Monthly Archives: February 2015

New UI language in Gmail: Burmese

People using Gmail now have the option to view the Gmail UI in Burmese, the 74th different language offered. Language settings can be changed from the “display language” drop-down in Settings. One’s display language doesn't affect the language in which messages are sent and received.

Note that the ornate Burmese script requires some specific fonts to make sure it displays correctly.

Release track:
Rapid release, with Scheduled release coming in two weeks

For more information:
Help Center
Gmail Blog post

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

Launch release calendar
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Announcing the Android for Work program

Today we announced the Android for Work program. With a group of partners, we're helping businesses bring more devices to work by securing, managing and innovating on the Android platform.

Check out the Google for Work blog post for details on how the program provides businesses and workers with the choice and flexibility they need to get things done at work.

Google Apps supports Android device management today and will fully support these Android for Work features when available. Stay tuned for more information.

For more information:
Google for Work blog post
Android for Work overview

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

Launch release calendar
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New views, settings and more for the Google Calendar Android app

A new version of the Google Calendar app for Android is coming to Google Play over the next few days. Based on your feedback, we’ve made a number of improvements―with more on the horizon:

  • See more events at a glance with 7-day week view and pinch-to-zoom
  • Add Google Drive files to events
    • Drive will check if all event invitees can open them 
  • New Birthday calendar settings (coming to Calendar web next week)
    • Birthday calendar can be hidden
    • Control whether birthdays from Google+ are shown
  • A new option to show week numbers in settings
  • Import .ics files sent to you in Gmail and other apps

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release

For more information:
Help Center
Get the latest Calendar app on Google Play

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

Launch release calendar
Get these product update alerts by email
Subscribe to the RSS feed of these updates

Gmail now available in Myanmar (Burmese)



In the summer of 2012 I travelled in Myanmar (Burma) and found inspiration in the temples of Bagan, the floating gardens of Inle Lake and the sweltering heat and teaming markets of Yangon. As a country of 53 million, Myanmar’s recent opening-up has triggered an explosion of people coming online. As recently as 2011, a mere 500,000 Myanmar citizens were able to access the internet, which was less than 1 percent of the population. That number has grown to 2.6 million people as the availability of mobile phones has made it easier to get online. As Myanmar speakers embrace online tools, our team has been working hard to ensure Google is ready to support this new community in their own language.

To capture the nuances of this language and make sure the translations were accurate, consistent and complete, we relied on an array of Myanmar speakers from within the country, and around the world. In April 2013 we launched Google Search in Myanmar, and today we’re excited to announce that Gmail now supports Myanmar (Burmese), our 74th language.
Myanma bhasa (Burmese) is the official language of Myanmar, spoken by over 33 million people as a first language, and 10 million people as a second language. Although primarily spoken in Myanmar, there are also significant numbers of Myanmar speakers in Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Myanmar speakers can switch their language in their Gmail settings starting today, and we couldn’t be happier that Gmail can now greet them with a hearty “Mingalaba” (မင်္ဂလာပါ)!

Source: Gmail Blog


Custom themes, mobile app improvements for Google Classroom

Today we announced several improvements to Google Classroom. On the web, teachers can now bring their own personal touches to Classroom by uploading their own images to use as themes. They can add their own custom images, or choose from our gallery of options, which has been updated with 18 new images and 30 pattern themes.

For the Android and iOS Classroom apps, we added the ability for students and teachers to view the class resource page, and a few other features for both Android and iOS. 

The Classroom app allows students to do their work anytime, anywhere and is designed for schools with iPads or Android tablets and students' personal devices. If you are a Google Apps for Education admin and your school is using managed Android tablets, iPads, or ChromeOS devices, please consider installing the Classroom app centrally, as students may not be able to install it themselves. To make sure students have a great experience using the Classroom app, be sure to install the Drive and Docs apps (Docs, Slides, and Sheets) to the devices at the same time. 

To learn more about our native mobile apps, please visit the Classroom Help Center.

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release

For more information:
Help Center

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

Launch release calendar
Get these product update alerts by email
Subscribe to the RSS feed of these updates

Android is ready for work

Over a billion people today carry Android smartphones—devices that are more powerful than the computers we used just a few years ago.

