Category Archives: Apps Feed Blog

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Making Google prompt the primary choice for 2-Step Verification

In July, we began inviting users to try Google prompt as their 2-Step Verification (2SV) method, instead of SMS text messages. Google prompt is an easier and more secure method of authenticating an account, and it respects mobile policies enforced on employee devices.


With that in mind, we’re now making Google prompt the first choice when users turn on 2SV (previously, SMS was the primary choice). Once 2SV is enabled, users will still have the option to set up SMS, the Google Authenticator app, backup codes, or Security Keys as their alternative second step.


This will only impact users who have not yet set up 2SV. Current 2SV users' settings will be unaffected. In addition, if a user attempts to set up 2SV but doesn’t have a compatible mobile device, he or she will be prompted to use SMS as their authentication method instead.

Users can set up 2SV from their My Account page.

A few things to note:
  • A data connection is required to use Google prompt.
  • Users with iOS devices will need to install the Google app in order to use Google prompt.
  • G Suite Enterprise domains can choose to enforce Security Keys to meet more advanced security requirements.


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

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Gradual rollout (up to 15 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Sign in faster with 2-Step Verification phone prompts


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Time for a refresh: meet the new Google Calendar for web

(Cross-posted from The Keyword)

Check your schedule. Starting today, a fresh look and new features are coming to Google Calendar on the web to help you manage your time more efficiently and get more done.

We’re taking a lot of what you know and love from Calendar’s mobile application, like the modern color palette and sleek design, and bringing it to the web with a responsive layout that auto-adjusts to your screen size. We’ve also added more features for enterprises to help teams schedule and prepare for meetings.

Over the years, you’ve shared valuable feedback on how we can enhance Calendar to better fit your needs and we’re excited to bring new improvements. Now, it’s even easier to manage your schedule at your desk. In the new Calendar for web, you can:
  • See conference room details when booking a room. G Suite admins can now enter detailed information about their organization’s meeting rooms—so employees know where a conference room is located, how large it is, and whether it has audio/video equipment or is wheelchair accessible. Employees can simply hover over the room name in Calendar when they want to book a space, and a hovercard will pop up with details about the conference location and resources.

  • Add rich formatting and hyperlinks to your Calendar invites. Link to relevant spreadsheets, documents or presentations in your Calendar invite and open them directly from the new “Event Detail” view. This can help you create more detailed agendas and ensure all materials are in one place before your meeting starts.

  • Manage multiple calendars side by side in “Day” view. Now you can view and manage calendars in separate columns. This makes it easier for employees who manage multiple calendars, like administrative assistants, to schedule meetings on behalf of their teams. Click “Day” view and select the calendars you want to compare.


There are a number of other changes in Calendar, too. Now you can see contact information of meeting participants when you hover over their names in a Calendar invite. There’s also a new way to view and restore deleted items in one place in case you accidentally delete a meeting invite. Additionally, "Day,” "Week,” and "Month" views are now more accessible, featuring better compatibility with screen readers. For more detail on changes, check out this post.

Additional information for G Suite admins

To help you and your users transition to the new Calendar web UI, we’re offering two rollout options to choose from (see the Help Center for more information):
  • Automatic—Automatic is the default option. Starting Nov. 14, 2017, for Rapid Release domains and Nov. 28, 2017, for Scheduled Release domains, we will gradually transition your users to the new UI. The transition will take about 8 weeks (including opt-in and opt-out stages). No action is required on your part for the Automatic option.
  • Manual—Alternatively, you can choose to manually control when to move your users to the new UI in the Google Admin console. For example, though we've worked with the developers of the most popular Calendar Chrome extensions to prepare for the new UI, you might have users who depend on an extension that hasn’t been updated yet. Or you might like to check out the new UI in your test domain or organizational unit (OU).
To choose the Manual option, go to Apps > G Suite > Calendar > New Calendar. Here, you can set by organizational unit when you’d like your users to access the new version of the Calendar UI. If you choose the Manual rollout option, please plan to transition all your users to the new UI before Feb. 28, 2018. Any users who are still accessing the old Calendar UI on Feb. 28, 2018, will be transitioned to the new UI, with no ability to opt out.

We recommend sharing this guide, as well as the resources below, with your users to help them understand the new layout changes.

For more information on how to add structured data to your rooms and resources, check out the Help Center. Note that this feature will work with both the classic Calendar UI and the new Calendar UI. 


