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Updates in G Suite to streamline Hangouts and Gmail

If you were at Google Cloud Next this year, you may have heard that Gmail and Google Hangouts are getting several improvements designed for businesses, such as Gmail Add-ons and the evolution of Hangouts: Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat. To make the most of these opportunities, we’re announcing several updates to Hangouts, Gmail and Google+ that make things much simpler for both enterprise administrators and users.
  • Streamlining the messaging experience for Android: At Google Cloud Next, we announced that we’ve evolved Hangouts to focus on two new experiences that help bring teams together and keep work moving forward: Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat. We’ve been working hard to streamline the classic Hangouts product for enterprise users, and, as part of this effort, will be removing carrier SMS functionality in the classic Hangouts app for Android, starting on May 22. For administrators: If your domain is affected by this change, you can expect to receive an email notification with additional details in the coming days.
    • Upgrading SMS with Android Messages: We want to provide a consistent and easy-to-use SMS experience for Android users, right out of the box. So we’re focused on making Android Messages the primary place to access SMS and are working with carriers and device manufacturers to include Android Messages natively in Android devices. Over time, we’re working with partners to upgrade SMS to RCS—the next standard in carrier messaging that will bring features like read receipts, group chat, hi-res photo sharing and more.
    • Hangouts on Android users: In the next few weeks, you’ll see a notification in the classic Hangouts app to switch to another SMS app already on your phone for SMS, or to download Android Messages if one isn’t available. Choosing a new messaging app will not impact your SMS message history, and all your messages will be accessible in whichever new app you choose. Note: This change does not impact Google Voice users who may continue to use Hangouts for their Google Voice SMS.  Project Fi users who wish to use Hangouts as their SMS app will also not be impacted by this change, and can consult the Project Fi forum for more detail.


  • Fully transitioning Google Talk to Hangouts: Google Talk launched in 2005 as a simple chat experience between Gmail users. In 2013, we began replacing Google Talk with Hangouts, while still giving users the option to continue using Google Talk. Hangouts offers advanced improvements over Google Talk such as group video calling and integration with other Google products. With the introduction of Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat, which add further improvements in meetings and team collaboration, it is now time to say goodbye to Google Talk.
    • Talk users within Gmail will receive a prompt in the next few weeks, inviting them to switch to Hangouts. After June 26, users will be automatically transitioned to Hangouts, unless contractual commitments apply. For users that preferred the Google Talk look, there is a Dense Roster setting in Hangouts that provides a similar experience.
    • Third-party XMPP clients will continue to work with Hangouts for 1-on-1 chats. XMPP federation with third-party services providers will no longer be supported starting June 26.
    • The legacy Google Talk Android app was replaced in the Play Store in 2013 and will now stop functioning. Android users are encouraged to install Hangouts now.
    • For G Suite administrators: If your domain is affected by this change, you will have already received an email notification about this change.
  • Retiring several Gmail Labs: Gmail Labs serve as a great testing ground for experimental features. Successful labs graduate, and low usage labs often retire. With the announcement of Gmail Add-ons, enterprises will soon gain the ability to add modern integrations in Gmail, which in some cases will replace or improve the functionality provided by some labs. So in the coming weeks, we will retire the following Labs: Authentication Icon, Google Voice Player, Picasa previews, Pictures in chat, Quick Links, Quote Selected Text, Smartlabels, and Yelp previews. (Expected: No earlier than April 24, 2017)
  • Retiring Google+ functionality in Gmail: As part of our continued effort to focus Google+ around shared interests, we’re retiring two legacy Google+ features in Gmail: the ability to email Google+ profiles and the use of Google+ Circles. (Expected: No earlier than April 24, 2017)
    We realize these updates may be an inconvenience, so we aimed to minimize disruption and help you navigate the changes where possible. These updates will help us focus and prioritize features that will improve the entire G Suite user experience for everyone. To monitor the retirement dates for these features, subscribe to the G Suite What’s New Calendar.

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    Improving video file attachments in Gmail with video streaming

    Today, we’re rolling out a quality of life improvement to Gmail desktop users that makes previewing video attachments in Gmail much smoother and quicker. Previously, in order to view a video attachment in Gmail, you would have to download it to your computer and open it with a media player. Starting today, when opening an email with video attachments, you will see a thumbnail of the video and have the ability to stream it, right from inside Gmail.

    This feature uses the same Google infrastructure that powers YouTube, Google Drive, and other video streaming apps, so video is delivered at optimal quality and availability. If you have apps that would also benefit from integrating video streaming, check out Google Cloud Platform Media Solutions.