For many, these phones have become essential tools to help us complete important work tasks like checking email, editing documents, reviewing sales pipelines and approving deals. But for the majority of workers, smartphones and tablets are underutilized in the workplace. Their business and innovation potential remain largely untapped.

Today we're announcing the Android for Work program to tap into that potential. With a group of partners, we're helping businesses bring more devices to work by securing, managing and innovating on the Android platform.

Android for Work features four key technology components:
  • Work profiles – We’ve built on the default encryption, enhanced SELinux security enforcement and multi-user support in Android 5.0, Lollipop to create a dedicated work profile that isolates and protects work data. IT can deploy approved work apps right alongside their users personal apps knowing their sensitive data remains secured. People can use their personal apps knowing their employer only manages work data and won’t erase or view their personal content. 
  • Android for Work app – For devices running Ice Cream Sandwich through Kitkat, or that don’t run work profiles natively, we’ve created the Android for Work app. The app, which delivers secure mail, calendar, contacts, documents, browsing and access to approved work apps, can be completely managed by IT. 
  • Google Play for Work – It allows businesses to securely deploy and manage apps across all users running Android for Work, simplifying the process of distributing apps to employees and ensures that IT approves every deployed app. 
  • Built-in productivity tools – For everyday business tasks, we’ve created a suite of business apps for email, contacts and calendar, which supports both Exchange and Notes and provides document editing capabilities for documents, spreadsheets and presentations. 

We’re joined by a number of partners as part of the Android for Work program, including many familiar names within the Android ecosystem:


Our partners bring IT:

  • Consistent management – Enterprise mobility management (EMM) providers integrate with standardized management APIs to create a simple way to manage all Android devices, new and old, from one dashboard. All Android for Work capabilities are delivered through EMM partners, with more providers available soon.
  • Secure business apps – Software vendors and developers can create a single version of any Google Play app that can be securely deployed to any Android device without alterations or wrapping. And they can create standard management configurations that allow IT to apply policies per app. 
  • Innovative devices – Android smartphone and tablet makers are a key part of the Android for Work program, as they create devices and experiences that add additional value for customers.

Together with a wide range of management, application and device makers, we believe the Android for Work program provides businesses and workers with the choice and flexibility they need to get things done at work.

Learn more by visiting google.com/work/android.


Posted by Rajen Sheth, Director of Product Management, Android and Chrome for Work

Customizable headers and footers, page numbers in Google Docs

People using Google Docs can now use different headers and footers on the first pages of their documents, which comes in handy for:

  • Following academic formatting guidelines (e.g. MLA, CMS, APA)
  • Starting page numbering on the second page
  • Making a title page without headers or footers

After inserting a header or footer in your document you’ll see a new checkbox―just tick it and you’ll be able to set a different header and footer on the first page:
headers-footers.png
There’s also a new Insert > Page Number menu that lets you customize how and where you start your page numbers―like on the bottom of the second page, for example.

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release

For more information:
Help Center: Headers and Footers
Help Center: Page numbers

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

Launch release calendar
Get these product update alerts by email
Subscribe to the RSS feed of these updates

Store your music online and listen everywhere

You’ve joined the streaming revolution, but still have that MP3 player you take to the gym. It has your pump-up playlist, all of the Phish live concerts, and the brand new recordings from your friend’s band. Keep things simple by using Google Play Music, which gives you subscription access to 30 million songs on any device and also offers you a place to store the music collection you already own, for free.

Today we are expanding the music storage limit on Google Play. Now you can store 50,000 songs for free and stream or download them them to your phone, tablet, computer or Chromecast.


Here’s how you can store your music online today:

  1. Sign in to Google Play Music - Go to your computer and visit play.google.com/music. Sign in with your Google account if needed. 
  2. Claim your free storage - If you’d like to try our subscription service too, click “Get Started.” Otherwise, click “No Thanks” to continue with the free storage. 
  3. Add your music collection - The setup process will guide you through adding our Chrome app, which provides seamless uploading. You can choose to simply upload your entire iTunes library or select other music folders. 
  4. Access your music everywhere - You can stream or download music to your Android, iPhone or iPad for easy offline listening. It’s also all available on the web when you’re on your computer. And best of all, when you upgrade to a new computer or phone, your music comes along, too. 
Not using Chrome? At step 3 the setup process will instead guide you through installing Music Manager. Don’t worry, you can still add 50,000 songs. 

