Tag Archives: Google Drive

Request and review formal document approvals with a new beta

What’s changing 

We’re launching a new beta that allows you to request and review formal approvals on Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. This feature gives you a direct way to get binding approvals on a file, and to see who’s approved them.



To learn more about this beta and to apply, see here.

Who’s impacted 

Admins and end users

Why you’d use it 

With this beta, you can easily request approval on specific files from a single or multiple reviewers. Once you add a reviewer to a file, they’ll receive a notification via email.

You’ll also have the option to specify a due date when requesting an approval. As the due date approaches, reviewers will receive reminders via email that their approval is needed. Reviewers will also receive reminders if their approval is past due.

For a single reviewer, the file is automatically approved or rejected once the reviewer makes their choice. For multiple reviewers, the file gets approved once all reviewers have selected “approve” and rejected once any reviewer selects “reject.”

 If you need to add additional reviewers to a request, you can do so as long as an approval is still pending. In addition, editors and pending reviewers can choose to re-assign a review request to a more appropriate party.

How to get started 

  • Admins: To apply for the Google Drive Approvals beta, see here
  • End users: 
    • Once this feature is enabled for your domain, to request an approval: 
      • In Google Drive, right-click the file you want to get approved and select “Approvals” from the list of options. 
      •  If you have the file open in preview mode, this option is also available in the actions listed in the three-dot drop-down menu. 
  • To approve or reject a file: 
    • If your approval is requested on a document, you’ll receive a notification email and can take action within Gmail: 
      • You can approve or reject the document in the preview pane, and add comments.
      • From Drive, you can see a pending request for approval in the action items associated with a file, or by right-clicking and choosing “View approvals.” 

Additional details 

Once you send a file for review, the content of the file cannot be modified, including leaving and resolving comments within the document. Only comments regarding the approval itself can be added.
Only editors can unlock the file, in which case the review request is cancelled. Reviews can be requested again once all revisions are made.

Helpful links 



Availability 

G Suite editions 

  • Available to G Suite Business, G Suite Enterprise, G Suite for Education, G Suite Enterprise for Education, and G Suite for Nonprofits 
  • Not available for G Suite Basic 

On/off by default? 


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Google Photos will stop syncing to Drive on July 10, 2019

What’s changing

Starting on July 10, 2019, Google Photos will no longer sync to Google Drive. From that date forward, if you add or delete files in Photos, they won’t be automatically added or deleted in Drive.

Who’s impacted

End users

Why it matters

We heard feedback that users were confused by the connection between Photos and Drive. We’re hoping this simplified experience is easier for users to understand and navigate.

How to get started


  • End users: Starting July 10, G Suite users will need to manually download items from Photos and upload them to Drive. If they delete files in Photos, they’ll need to manually delete them in Drive as well.


Additional details

Currently, G Suite users can choose to sync Photos to Drive. This means that when they upload a file to Photos, it’s automatically uploaded to the Google Photos folder in Drive. Once these changes go into effect, this folder will stop receiving updates. It won’t go away; it will just stop syncing with Photos.

Unlike consumers, G Suite users do not have the option to show photos from My Drive in Google Photos. If Google Photos is disabled in your organization, your users will not be impacted.

See our post on the Keyword for more details.

Helpful links

Help Center: Upcoming changes to Google Photos & Google Drive
Keyword: Changing how Google Drive and Google Photos work together

Availability

Rollout details



G Suite editions

  • Impacts all editions


On/off by default?

  • This change will take place for all organizations by default.



Stay up to date with G Suite launches

Google Photos will stop syncing to Drive on July 10, 2019

What’s changing

Starting on July 10, 2019, Google Photos will no longer sync to Google Drive. From that date forward, if you add or delete files in Photos, they won’t be automatically added or deleted in Drive.

Who’s impacted

End users

Why it matters

We heard feedback that users were confused by the connection between Photos and Drive. We’re hoping this simplified experience is easier for users to understand and navigate.