    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

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    Sales Cloud integration with Google Sheets

    Last fall, we announced efforts with Salesforce to build tighter integrations with G Suite apps, and as of last week, businesses can now use Edit Opportunities in Google Sheets to save time. Sales reps can simply sync a Salesforce Opportunity List View to Sheets to bulk edit data, and the changes are synced automatically to Salesforce, no upload required.

    This integration supports business logic and validation rules and even lets sales reps use Explore in Sheets to help answer natural language questions.

    Launch Details
    Note: This is a Salesforce launch, available to all Sales Cloud customers who also use Google Sheets. 

    More Information
    Salesforce AppExchange


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    Upgrade your Google Drive plug-in for Microsoft Office before April 20, 2017

    We’ve made the Google Drive plug-in for Microsoft Office more secure and easier to use. In particular, the plug-in authentication flow has been updated as part of Google’s effort to modernize OAuth interactions in native applications. The new authentication flow requires users to authenticate via the default browser on their system, and not through embedded browsers known as “web-views.”

    This week, we’ll begin automatically updating all plug-ins. If you previously disabled Google Update or installed the Google Drive plug-in in an environment that does not allow for automatic updates, please download and deploy the latest plug-in version (1.7.17.0).

    You must upgrade to version 1.7.17.0 before April 20, 2017. Starting on that date, you will not be able to sign in to older versions of the plug-in.

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

    Editions:
    Available to all G Suite editions

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

    Impact:
    Admins and end users

    Action:
    Admin action may be required

    More Information
    Admin Help Center: Install the Drive plug-in for Microsoft Office
    User Help Center: Save, edit, & share Microsoft Office files


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    Send and request money in your Gmail app on Android

    You can already reliably and safely share photos and files on the go with Gmail. Now you can share money, too. Whether you’re splitting a dinner bill or planning a group trip, you now have a fee-free way to work out the details and settle up without ever leaving the Gmail app on Android, just like you can already do on the web. Plus, you can exchange money with anyone—not just people with Gmail addresses. Learn more about the new feature in our blog post here: Send and request money in your Gmail app on Android.

    For Administrators:

    • This feature is currently available in the US only using Gmail on the web or Android.
    • If you do not want your users sending money from their Google accounts, you can disable Google Payments from the Admin console. Learn more


    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: 
    All end users

    Action:
    Change management suggested/FYI

    More Information
    Help Center: Send & receive money with Gmail
    Help Center: Control who can access Google services
    The Keyword: Gmail


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    Hangouts Meet now publicly available and Hangouts Chat Early Adopter Program now accepting applications

    Earlier today, we announced the public launch of Hangouts Meet and the Early Adopter Program for Hangouts Chat, the new enterprise-focused video meetings and online messaging experiences coming to Google Hangouts. Learn more about the new Hangouts in our blog post here: Meet the new Hangouts.

    Getting started with Meet

    If you are a G Suite administrator, the ability to enable specific organizational units for Meet or even your entire domain is gradually rolling out starting today.
    Because Meet is launching default off for existing Hangouts users, you have the flexibility and control to plan and coordinate the rollout of Meet with your team and users.

    Applying for early access to Chat

    Launch Details

    Release track:
    Launching to both Rapid release and Scheduled release

    Editions:
    Meet is now available to all G Suite editions; however, the ability to create meetings with a dial-in phone number is only available to Enterprise edition users

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

    Impact:
    Admins only
    For existing domains, Admins can choose when to enable Google Meet for their users.
    For newly created domains, Google Meet will be enabled by default.

    Action:
    Admin action suggested/FYI

    More Information
    Help Center: Enable the new Hangouts video meetings experience (Administrators)
    Help Center: Create or join a new Hangouts video meetings experience (End-users)
    Hangouts Meet Learning Center (End-users)
    The Keyword

    An update on Jamboard, the collaborative, cloud-first whiteboard

    Last October we introduced Jamboard, a digital whiteboard designed specifically for the cloud.
    Through the Jamboard Early Adopter Program (EAP), we’ve been hard at work gathering and implementing feedback from G Suite customers to make Jamboard the ultimate free-form collaboration experience. Today, at Google Cloud Next, we announced that Jamboard will be available for purchase starting in May 2017, with a retail price of $4,999, plus a $600 annual management and support fee (discounted to $300 for your first year if you purchase by Sept. 30, 2017).

    While we’re no longer accepting applications for the EAP, customers can visit the Jamboard website to express interest in purchasing devices. Jamboard will be available for purchase with shipping to locations in the US in May.

    More Information
    Jamboard website


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    Apply for the Gmail Add-ons Developer Preview today

    Earlier today, we announced the developer preview for Gmail Add-ons. Learn more about Gmail Add-ons in our blog post here: Bring the power of your apps into Gmail with Add-ons


    For Administrators: Please note that the Developer Preview only allows the developer to test add-on development in their own Gmail accounts. End-user functionality is not planned until later this year.


