When Google launched Inbox last year, it was offered exclusively to users who received an invite to their personal Gmail account. Google Apps for Business (or Education) users weren't allowed in on the fun, which seemed rather weird but understandable. After all, the new email organization and interaction paradigm was built with productivity in mind, and business users are the ones that would benefit the most from that. However, since this was an entirely new app and system, it was judicious of Google to test it out with a less demanding crowd first.
Most Android users have opted into Google's ecosystem with a personal Gmail account, but some use their own domain and sign up with a Google Apps account. If you're in the latter category, you'll be happy to know that Google's latest design philosophy is trickling down to the admin console of your Google Apps account.
It's Material — pretty, simple, and elegant. It has a sliding navigation menu that overrides the entire screen and a cleaner toolbar with new iconography.
Hangouts may be fun, but it's not all fun and games. It should come as no surprise that in this day and age, many people turn to Google's video chats as a means of getting work done. So the company is rolling out a number of business-related improvements to the service.
For starters, the company is now covering Hangouts under the same terms of service as other Google Apps for Business products.
The presence of Google+ is definitely growing as it continues to become a significant part of how we interact with many of Google's services. Early this year, the social network branched out to become a sign-in solution for virtually any kind of app or website. With an announcement yesterday, Google+ is now set up to accept sign-ins from Google Apps users and accounts without an actual Google+ profile. If that weren't good enough, the permission system has been greatly improved to support "incremental auth," which allows apps and websites to request only vital permissions to begin using them, and then ask for new permissions once the user is logged in.
Google Now is pretty amazing, and it just keeps getting better as Google finds new ways to expose knowledge from its massive data repository. It's hard not to become addicted to everything that Now can offer. But what if you just got your hands on Google's latest flagship phone, went through the setup process, and then discovered Google Now doesn't work? Not only have some Nexus 5 owners had this experience, a few of them have even seen Google Now stop working across all of their other devices.
Google Apps Device Policy doesn't have a sexy name, and it doesn't need one. It's intended for businesses, schools, and governments that use Google Apps. Administrators can use the tool to enforce security policies and enact other policies that personal users have come to expect from Lookout and Where's My Droid. They are empowered to locate lost devices, cause them to ring, lock them remotely, and wipe all of their content.
Since Google acquired Quickoffice last year, the internet has been quietly hoping that the investment will result in a much improved document editing experience on Android. So far, there hasn't been a monumental shift, but now the company is releasing Quickoffice for Google Apps For Business. For real.
The suite is only available for users of Google Apps For Business, obviously, but if your company is in that group, then enjoy your new, free applications.