How to get started


  • End users: Starting July 10, G Suite users will need to manually download items from Photos and upload them to Drive. If they delete files in Photos, they’ll need to manually delete them in Drive as well.


Additional details

Currently, G Suite users can choose to sync Photos to Drive. This means that when they upload a file to Photos, it’s automatically uploaded to the Google Photos folder in Drive. Once these changes go into effect, this folder will stop receiving updates. It won’t go away; it will just stop syncing with Photos.

Unlike consumers, G Suite users do not have the option to show photos from My Drive in Google Photos. If Google Photos is disabled in your organization, your users will not be impacted.

See our post on the Keyword for more details.

Helpful links

Help Center: Upcoming changes to Google Photos & Google Drive
Keyword: Changing how Google Drive and Google Photos work together

Availability

Rollout details



G Suite editions

  • Impacts all editions


On/off by default?

  • This change will take place for all organizations by default.



Stay up to date with G Suite launches

Changing how Google Drive and Google Photos work together

Many of you store your photos and videos on both Google Drive and Google Photos, which keeps them safe and easy to access. We’ve heard feedback that the connection between these services is confusing, so next month, we’re making some changes to simplify the experience across Drive and Photos.

Changes to automatic sync between Google Drive and Google Photos

Starting in July, new photos and videos from Drive won’t automatically show in Photos. Similarly, new photos and videos in Photos will not be added to the Photos folder in Drive. Photos and videos you delete in Drive will not be removed from Photos. Similarly, items you delete in Photos will not be removed from Drive. This change is designed to help prevent accidental deletion of items across products.

 New “Upload from Drive” feature in Google Photos

We’ve heard that many of you would like more granular control when copying photos and videos from Drive into Photos. So we’re bringing a new feature to photos.google.com called “Upload from Drive,” which lets you manually choose photos and videos from Drive, including “Shared with Me” items, to import into Photos. Once copied, these items are not connected between the two products. Since photos and videos will no longer sync across both products, items copied in Original Quality will count towards your storage quota in both Drive and Photos.

 Backup and Sync for Windows and Mac will continue to work

You’ll still be able to use Backup and Sync on Windows or macOS to upload to both services in High Quality or Original Quality. As before, items uploaded in High Quality won’t count against your account storage quota, and items uploaded using Backup and Sync in Original Quality to both services will count only once towards your quota.

 Your existing photos and videos will stay in Google Drive and Google Photos

Any photos or videos from Drive in Photos that you have uploaded prior to this change will remain in Photos. If you have a “Google Photos” folder in Drive, it will remain in Drive, but will no longer update automatically.

 Our goal with these changes is to simplify some features that caused confusion for our users, based on feedback and our own research. We’ll continue to look for more ways to help support Drive and Photos users going forward.

 If you want to take a closer look at these new changes, please check out our guide.

Source: Drive


Mail merge with the Google Docs API

Posted by Wesley Chun, Developer Advocate, Google Cloud

Students and working professionals use Google Docs every day to help enhance their productivity and collaboration. The ability to easily share a document and simultaneously edit it together are some of our users' favorite product features. However, many small businesses, corporations, and educational institutions often find themselves needing to automatically generate a wide variety of documents, ranging from form letters to customer invoices, legal paperwork, news feeds, data processing error logs, and internally-generated documents for the corporate CMS (content management system).

Mail merge is the process of taking a master template document along with a data source and "merging" them together. This process makes multiple copies of the master template file and customizes each copy with corresponding data of distinct records from the source. These copies can then be "mailed," whether by postal service or electronically. Using mail merge to produce these copies at volume without human labor has long been a killer app since word processors and databases were invented, and now, you can do it in the cloud with G Suite APIs!

While the Document Service in Google Apps Script has enabled the creation of Google Docs scripts and Docs Add-ons like GFormit (for Google Forms automation), use of Document Service requires developers to operate within the Apps Script ecosystem, possibly a non-starter for more custom development environments. Programmatic access to Google Docs via an HTTP-based REST API wasn't possible until the launch of the Google Docs API earlier this year. This release has now made building custom mail merge applications easier than ever!

