Google Forms (opt-in only)
  • Explore in Sheets on the web
  • Partial cell formatting in Sheets on the web
  • Templates in Docs, Sheets, and Slides
  • Themes in Slides

Rollout pace:
Gradual rollout (potentially longer than 3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Chrome custom tabs smooth the transition between apps and the web

Originally posted on the Chromium blog

Posted by Yusuf Ozuysal, Chief Tab Customizer

Android app developers face a difficult tradeoff when it comes to showing web content in their Android app. Opening links in the browser is familiar for users and easy to implement, but results in a heavy-weight transition between the app and the web. You can get more granular control by building a custom browsing experience on top of Android’s WebView, but at the cost of more technical complexity and an unfamiliar browsing experience for users. A new feature in the most recent version of Chrome called custom tabs addresses this tradeoff by allowing an app to customize how Chrome looks and feels, making the transition from app to web content fast and seamless.

Chrome custom tabs with pre-loading vs. Chrome and WebView

Chrome custom tabs allow an app to provide a fast, integrated, and familiar web experience for users. Custom tabs are optimized to load faster than WebViews and traditional methods of launching Chrome. As shown above, apps can pre-load pages in the background so they appear to load nearly instantly when the user navigates to them. Apps can also customize the look and feel of Chrome to match their app by changing the toolbar color, adjusting the transition animations, and even adding custom actions to the toolbar so users can perform app-specific actions directly from the custom tab.

Custom tabs benefit from Chrome’s advanced security features, including its multi-process architecture and robust permissions model. They use the same cookie jar as Chrome, allowing a familiar browsing experience while keeping users’ information safe. For example, if a user has signed in to a website in Chrome, they will also be signed in if they visit the same site in a custom tab. Other features that help users browse the web, like saved passwords, autofill, Tap to Search, and Sync, are also available in custom tabs.



Custom tabs are easy for developers to integrate into their app by tweaking a few parameters of their existing VIEW intents. Basic integrations require only a few extra lines of code, and a support library makes more complex integrations easy to accomplish, too. Since custom tabs is a feature of Chrome, it’s available on any version of Android where recent versions of Chrome are available.

Users will begin to experience custom tabs in the coming weeks in Feedly, The Guardian, Medium, Player.fm, Skyscanner, Stack Overflow, Tumblr, and Twitter, with more coming soon. To get started integrating custom tabs into your own application, check out the developer guide.

Google Small Business Presents Social Media Month

September is Social Media Month for Google Small Business! All month long, we're bringing you a variety of experts to help you harness the power of social for your business. Tune in each Friday at noon PST for a live video Q&A about a different social media topic.

Check out our lineup below:

LinkedIn for Small Business, 9/4 at noon PST
YouTube for Small Business, 9/11 at noon PST
Pinterest for Small Business, 9/18 at noon PST
Twitter for Small Business, 9/25 at noon PST



Click on the event links above to RSVP and come prepared with your social media questions. For more tips, tricks and small business help, join the Google Small Business Community.

Happy Social Media Month!

Sawubona! Google for Nonprofits launches in South Africa, Kenya and Botswana.

For most nonprofit organizations (NGOs) around the world, the web is a vital platform for improving visibility, raising awareness, and connecting with their stakeholders, donors and volunteers. Often, one of the big decisions relates to the need to spend to acquire technology when there are so many competing demands for funding and resources.

Take, for example, South Africa. A 2009 report noted that most NGOs in South Africa are under-resourced. Their access to internet and technology tools is limited - mostly due to lack of funding. Also, lack of understanding of how to use web technologies means that they often end up paying huge amounts of money for proprietary software, which they may not use or even need. Many non profit organizations find it hard to incorporate the web into their day-to-day work and operations.