    More Information
    G Suite Developer Blog

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    Introducing new, enterprise-ready tools for Google Drive

    (Cross-posted from The Keyword, with some additional details)

    Google Drive has always made it easy for individuals to safely store, sync and share files. But as larger companies move to the cloud, there's more to think about — like the risk of data breaches, bumpy migrations, and compatibility with legacy tools. Our team has been working hard to solve these complexities for the enterprise. That’s why we're introducing powerful additions to Drive that can help your organization:
    • Create, share and work confidently as a team with Team Drives
    • Stay in control of sensitive company data with Google Vault for Drive
    • Migrate easily to the cloud with our latest acquisition, AppBridge
    • Work seamlessly with the tools you're already using with Drive File Stream
    • Access relevant files immediately with Quick Access, powered by Google machine intelligence


    Team Drives: work confidently together in the cloud

    Most file storage solutions weren’t built to handle the explosion of files that are now created and shared in the cloud — because they were initially designed for individuals, not teams. With this amount of shared data, admins need more controls to keep their data safe and teams need to feel confident working together. Team Drives deliver the security, structure and ease-of-use enterprises need by making it easy to:
    • Add new team members. You can manage team members individually or with Google Groups and give them instant access to relevant Team Drives.
    • Keep track of your files if a team member leaves. Team Drives are jointly owned by the team, which means that anything added to Team Drives stays there no matter who comes or goes. Whirlpool Corporation, for example, uses Team Drives to manage file access. Says Troy McKim, Collaboration Principle at Whirlpool Corporation, “If you place files for a project in Team Drives, you don’t have to worry about losing them or moving them when files are re-owned.”
    • Understand and manage sharing permissions. Team members automatically see the same files regardless of who adds or reorganizes them. You can also manage share permissions by defining the restrictions for editing, commenting, reorganizing or deleting files.
    • Manage and view Team Drives as an admin. Admins can see Team Drives for a user and add new members if necessary: “Team Drives also ease the speed at which a team member can onboard and become effective in their new role,” says McKim.

    Team Drives are generally available to all of our G Suite Business, Education, and Enterprise customers starting today. Set up Team Drives for your organization.


    Additional info for G Suite admins

    You will need to enable the creation of Team Drives in the Admin console (Apps > G Suite > Drive and Docs > Sharing settings > Team Drive creation) before anyone in your organization can create Team Drives. You will have the option to enable Team Drives creation for your entire domain or for specific OUs. We recommend using this option to deploy Team Drives to your users in the manner most appropriate for your organization.

    If you disable Team Drives creation but allow users to receive files from outside your organization, your users can still be added to Team Drives created by users in other organizations. They will be able to view those Team Drives in Drive and access the files in them.

    NOTE: We plan to automatically enable Team Drives creation for all eligible G Suite customers no earlier than January 1st, 2018. We will update you in advance of that change.

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

    Editions:
    Available to G Suite Business, Education, and Enterprise editions only

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

    Impact:
    Admins and end users

    Action:
    Admin action suggested/FYI

    More information
    Help Center: Manage Team Drives
    Help Center: Share files with Team Drives
    G Suite Learning Center: Drive

    Google Vault for Drive: new, advanced admin controls for data compliance

    Managing the data lifecycle of your files (like which files you keep or delete) is complicated and time-consuming. But ensuring compliance with your company’s data policies is essential and mistakes can lead to expensive legal costs. That’s why today we’re adding on to Google Vault for Drive, which already offers search and export capabilities.

    The new Google Vault for Drive capabilities give admins the governance controls they need to manage and secure all their files, both in employee Drives as well as in Team Drives. These new features let admins set retention policies that automatically keep what they need and get rid of what they don't. For example, you might need to place a legal hold on files that are critical to a certain legal case.

    With powerful data protection tools, Google Vault for Drive ensures your admins have full control of your company data in the cloud. Google Vault for Drive is generally available to all of our G Suite Business, Education, and Enterprise customers today.


    Additional info for G Suite admins

    See our dedicated post for more information about the Vault for Drive features launching today.

    AppBridge: moving to the cloud made easy

    Migrating to the cloud can be complex. It's not just your files that need to be moved; permissions also need to map correctly; content likely needs to be reorganized, and some data probably needs to be archived. To address that challenge, today we are announcing the acquisition of AppBridge, an enterprise-grade, G Suite migration tool that helps organizations seamlessly migrate from their on-prem, cloud-based and hybrid solutions to Google Drive.

    With AppBridge, your organization can migrate files effortlessly to G Suite from your existing file servers or content management systems like SharePoint, or from many other cloud platforms you might be using. File permissions are also brought over when you migrate, which means your team's file access remains unchanged and your data stays safe. We’re working together with AppBridge to bring them into the G Suite team. Stay tuned for more information in the near future.

