Google Cloud Apps Admins

New Features in Google Apps for Work

Written by Joey Allen (Google Admin) | September 8, 2015

A great many exciting new features have been included in the launch of  the new Google Apps for Work, all of which are intended to make your usage of software mirror the activities of your daily job. By enabling and providing these new features, users of Google Apps for Work will receive some of their most requested features, and some activities will be made more intuitive, thus enhancing the usability and efficiency of the applications within.

Below is a rundown on some of the new functionality included in this latest release of Google Apps for Work for you to save as a handy reference.

Events from Gmail to Google Calendar

Save time planning business travel and more with events from Gmail on Google Calendar Announced on August 25th, 2015. Share with your organization.

Making arrangements for business travel has never been easier, thanks to the Internet. However, transferring that information to your personal calendar hasn’t been quite so easy. With Google Apps for Work, you can use Gmail and Google calendar together, and most of that hassle can be removed, so that business travel planning can be made a seamless process end-to-end.

How it works:

Any email received by Gmail having travel information content automatically gets added to Google Calendar. If updates to those travel arrangements are forthcoming, Calendar will update as well. This automatic updating is enabled by default on desktop machines and mobile devices, with the lone exception being Google Apps for Government domains. All events added to Calendar can only be seen by the owners, and only owners have the ability to delete events which are not wanted. At the owner's option, settings for visibility can be adjusted, or the entire functionality of the feature can be disabled. When the very first Gmail event is added, an initial notification is sent to the Google Calendar user explaining the various settings.

New Collaboration Features in Drive, Docs, Sheets & Slides

In July of this year Google Apps for Work launched notifications in Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides, which shared dialogues that alerted users about the inability to share files because of domain-wide sharing settings on their machines or recipients’ machines. This launch generates a similar warning when the user hovers on the Share button in any of those same Google applications if the user is allowed to edit the files' permissions.

How it works:

Similar to the sharing dialogue, this alert appears in any of several situations, the first of which is triggered when a file is shared with someone outside the user’s domain, but such sharing is disabled. Next, an alert is triggered when the file is shared with a person outside the user’s domain, but sharing is disabled at the receiving end. Lastly, an alert is generated when a file is shared using the ‘anyone’ option, but sharing is disabled outside the user’s domain. This requested feature provides users with greatly increased visibility into how sharing works between themselves and recipients.

New Mobile Functionality for Google Apps

Google Apps for Work has added several new features to the Android Hangouts app, including the following: 1) users of the Android Hangouts app can now add custom status messages, and have visibility to status messages of others in the Contactsview, 2) users will have the option to accept guest requests from external users or reject them, very similar to how it currently works on iOS and the web.

Google Apps for Work has included the following new features in Google Docs and Sheets:

1) You will now be able to select the Print Layout from the overflow menu on Android and iOS to see a read-only version of your document. Even though you can’t edit this document, it will be updated in real-time as collaborators modify it. Currently this feature is in beta status, with planned functionality in the near future to include editing in Print Layout view,
2) Using autofill in Google Sheets for Android, you’ll be able to repeat information or complete a pattern in a spreadsheet on your mobile device. By selecting the target data and the cells where you want to repeat that data, you can have autofill populate those cells automatically, and
3) In Google Sheets for Android, the app will launch an alphabetic keyboard when a cell contains text and numbers, and will also offer an easy way to toggle between the two keyboard options.

New Ease of Use Features in Google Sheets

Analysis and usage of charts in Google Sheets has been made much easier, because the option has been introduced to include hidden or filtered data in those charts. This will give you greater control over your Google Sheets spreadsheets, and prevent imported spreadsheets from being displayed inaccurately.

How it works:

If you create a chart in Google Sheets and then hide any of the data, a message will appear alerting you to the fact that data is hidden and that you have the option to include it. You will also see the message the next time you hide or filter any additional data in that same spreadsheet.

Enhanced Google Apps Admin Features

This launch includes Administrator function settings for the control and restriction of YouTube video content, and these are available as menu selections to administrators in Google Apps. 

How it works: 

This new feature is available on the Google Apps Admin console under menu selection YouTube Settings. With this new capability, Google Apps admins will have the ability to manage any and all YouTube video content, according to company policy, and if desired, to also delegate others with admin power to restrict content for users in other organizational units.

Better preservation in Google Apps Vault Announced on August 14th, 2015

To better facilitate the preservation of employees’ Gmail messages for various legal requirements, you will now be able to use Google Apss Vault to  create a hold that preserves emails until they are ready to be destroyed. Several improvements have been made in this area, including holds that can be applied at the organizational unit level. Also, when a hold was previously applied to an organizational unit where no users were specified for holds, all users were then included in the hold; this functionality has now been modified to include zero users in the hold where none are specified. The interface and language for hold application has also been improved and made more intuitive.

Learn more about the Cool for Work Blog

Cool for Work is the one place to go to find all the resources that will help you make Google Apps for Work easier. From here, you can discuss best practices, communicate with your peers, and ask questions that are important to you and your work. Recent popular topics have been using a group as a collaborative inbox, and the sharing and security settings on files and folders in Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Another hot topic is the discussion and exploration of the Admin console, and how it can be used to address many of the concerns of an organizational unit.