Launch Details
New Calendar web UI, rich formatting for invites, side-by-side “Day” view
Structured room and resource data
  • Rolling out gradually over the coming weeks for admins on both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release to start uploading
Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
Admins and end users

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
New Calendar UI
Structured room and resource data




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Increasing user undeletion window to 20 days

A top ask from G Suite admins, we’re now increasing the window of time to restore a deleted user from five to 20 days. This extended window can be especially helpful for customers who manage user accounts through an API or other automated sync tools.

Please note, only those with super admin permissions can restore a deleted user’s account. For the steps on how to restore a user in the Admin console, check out this Help Center article.

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

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

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

Impact:
Admins only

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Restore a recently deleted user

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Easily choose the G Suite edition that best meets your needs

In January 2017, we announced the availability of G Suite Enterprise, designed to meet the unique needs of large companies as well as give businesses of all sizes a significant advantage in security and management.

With that launch, we introduced:
  • More powerful access control for administrators with security key enforcement
  • More data control with Data Loss Prevention (DLP) for Google Drive, DLP for Gmail, and S/MIME for Gmail
  • More analytics and insights by connecting BigQuery with Gmail
With G Suite Enterprise edition, along with our Basic and Business offerings, businesses have more flexibility to choose the G Suite solution that best meets their needs.

Today, we are making it easier for all G Suite customers who purchased G Suite online to evaluate and quickly switch between G Suite editions. Details on the various features included with each edition can be reviewed at https://gsuite.google.com/compare-editions/. Online customers can then upgrade―or downgrade―their existing G Suite subscription with just a few clicks.

Additional notes 
  • Customers who purchased their G Suite subscription via a reseller can contact their reseller for more details on switching between G Suite editions.
  • Customers who are on an annual plan can contact their sales representative or customer support for more details on switching between G Suite editions.


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

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

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

Impact:
Admins only

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI


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8 swift steps G Suite admins can take to secure business data

(Cross-posted from The Keyword)

Security doesn’t have to be complicated. With G Suite, admins can manage and help protect their users with minimal effort because we've designed our tools to be intuitive—like Vault, which helps with eDiscovery and audit needs, and data loss prevention, which helps ensure that your “‘aha”’ moments stay yours. Here are some key security controls that you can deploy with just a few clicks to get more fine-grained control of your organization's security.

1. Enable Hangouts out-of-domain warnings
If your business allows employees to chat with external users on Hangouts, turn on a setting that will show warnings to your users if anyone outside of your domain tries to join a Hangout, and split existing group chats so external users can’t see previous internal conversations. This substantially reduces the risk of data leaks or falling prey to social engineering attacks. (Admin console > Apps > G Suite > Google Hangouts > Chat settings > Sharing options)


2. Disable email forwarding
Exercising this option will disable the automatic email forwarding feature for users, which in turn helps reduce the risk of data exfiltration in the event a user’s credentials are compromised. (Admin console > Apps > G Suite > Gmail > Advanced settings)



3. Enable early phishing detection
Enabling this option adds further checks on potentially suspicious emails prior to delivery. Early phishing detection utilizes a dedicated machine learning model that selectively delays messages to perform rigorous phishing analysis. Less than 0.05 percent of messages on average get delayed by a few minutes, so your users will still get their information fast. (Admin console > Apps > G Suite > Gmail > Advanced settings)


4. Examine OAuth-based access to third-party apps
OAuth apps whitelisting helps keep company data safe by letting you specifically select which third-party apps are allowed to access users’ G Suite data. Once an app is part of a whitelist, users can choose to grant authorized access to their G Suite apps data. This helps to prevent malicious apps from tricking people into accidentally granting access to corporate data. (Admin console > Security > G Suite API Permissions)


5. Check that unintended external reply warning for Gmail is turned on
Gmail can display unintended external reply warnings to users to help prevent data loss. You can enable this option to ensure that if your users try to respond to someone outside of your company domain, they’ll receive a quick warning to make sure they intended to send that email. Because Gmail has contextual intelligence, it knows if the recipient is an existing contact or someone your users interact with regularly, so it only displays relevant warnings. This option is on by default. (Admin console > Apps > G Suite > Gmail > Advanced settings)


6. Restrict external calendar
To reduce the incidence of data leaks, make sure that Google Calendar details aren’t shared outside your domain. Limiting sharing to “free” or “busy” information protects you from social engineering attacks that depend on gleaning information from meeting titles and attendees. (Admin console > Apps > G Suite > Calendar > Sharing settings)


7. Limit access to Google Groups
By setting default Google group access to private, you can limit external access to information channels that may contain confidential business information, like upcoming projects. (Admin console > Apps > G Suite > Groups for Business > Sharing settings)


8. Set Google+ access restrictions
Make the default sharing setting for Google+ restricted and disable discoverability of Google+ profiles outside your domain. Both of these actions can help you control access to critical business information. (Admin console > Apps > G Suite > Google+ > Advanced settings)





Every company has their own unique set of business requirements that need to work in rhythm with their security requirements. By evaluating and implementing some of these suggested security controls, you can make a marked difference in your company’s security posture—with just a few clicks. See this post for other security tips.


