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Welcome to the April Edition of the Google Apps Update Roundup. It’s been a busy month for the Google Apps team with new Add-ons for Google Docs and Sheets, Google Hangout and Calendar integrations and new Apps Admin controls. Here are this Month’s 6 biggest Updates to Google Business Apps
Google Business Apps are 100% Web, so users receive new features and updates automatically, without intsalling or updating any software. However, you can still control when new features become available for users. Google Business Apps provides for two release tracks. Many features are controlled by your Google Apps Administrator.
Administrator setting warns users when chatting out of the domain
Administrators can now enable a setting that will show users a warning that they are chatting with someone outside of their own domain. When warnings are enabled for users chatting outside of their domain, group chat conversations will be split when the first person from outside the domain is added to the discussion.
Note this is only available in the desktop UI. Interfacing with the Hangouts mobile apps is coming soon.
New add-ons for Google Docs and Sheets
New tools have been created by developer partners to allow more features within documents and spreadsheets. To browse through add-ons for Docs and Sheets, select Get add-ons in the Add-ons menu of any open document or spreadsheet. Once you install an add-on it will become available across all of your documents or spreadsheets and it is available right away. Add-ons for spreadsheets are only available in the new Google Sheets.
Add-ons are enabled by default. Google Business Apps administrators have the option to disable add-ons through Drive settings in the Admin console. Users will always see the Add-ons menu and can browse them but will not be able to install them when disabled by the admin.
All Messages and Connections are Now Encrypted
Gmail always uses an encrypted HTTPS connection when you check or send email. Gmail has supported HTTPS since its launch and in 2010 the Google Apps Team defaulted to HTTPS. This means that no one can listen in on your messages as they go back and forth between you and Gmail’s servers—regardless if you're using public WiFi or logging in from your computer, phone or tablet.
Additionally, every single email message you send or receive is encrypted while moving internally. Your messages are safe not only on Gmail's servers, but also moving between Google's data centers.
The new Google Sheets is now the default option
In December the Google Apps announced the launch of the new Google Sheets, which is faster and supports larger spreadsheets. Within a few weeks, rapid release domain users will automatically be upgraded to the new Sheets. Spreadsheets created after the upgrade will use the new version. Users may opt-out of this experience through the settings menu in Sheets.
Apps Admin Control on Google+ Profile Discovery
Google Business Apps administrators now have the ability to set the default state for profile discoverability in their domain through a control in the admin console. The setting is only available for customers with enabled Premium Features, checked by default (i.e., profiles are discoverable in public Web searches).
· Changing the admin default will change the users setting if the user has not yet set discoverability
· Once the profile discoverability setting is established that setting persists even if the admin default is modified
Example: User has set profile as discoverable, admin changes default setting to not be discoverable, user’s setting does not change
Note: In domains where an admin sets profile discoverability to be off by default, users can still want to be able to discover their co-workers in the same domain. The Google Apps Team extended Google+ to leverage contact sharing. If the admin has enabled contact sharing for services such as Gmail then co-workers are prompted in auto complete results irrespective of their discoverability setting.
New Google Calendar events will now have a Hangout video call link
New calendar events will now have a Hangouts video call link added automatically to save time and reduce last minute confusion and delays when event creators forget to add a Hangouts link. Additionally, you can add names to your Hangouts video links to make it easier for everyone to join the video call.
Please note the following:
- Hangout video calls are only added if using an active Google+ profile.
- Administrators can disable this feature through the calendar settings page in the Admin console. Users will still be able to add or remove Hangouts video call links from events without the ability to set their own defaults.
- The Admin console setting is launched to both Rapid and Scheduled release domains but it only affects users in Rapid release domains. Scheduled release domain administrators have at least two weeks to test this feature before it launches to their end users.