Living life primarily as a Google Apps customer must be a rough existence. You get to see all the shiny new things regular Gmail users are getting, but when can you have it? Later. Much later. The latest old feature made new again for Apps customers is automatic Gmail event integration with Google Calendar. Yay. Read More
Google cares deeply about its Apps for Work customers. So much so that it withholds buggy new products and services until they're ready, but now it's looking for a relationship with some very lucky administrators in order to build a new work Inbox together. The trial begins next month, but only very special Apps for Work admins will be a perfect match for Google. Read More
Google has come out unscathed from a lawsuit in which consumers accused the company of anti-competitive practices. The basic allegation was that Google requires manufacturers to use a Google version of Android and that the way they place their own apps at the forefront has increased prices and prevented potential rivals from emerging. The main issue is the stipulation that Google's search be default in order to preload Play Services on Android devices.
There is probably some merit in the raw outline of the complaint; requiring Google Search to be default in order to access the rest of the Google goodies has probably held down competitors both in the search and mobile software market. Read More
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.
Sundar Pichai shared on Twitter that this discrimination against Google Apps users is going to be stopped, "imminently." After expanding to both the iPad and several browsers beyond Chrome, Inbox will soon be available to Apps accounts (presumably, also pending the reception of an invite). Read More
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. And yes, if you must know, there's a FAB. It's not just about looks though, as the change promises to make the most common tasks easier to achieve, like managing multiple users. Read More
Google's office suite in the cloud can handle a number of Microsoft's Office formats, a necessity born from the sheer entrenchment of the competition. The search giant isn't bitter though. Rather than shun the task of working with the various file types out there, it has added support for converting 15 more. The list includes less common formats spread across Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
Newly supported Microsoft Office formats:
- Google Docs
- Google Sheets
- Google Slides
- pot, potx, potm, pptm, pps, ppsx, ppsm
After converting the documents, you're free to edit them as you would any other. Read More
Google's Text-to-Speech app isn't exactly one that grabs headlines, but it's certainly useful for those who rely on it. Today it gets a little more useful as Google has added a handful of languages for its speech output support. The latest update adds support for selecting and speaking text in Dutch, Polish, and Russian, and better support for at least some dialects of English spoken in India has been added as well.
Today's update brings the total language support for TTS up to 13, including US/UK/Indian English and Spain/US Spanish. Aside from Korean and the regional dialects, the current TTS options are very focused on European languages, so it's safe to say that Google has a long way to go to further worldwide support.
There is no dedicated app in the drawer for Google's TTS - to change your output settings, go to the main Settings menu, then Language and Input. Read More
April was a big month for Android apps, especially if you like yours to come directly from Google. We've also got admirable entries from big web names like Dropbox and IFTTT, as well as surprising applications from smaller developers. This is the cream of the crop of Android apps for last month, plus a few honorable mentions, in no particular order.
Good grief, Google, you guys took your sweet time with this one. But good things come to those who wait, and while this isn't exactly an AOSP camera, it's the new Android standard. While the Google Camera app isn't dramatically better than the apps that come from the manufacturers, it does have some rather unique properties. Read More
Newsstand is one of the younger apps in Google's portfolio, but today it's getting a significant update to version 3.1. The biggest change - and a welcome one for at-a-glance newshounds - is a brand-spanking new widget. It's a pretty basic 4X3 affair - the widget will display a single story at a time, complete with headline and embedded image. Tap the arrow button to advance to the next headline, or anywhere else to go directly to the story in Newsstand.
Inside the app itself, you'll find that the interface has been given a little spit and polish, including the new standard slide-out menu design, which is where the primary link to the Settings page and the Help menu are now hiding. Read More