So we’re excited to announce our collaboration with TechSoup Global to bring Google for Nonprofits (G4NP) to South Africa! From today, South African NPOs that are registered with the Department of Social Development can now apply to join the programme, which provides access to a suite of free products and tools, including:
  • Google Ad Grants: Free AdWords advertising (up to USD $10,000 per month) to promote their websites on Google through keyword targeting.
  • Google Apps for Nonprofits: Free version of the Google Apps business productivity suite (Gmail, Docs, Forms, Calendar and more), so they can run their email and important documents in the cloud and work collaboratively on documents while dramatically reducing IT costs.
  • YouTube for Nonprofits: With premium branding capabilities on YouTube channels, and increased uploading capacity.
We know that many nonprofits require hands-on help to optimize the use of the web and Google tools. So earlier this year, we launched the Google Academy for NGOs in South Africa, where we hosted a series of workshops in South Africa, training nonprofits on how to harness the power of the web to work smarter and better. We met with more than 130 NGOs from Gauteng, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape, working on a range of issues such as youth empowerment, breast cancer awareness, gender equality, democracy and good governance .

NGOs in South Africa are already leveraging Google's tools for nonprofits with amazing results. The Smile Foundation, which helps fundraise for reconstructive surgery for children with cleft and lip palate, used G4NP tools to grow referrals to their website, increase online donations, and promote their organi
zation to brands and companies for fundraising partnerships.

We’re inspired and humbled by stories showing how nonprofits can make positive changes around the world using our tools. If you work for a nonprofit, apply today to see how we can help your organi
zation grow and make even more impact.

You have a choice of three languages to use when signing up: English, isiZulu and Afrikaans.

As well as South Africa, the Google for Nonprofits programme is also available in Kenya and Botswana.

Posted by Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda, Manager: Public Policy and Government Relations (South Africa)


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Sawubona ! Lancement du programme Google pour les associations en Afrique du Sud, au Kenya et au Botswana

Pour la majorité des associations à but non lucratif à travers le monde, Internet constitue une plateforme indispensable pour accroître leur visibilité, sensibiliser le public et communiquer avec leurs partenaires, les donateurs et les bénévoles. Le plus souvent, les décisions importantes sont liées à la nécessité d’engager des dépenses pour acquérir des outils technologiques alors que les associations font face à des demandes de financement et de ressources multiples et variées.

Prenons l’exemple de l’Afrique du Sud. Un rapport publié en 2009 montrait que la plupart des ONG sud-africaines disposaient de ressources insuffisantes. Ces dernières n’ont qu’un accès limité à Internet et aux outils technologiques - qui s’explique en grande partie par le manque de moyens. De plus, le manque de connaissances dans l’utilisation des technologies Internet se traduit souvent par le fait qu’elles consacrent des sommes élevées à l’achat de logiciels propriétaires dont elles n’ont parfois même pas l’utilité. De nombreuses associations à but non lucratif ont des difficultés à intégrer Internet dans les tâches et les opérations au quotidien.

Nous sommes donc très heureux d’annoncer notre collaboration avec TechSoup Global afin de mettre en place Google pour les associations (G4NP) en Afrique du Sud ! À partir d’aujourd’hui, les ONG sud-africaines qui sont enregistrées auprès du Department of Social Development peuvent déposer une demande afin de participer à ce programme qui va leur permettre d’accéder à une gamme de produits et d’outils gratuits, notamment :
  • Google Ad Grants : Des annonces AdWords gratuites (dans la limite de 10 000 $ par mois) pour promouvoir leurs sites Web sur Google en utilisant le ciblage par mots clés.
  • Google Apps pour les associations : La version gratuite de la suite Business Productivity Google Apps (Gmail, Docs, Forms, Calendar and more), qui permet de gérer le courrier électronique et les documents importants dans le cloud et de travailler sur des documents et ainsi de réduire considérablement les coûts des TI.
  • YouTube pour les associations : Cet outil offre des possibilités de branding sur les canaux YouTube et une capacité de téléchargement accrue.
Nous savons que de nombreuses associations ont besoin d’une assistance pratique pour optimiser l’utilisation du web et des outils Google. C’est la raison pour laquelle nous avons lancé cette année en Afrique du Sud la Google Academy for NGOs ce qui a permis d’organiser plusieurs ateliers dans ce pays et de former les associations afin qu’elle puisse exploiter la puissance d’Internet pour travailler plus intelligemment et plus efficacement. Nous avons rencontré les ONG dans le Gauteng, la province du Cap-Oriental, le KwaZulu-Natal et la province du Cap-Occidental.