Today's technical overview video walks developers through the concept and flow of mail merge operations using the Docs, Sheets, Drive, and Gmail APIs. Armed with this knowledge, developers can dig deeper and access a fully-working sample application (Python), or just skip it and go straight to its open source repo. We invite you to check out the Docs API documentation as well as the API overview page for more information including Quickstart samples in a variety of languages. We hope these resources enable you to develop your own custom mail merge solution in no time!

Team Drives is being renamed to shared drives

What’s changing 

The “Team Drives” feature of Google Drive will be renamed to “shared drives.” This will impact: 

  • Drive on web and mobile: Timing may vary depending on the specific platform. See below for more info.
  • Drive File Stream: Beginning on May 31, 2019, with the Drive File Stream version 31 release, “Team Drives” will be renamed to “shared drives” in the Drive File Stream navigation. This may require you to update settings on your devices (see below for more info). 

Who’s impacted 


Admins and end users

Why it’s changing 

This change will not impact Team Drives functionality; it is simply a name change. Our users have told us that they use Team Drives for a lot more than sharing within teams, so “shared drives” makes it easier to understand how you could use them.

How to get started 


  • Admins: If your organization currently relies on file paths of content linked from Drive File Stream—like shortcuts, scripts, etc.—you will need to update your file paths to “shared drives” as soon as possible after May 31, 2019 to avoid broken paths. 


  • End users: In Google Drive, in the left hand side panel, “Team Drives” will be renamed to “Shared drives.” Any desktop shortcuts that link to content inside of shared drives will need to be updated.

Additional details 

On mobile, Android users will see this change beginning on May 28, 2019. iOS users will see this change beginning on May 21, 2019. See below for rollout details for Drive for web.


Availability 

Rollout details 
  • Rapid Release domains: Full rollout (1-3 days for feature visibility) starting on June 3, 2019 for Drive on the web. 
  • Scheduled Release domains: Full rollout (1-3 days for feature visibility) starting on June 3, 2019 for Drive on the web. 

G Suite editions 

  • This change will impact all G Suite editions. 

On/off by default? 

  • This feature will be ON by default. All features will stay the same, only now references to Team Drives will read as “shared drives” across Drive File Stream, and Drive for web and mobile.

Stay up to date with G Suite launches

Work anywhere with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides in new offline mode

What’s changing 

It’s now possible for users to work on Docs, Sheets, and Slides files when your device is offline or have a bad internet connection within Google Drive. You can also preview which files are available offline with a new offline preview mode.

Right click on Docs, Sheets, and Slides files from within Google Drive to make those files available offline.

You can preview which files are available offline using the Offline preview mode

Who’s impacted 

Admins and end users.

Why you’d use it 

We know it’s important for users to access and work on their files while traveling or when there’s low connectivity. With offline mode, it’s now possible to create, edit, and comment on Docs, Sheets, or Slides files. Any changes made to files while offline will then sync in Drive once the user is connected again.

How to get started 

  • Admins: Admins can enable this feature for all or some users:
    • To let users enable offline access (recommended), go to Apps > G Suite > Drive and Docs.
    • To enable offline access for specific devices, see this article in our Help Center.
    • Note: The default for this feature is that all users can enable offline access on any device they sign into, but it is not enabled automatically except on Chromebooks 
  • End users: To work with your files while offline, you’ll need to enable offline access in your Drive settings:
    • From Google Drive, click the gear icon at the top right corner, select Settings > General and select Sync Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings files to this computer so that you can edit offline.
    • Once offline access is enabled, a checkmark icon will appear in the top right next to Settings (gear icon) and Support (question mark). When you click this icon, you can find the offline preview toggle. 



Additional details 

To make files available offline in Google Drive, right click on any file and toggle Available offline from the menu while connected.