Wondering what to do after you’ve stored all of your music safely online? Test drive our music subscription service to listen to any song on demand and find expert curated radio stations for any mood, activity or time of day. Encore!

Posted by Andrew Stromme, Google Play Music Product Manager

Keeping your maps in check: Introducing the Google Maps API checker



Editor’s Note: Today’s post is designed to answer frequently asked questions about using Google Maps APIs. For tips on how to deploy Google’s mapping tools, read more from Dave Overstrom, Program Manager at Google.

Google Maps APIs enable you to create familiar and engaging location-based applications. Over the past decade, we’ve worked hard to make Google Maps simple and easy to use for consumers, and we think the same experience should hold true when integrating our mapping APIs. That’s why we’re excited to announce the Google Maps API checker, a new Chrome extension designed to help deploy our licensed Google Maps APIs.

The checker allows you to determine if your website is properly implementing Google’s mapping APIs, such as the Google Maps Javascript, Static Maps and Street View Image APIs. Ideal for partners and developers, the tool shows information about common API watchpoints and pitfalls, including issues related to your client ID, digitally signing a static maps request, and optimizing your quota. No longer will you need to sift through code or the Javascript console to identify implementation problems. You can see technical issues immediately by clicking an icon in the browser's address bar.
If you’re a Google Maps customer, we hope this new extension will make implementing Google Maps APIs an even better experience. Enjoy!

Get away with Google Flights

(Cross-posted on the Google Official Blog)

While winds howl, frost bites and snow falls, people dream of getting away from it all. Every year around this time, we see an uptick in searches for spring and summer travel from people who have had it up to here with winter. And in the middle of one of the coldest, snowiest, iciest winters on record in the U.S., you better believe people are gearing up to grab their suntan lotion and their carry-ons, and hop on a plane. Enter Google Flights, which makes it easy to plan the trip that’s right for you. Here are a few tips to help you book this year’s dream vacation.

Flexibility is key when finding great dealsThere’s a travel myth that you can always find the best deals on Tuesday. But actually, you can find good deals any day of the week—especially if you’re flexible with your travel dates. Though it’s sometimes hard to pull the trigger because you’re afraid the price will drop tomorrow (or next Tuesday, maybe?), our experience shows it’s usually best to book right away.

Regardless of which day you sit down to plan your trip, you can use the calendar in Google Flights to scroll through months and see the lowest fare highlighted for each day. If you’re planning even further out, use the lowest fares graph beneath the calendar to see how prices may fluctuate based on the season, holidays or other events. You can also set preferences (such as direct flights only) and our calendar will adjust to show you just those flights and fares that fit the bill. Finally, if you can save more by using a nearby airport or flying on a different day, we’ll show you a tip at the top of your results.
Not sure about your destination? No problem
Sometimes, you know exactly where your destination needs to be—say, when you’re taking a business trip, or headed to a wedding or family reunion. But there are times when all you know is that you want to go somewhere. Maybe you want to go somewhere with a beach, but don’t care if it’s in Greece or the Caribbean. Or you want to visit Southeast Asia, but aren’t sure which countries to visit.
Our research shows more than half of searchers don’t know where they’re going to travel when they sit down to plan. With Google Flights, you can search for regions or whole countries, like “Flights to Europe” and “Flights to Mexico." Or, expand the map to scan the entire world and see accurate prices for all the different cities you can fly to, along with filters for your flight preferences. If you’re in a particularly adventurous—or lazy—mood, select the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button on the map and we’ll suggest ideas for where to go based on popular destinations and your past search history.

But… cheaper isn’t always betterWe all love a good deal, but when it comes to choosing flights, cheaper doesn’t always win—and no wonder, when sometimes that means two connections instead of none. On Google Flights, the vast majority of people choose one of the Best flights—considered to be flights that are the best combination of price and convenience. Try it out next time you’re looking for something that fits your schedule, not just your budget.
So once you’ve warmed your hands on that cup of hot cocoa, put them to work on your keyboard or phone. Google Flights is ready to find the best destinations, dates, fares and flights for you to get away from it all.

Source: Google Travel