Les ONG basées en Afrique du Sud utilisent déjà les outils Google pour les associations et les résultats sont exceptionnels. La Smile Foundation, qui collecte des fonds afin de financer des opérations de chirurgie reconstructive pour des enfants atteints de fente labiale ou palatine, a utilisé les outils Google pour les associations pour intensifier le trafic vers son site Internet, augmenter les dons en ligne et promouvoir sa association auprès de marques et d’entreprises en vue de conclure des partenariats de financement.

Les témoignages montrant comment les associations à but non lucratif peuvent changer le monde grâce à nos outils sont une source d’inspiration et nous donne un sentiment de grande humilité. Si vous travaillez pour une association à but non lucratif, inscrivez-vous dès aujourd’hui pour voir comment nous pouvons vous aider à développer votre association en renforçant son impact.

Lors de l’inscription, trois langues vous sont proposées : l’anglais, l’isZulu et l’afrikaans.

En dehors de l’Afrique du Sud, le programme Google pour les associations est également disponible au Kenya et au Botswana.

Publié par Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda, Responsable : Relations gouvernementales et affaires publiques (Afrique du Sud)

Google’s look, evolved

Google has changed a lot over the past 17 years—from the range of our products to the evolution of their look and feel. And today we’re changing things up once again:

   

So why are we doing this now? Once upon a time, Google was one destination that you reached from one device: a desktop PC. These days, people interact with Google products across many different platforms, apps and devices—sometimes all in a single day. You expect Google to help you whenever and wherever you need it, whether it’s on your mobile phone, TV, watch, the dashboard in your car, and yes, even a desktop!

Today we’re introducing a new logo and identity family that reflects this reality and shows you when the Google magic is working for you, even on the tiniest screens. As you’ll see, we’ve taken the Google logo and branding, which were originally built for a single desktop browser page, and updated them for a world of seamless computing across an endless number of devices and different kinds of inputs (such as tap, type and talk).

It doesn’t simply tell you that you’re using Google, but also shows you how Google is working for you. For example, new elements like a colorful Google mic help you identify and interact with Google whether you’re talking, tapping or typing. Meanwhile, we’re bidding adieu to the little blue “g” icon and replacing it with a four-color “G” that matches the logo.
This isn’t the first time we’ve changed our look and it probably won’t be the last, but we think today’s update is a great reflection of all the ways Google works for you across Search, Maps, Gmail, Chrome and many others. We think we’ve taken the best of Google (simple, uncluttered, colorful, friendly), and recast it not just for the Google of today, but for the Google of the future.

You’ll see the new design roll out across our products soon. Hope you enjoy it!

Posted by Tamar Yehoshua, VP, Product Management & Bobby Nath, Director of User Experience

Introducing a more flexible option to purchase the Google Maps Web Service APIs



The Google Maps Web Service APIs offer a powerful toolkit for the real world - including geocoding, directions, elevation for any point on earth, and snapping GPS crumbs to the road network.

Today we’re introducing a simple and flexible option for developers to instantly and easily scale with these Web Service APIs, by opening them up to pay-as-you-go purchasing via the Google Developers Console. In this new purchasing structure, the Google Maps Geocoding, Directions, Distance Matrix, Roads, Geolocation, Elevation, and Time Zone APIs remain free of charge for the first 2,500 requests per day, and developers may now simply pay $0.50 USD per 1,000 additional requests up to 100,000 requests per API per day. Developers requiring over 100,000 requests per day should contact us to purchase a premium licence.

To get started, head over to our updated Google Maps APIs developer site to check out the APIs, get a key, and provide your billing details to enable the higher limits.

Lastly, alongside this change we’ve updated our Google Maps/Earth APIs Terms of Service to include a section on payment terms as well as some clarifications to the deprecation policy, turn-by-turn navigation restrictions and derivative data sets.

Enjoy!