When offline access is enabled, Google Drive also automatically and intelligently makes a certain number of Google Docs/Sheets/Slides files available offline based on how recently you accessed them. You can preview which files are already available offline automatically using the offline preview mode. You can also mark a file available offline -- so that it always remains available offline -- while in offline preview mode, as long as you are connected.

Helpful links 

Availability 

Rollout details 
  • Rapid Release domains: Gradual rollout (up to 15 days for feature visibility) starting on April 24, 2019 
  • Scheduled Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on May 21, 2019. 
G Suite editions 
  • Available to all G Suite editions.
On/off by default? 
  • This feature will be ON by default for users who already have offline enabled.
Stay up to date with G Suite launches

More science in more places with Science Journal and Google Drive

We first launched Science Journal in 2016 so that students, teachers and science enthusiasts could conduct hands-on science experiments using their phones, tablets and Chromebooks. Since then, we've heard one request from teachers loud and clear: students need to be able to access their experiments no matter what device they're using or where they are. Learning doesn't just happen in the classroom, it happens outdoors, at home and everywhere in between. So today, we’re bringing a new Google Drive syncing feature to Science Journal. Now, you can access your experiments on any device using a Google Account.

Drive Sync with Science Journal

Accessing your experiment from Google Drive is easy: you can sign in with any Google Account and all of your experiments will be backed up to a Science Journal folder in Google Drive. If you have existing experiments on your device, you can add them to your Google Drive account. Many viewing, sharing and collaboration features will be coming to Science Journal in the future.


If you don't have a Google Account or you don't want to sign in, you can still use Science Journal—but your data won't be saved to Google Drive. If your school doesn't have Google Accounts, you can sign up for G Suite for free—just remember that G Suite for Education accounts need a domain administrator to activate Science Journal in the G Suite Admin console.


In addition to today’s syncing feature, we have a lot of new resources in Science Journal, just for teachers. Check out the new fundamentals and advanced professional development modules in the Google for Education Teacher Center. For introductory science activities, head over to Scholastic's Science in Action initiative, and for more hands-on physics content, you can pre-order Arduino's Science Kit. If you're looking for new ways to enhance Science Journal's capabilities, check out Vernier's Go Direct line of classroom sensors. Science Journal activities can now be found on the Workbench site, and you can always find activities and more on the Science Journal website and get support in our new help center. Finally, the Science Journal iOS app is now open source, so the app's code is available to the public, making it a great opportunity for students, hobbyists and companies who want to see how Science Journal works and even contribute code back to us.


Our goal with Science Journal is to help you enhance scientific thinking and data literacy in your classroom. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming months, and let us know what you think on our forum. You can tweet at us @GScienceJournal, or just use the #myScienceJournal hashtag on Twitter.

Source: Drive


Get extra visibility and control over how Drive File Stream is used in your organization

This announcement was made at Google Cloud Next ‘19 in San Francisco. Check out Next OnAir to tune into the livestream or watch session recordings following the event.


What’s changing 

We’re giving admins more control over their corporate data by integrating controls for Drive File Stream into Google’s device management interface. Drive File Stream streams data between devices and the cloud to ensure users can access the files they need safely and efficiently whether they’re online or offline. Device management helps you easily manage and protect corporate data on devices.
This integration will allow admins to:

  • Control which devices can use Drive File Stream by restricting use to company-owned devices only. 
  • See the status of Drive File Stream on a device (size of the offline content cache, software version, time of last sync etc.). 
  • Remotely block the device and wipe the account specific offline content cache from a machine should it become lost or they no longer want Drive File Stream to be used on the device. 


Who’s impacted 

Admins only

Why you’d use it 

Drive File Stream is a simple and efficient way for users to access Drive data on Windows and Mac devices. This integration provides tools for administrators to gain extra visibility into how it’s used in their organization, and ensure corporate data is protected by controlling which devices can be used to access Drive File Stream. With the ability to block or wipe drive cache with a few clicks, admins have more control on over remediation activities.