    Drive File Stream: work without breaking your business processes

    After you migrate to the cloud, you should be able to easily access all your content using your existing tools and processes. While other cloud-based solutions use traditional, time-consuming (and hard drive-consuming) syncs, Drive File Stream, now available in the Early Adopter Program (EAP), allows teams to quickly stream files directly from the cloud to their computer. This means that all of your company data can be accessed directly from your laptop, even if you don’t have much space left on your hard drive.

    Drive File Stream lets you:
    • Access, search and manage files on-demand from your computer in seconds.
    • Get just the files you need and make certain files available for offline use later.
    • Access your work even quicker, as your most-used files become available in the background intelligently.
    • Avoid the risk of users downloading all of your company data to their hard drives.

    Say goodbye to time-consuming file syncing and any concerns about disk space. With Drive File Stream, all your files are always ready for you and your colleagues. Sign up for the EAP of Drive File Stream today.


    Quick Access for teams: make the most of your content with machine intelligence

    You’ve migrated all of your data to the cloud. Now, it’s time to make the power of the cloud work for you. Quick Access in Drive now works with Team Drives on iOS and Android devices, and is coming soon to the web. Quick Access is powered by Google's machine intelligence, the same technology used in Gmail’s Smart Reply and Google Sheets Explore, which means that teams can save time and make smarter decisions because the right knowledge will surface to the right employees at the right time. Quick Access intelligently predicts and surfaces files based on:
    • Who specific files are frequently shared with
    • When relevant meetings occur
    • What files are used at specific times during the day
    • And many others


    Additional info for G Suite admins

    Available in the Drive Android app since September, Quick Access can now be used on iOS devices as well.

    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:
    All end users

    Action:
    Change management suggested/FYI

    Try Google Drive for your enterprise

    With these powerful new enterprise additions to Drive, you have the tools your employees need to execute on big ideas while you maintain the control your organization needs to keep your data safe. Get started on Google Drive today or contact a sales representative to learn more.


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    New in Google Vault: Full support for Google Drive, Team Drives, and Google Groups

    Google Vault helps your organization meet its legal needs, by allowing you to manage your employees' G Suite data for eDiscovery and compliance purposes. Today, we’re launching additional, crucial functionality in Vault, including full support for Drive, newly launched Team Drives, and Google Groups.

    Set retention policies for Google Drive, including Team Drives
    Starting now, not only can G Suite admins search and export employee Drive files, they can also set retention policies to manage the lifecycle of files in My Drive and the just-launched Team Drives, regardless of whether they’re Google or non-Google files (as long as they’re owned by users in your domain).

    Like with mail, the default rule will apply to all users in your domain. You can set an indefinite retention policy (such that files are never expunged), or you can choose to have files expunged at the end of a specific time period. This default rule can be applied to all files or only to files that have been deleted by users.

    You can also set custom retention rules for specific organizational units (OUs) or for Team Drives. Like with mail, custom rules override the default rule and, if multiple custom rules apply to a file, the longest rule wins. Custom rules can be applied to all files or only to files that have been deleted by users.

    Unlike with mail, you cannot target custom Drive retention rules with specific terms.


    Place legal holds on Google Drive files
    In addition to setting retention policies, you can now place legal holds on your employees' Google Drive and Team Drives files, whether they are Google files or non-Google files (as long as they are owned by users in your domain). Doing so will preserve all files that are owned by or shared with the user on hold, regardless of whether that user deletes those files. If a user on hold deletes a file, it will appear as deleted for him or her—but it will be available in Vault until the hold is removed. Remember that holds always take precedence over retention rules.

    Note that both the retention policy and legal holds features are not yet available for Apps Script.

    Export point-in-time Google Drive files
    Vault now also allows you to export revisions of your employees’ Drive and Team Drive files from a specific point in time (this applies to Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings files). This can be done by simply specifying the desired Version Date in the search form.

    Note that this feature is not yet available for Google Forms, Apps Script, or any non-Google document types.


    Use Vault for Google Groups
    Finally, Vault now works with Groups, meaning you can search, export, and set retention policies and place legal holds on your employees’ Groups content. Groups can be used for email lists, forums, and shared or collaborative inboxes, and now you can apply the same retention and eDiscovery programs that you use in Gmail for content stored in Groups archives.


    To learn more about how Vault's support for Drive, Team Drives, and Groups can help your organization meet its legal obligations and archiving needs, check out the Vault Help Center.

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

    Editions:
    Available to G Suite Business, Enterprise, and Education editions only

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

    Impact:
    Admins only

    Action:
    Admin action suggested/FYI

    More Information
    Help Center: Google Vault
    Help Center: Supported data types


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