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Google Drive reporting will show activity-based metrics in the Admin console

As a G Suite admin, it’s important that you have a clear, reliable understanding of the actions taking place within your domain. Today, we are making changes to reporting in the Admin console to better reflect the Google Drive activity happening in your domain. First, we are shifting the definition of the metrics shown to reflect the change in file activity, such as “Google Documents added,” instead of absolute counts, such as total “Google Documents owned.” This change affects any dashboard or metric in the Admin console that reports on Drive files.


We are also adding sharing visibility metrics to Admin console reporting. File sharing reports will now highlight which files have been shared outside of your domain vs. internally.


These metrics were introduced earlier this year, but were only available through the Admin SDK Reports API; they’re now available from within the Admin console. This new presentation of metrics provides the most reliable and recent information available, directly in the Admin console.

Find more information on the changes to individual reports in the Help Center.

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

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

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

Impact:
Admins only

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Highlights report
Help Center: Aggregate reports
Help Center: Security reports
Help Center: Apps usage activity reports
Help Center: Account activity reports

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Turning down the in-app passcode feature in Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides on iOS

In the past, we’ve heard feedback that customers want more security for the files on their iOS devices, which led us to enable an in-app passcode feature specifically for the Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides iOS apps. Over time, however, we’ve come to learn that it’s not just the content within Google Drive that’s valuable to you. Your contacts, calendars, and emails—it's important that all of this is secure as well.

As a result, we began putting particular emphasis on supporting mobile device management (MDM) on iOS. For example, recent launches give G Suite admins greater visibility and control over enterprise-deployed iOS devices. In fact, with MDM, admins can enforce a passcode on all iOS devices that access corporate data, and they can wipe account data on a device if it’s compromised.

Owing to this increased investment in security on iOS devices, we’re ending support for the in-app passcode feature in Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides on iOS devices signed in with G Suite accounts. Support will end on December 4th, 2017, and we’ll remove the feature entirely no earlier than January 8th, 2018.

We highly recommend that administrators use MDM to deploy passcode requirements at the system level on all of their iOS devices by following these instructions. This will provide better security than the in-app passcode feature in two key ways:
  • These passcode policies protect all of the content on your managed devices, including photos, contacts, and other content besides Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides content.
  • These passcode policies give you more control over passcode type, strength, expiration, and failure cases. See this Help Center article for more details.

Beginning on December 4th, 2017, any user signed in with a G Suite account who has this feature will see a message asking them to either acknowledge and turn off the functionality, or to ignore the message temporarily. Beginning on January 8th, 2018, all new versions of the Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides iOS apps will no longer contain in-app passcode functionality.


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New features in Google’s Contacts app on Android

Today we’re releasing version 2.2 of the Google Contacts app on Android. This release contains several changes to the look and management of your contacts. Read on for more information. 

Changes to the Contact view
  • Large photos are back: A popular request from G Suite users, we’ll now display a larger, more vibrant contact photo.
  • Action buttons under the photo make it easier to connect: Under the contact’s name, you’ll now see new buttons to call, text, video chat or email that contact. Additionally, if there’s at least one street address in the contact’s info, a Directions button will appear.
  • Directory card shows directory profile information: In this card, you’ll see things like the contact’s job title, work phone number, manager name, and office location.




Changes to Suggestions
  • Suggested contacts to add: New in this release, you’ll see suggestions to add contacts you frequently communicate with across Google’s products. These appear under the “Add people you contact often” summary card.

  • Merge all duplicates: The duplicates suggestion view now has a “MERGE ALL” button which allows you to accept all duplicates suggestions at once.

Customized “Contacts” view
Lastly, you can now customize the “Contacts” list view to show just the labels you want. This is accessed via a new menu item in the main list screen called “Customize view.” This feature was available in previous releases for the “All contacts” list view, but it has now been made available for individual accounts as well.

We hope these changes make managing your contacts simpler and more efficient. For more information on using Google Contacts, please visit the Help Center.



Launch Details
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release 

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

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

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI


More Information