How to get started 


  • Admins: 
    • To see the Drive File Stream information for specific devices in the Admin console at Admin console > Device Management > Devices
    • To restrict Drive File Stream to company owned devices, go to Admin console > Apps > G Suite > Drive and Docs > Features and Applications > Drive File Stream > Only allow Drive File Stream on authorized devices
    • To manually approve new Drive File Stream installations, go to Admin console > Device management > Setup > Device Approvals > Requires Admin approval 
  • End users: No action needed. Notifications are sent to the user when a device is blocked, account is wiped, or if a device is pending approval. 


Additional details 

Control which devices can use Drive File Stream 
If you do not choose to manually approve devices before they can use Drive File Stream (see above), there will be no change to how your users set up Drive File Stream today unless the device also has a pending admin approval for Endpoint Verification. However, you will still be able to block and wipe Drive File Stream data from the devices. If you activate the “Requires Admin approval” setting, devices with Drive File Stream already installed will be grandfathered to continue working, unless the device also has a pending admin approval for endpoint verification.

See the status of Drive File Stream on devices 
With the new integration, you can see and manage the Drive File Stream information for specific devices in the Admin console at Admin console > Device Management > Devices. You’ll be able to see information such as the Drive File Stream offline content cache size, when Drive File Stream last synced, the device model, OS and more.

Remotely block the device and wipe the Drive File Stream data 
If a device is lost or you don’t want Drive File Stream to be used on a device, you can block the device. If you do this, all Drive File Stream data will be wiped, and the device will not be able to re-login and access Drive File Stream again.


You can see and manage Drive File Stream information in the Devices section of the Admin console. 


New admin policies to control the use of Drive File Stream 

Helpful links 




Availability 

Rollout details

  • Rapid Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially more than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on April 10, 2019.
  • Scheduled Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially more than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on April 10, 2019. 


G Suite editions 

  • Available to all G Suite editions. 


On/off by default? 

  • By default, devices will be able to use Drive File Stream without specific approval. You can require manual approval by adjusting the endpoint verification setting as described here
  • Devices already using Drive File Stream will be grandfathered to continue working with Drive File Stream, unless the device also has a pending admin approval for Endpoint Verification
  • The setting to only allow Drive File Stream on company-owned devices will be OFF by default.


Stay up to date with G Suite launches

Set, structure, and search metadata in Drive launching in beta

This announcement was made at Google Cloud Next ‘19 in San Francisco. Check out Next OnAir to tune into the livestream or watch session recordings following the event.

Quick Launch Summary 

We’re launching the beta of metadata in Drive. This beta will allow users to add structured metadata to all their files in Drive, making it easier to search and organize based on that information. Admins and end users can use metadata to ensure their content stays organized and accessible, helping them streamline their work.

Admins for Drive Enterprise, G Suite Business, Enterprise, Education, Enterprise for Education, and Nonprofits can learn more and apply for the beta here.

Here are some ways you can use metadata in Drive:

  • Create common file categories for your domain 
    • Admins can create metadata categories like “contract” or “engineering design” that consist of the properties that are relevant to these categories. End-users can apply them to all files that they can edit.
  • Organize team content 
    • Team Drive managers can create categories for their Team Drives or select which existing categories to enable for their Team Drives.
  • Curate and find files faster 
    • End-users can select the suitable categories for their files and folders. The new advanced search methods allow for searching over categories and properties to enable queries like “all contracts that need to be signed by next week.” 

Helpful links 

To learn more about and apply for the metadata in Drive beta, click here. 
To learn more about metadata in Drive, see here. 
Add metadata to files in Google Drive.

Availability 

  • G Suite editions Available to G Suite Business, G Suite Enterprise, Drive Enterprise, G Suite for Education, G Suite Enterprise for Education, and G Suite for Nonprofits. 
  • Not available to G Suite Basic. 

On/off by default? 
  • This feature will be OFF by default and can be enabled at the domain level.

Stay up to date with G Suite launches