Google Apps News: October 2010

Google Apps
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Google Apps News:

October 2010

Table of Contents

Hello Google Apps administrators!

We’re back with this month’s edition of Google Apps news and updates. We hope you enjoy it and pass on the word to your users. As always, we’d love to know what you would like to see in upcoming newsletters and we welcome you to submit your feedback. Thanks to all those who submitted valuable feedback on the last edition.

To stay on top of announcements, you can get new feature notifications by email or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Thanks for reading,

Paul M.
The Google Apps Team

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New features in Google Apps

Two-Step Verification for user accounts
Two-step verification is a new way to provide more security when accessing user accounts. When enabled by an administrator, it requires two means of identification to sign in to a Google Apps accounts: something a user knows, (a password) and something they likely have, (a mobile phone). After entering the password, a verification code is sent to their mobile phone via SMS or voice calls, or generated on an application they can install on their Android, Blackberry, or iPhone device. This makes it much more likely that the user is the only one accessing the account.

Users can also indicate when they’re using a computer they trust and don’t want to be asked for a verification code from that machine in the future. This is available for Premier, Education, and Government Editions of Google Apps. Before enabling this option we recommend you read the information provide here.

Early Adopter launch of the new infrastructure for Google Apps accounts

The new infrastructure for Google Apps accounts was recently made available for domains that meet our meet our early adopter eligibility criteria. This change lets users access many new services such as Blogger, Reader, Google Voice, Picasa Web Albums, Adwords, and iGoogle from their Google Apps accounts. Why just for "early adopters" you ask? We’re still working on some important features so at the moment, early adopters won’t have the ability to turn off access to any of these additional services as they can with applications in the core suite. There are also some applications that are not compatible with the new infrastructure at this time including Google Health, PowerMeter, YouTube, Web History, Buzz, and Profiles. More information on these changes is available in our Help Center.

Priority Inbox (Beta) in Gmail

Priority Inbox (Beta) is a new view of your inbox that automatically helps you focus on your most important messages. Priority Inbox splits your inbox into three sections: “Important and unread,” “Starred,” and “Everything else." Gmail has always kept spam messages out of your inbox, and now we’ve improved Gmail’s filter to help you see the emails that matter faster without requiring you to set up complex rules. Gmail uses a variety of signals to predict which messages are important, including the people you email most and which messages you open and reply to (these are likely more important than the ones you skip over). You can improve the ranking in Priority Inbox by clicking the plus or minus buttons at the top of the inbox to mark conversations as important or not important.

End users are able to opt-in to this feature by clicking on the "New! Priority Inbox" link in the top right corner of their Gmail inbox. You can read information on this to help explain how it works.

Easier event scheduling in Google Calendar
In addition to introducing a more simplified layout and making the style more consistent with other Google Apps, we added some new functionality to help make collaborating with colleagues and customers much easier, especially across time zones. You can find information on these changes here.

– Repeating event editor: You can now see a summary of your recurring event on the main event page. To set or edit the recurrence, check the "Repeats" box or click edit by an existing summary.

– Find a time feature: Click this tab to see a side-by-side listing of the schedules for all meeting guests and resources. You can then quickly scan for times when everyone is free. If you have access to view other calendars, you can also hover over their events to see what conflicts they might have.

– Working hours: You can now specify in ‘Calendar Settings’ what your available working hours are. Enabling this feature will show a warning to other people when they invite you to an event outside the hours that you’ve set.

Google Apps Marketplace

We recently reached some Google Apps Marketplace milestones:

  • More than 4 million Google Apps users have Marketplace apps installed on their domain.
  • The Marketplace now offers more than 200 integrated apps available to Google Apps users, covering customer relationship management, accounting, finance, project management, and more.
  • On App Tuesday, September 14th, we launched 12 new applications
    • This included Grockit, our first app focused solely on education for students.
  • Apps Marketplace featured app – BatchBook
    • BatchBook is a Social CRM that allows you to easily organize contacts, monitor social networks and track leads and deals.
    • BatchBook’s Google integrations: Single sign-on, Calendar, Contacts, and Docs.
    • BatchBook’s Marketplace Apps integrations: Tungle, Rapportive, Freshbooks, and MailChimp.

Check out more of our applications on the Google Apps Marketplace to see how your organization can benefit.

How are other customers using Google Apps?

Learn how, one of the largest online nursing communities, has improved productivity and efficiency for their 30 employees since moving to Google Apps. Read their story on the Google Enterprise Blog.

Get the most out of Google Apps: Tips and Tricks for your users!

Five tips for using Priority Inbox
Helping users manage lots of information has always been a core goal of Gmail, and we’re excited to see how Priority Inbox helps users in organizations mitigate information overload and get to important messages faster. Here are some tips on how you can make Priority Inbox work even better for you.

1. Customize your sections
By default, Priority Inbox has three sections: "Important and Unread," "Starred" and "Everything Else.” But that doesn’t mean you have to leave them that way. You can make a section show messages from a particular label (like your “Action” or “To-do” label), add a fourth section, or change the maximum size of any section. Visit the Priority Inbox tab in Settings to customize your sections, or do it right from the inline menus.

2. Train the system
If Gmail makes a mistake, you can help it learn to better categorize your messages. Select the misclassified message, then use the importance buttons at the top of your inbox to correctly mark it as important or not important.

3. See the best of your filtered messages
You can set up Priority Inbox to show you not just the best of your inbox, but also the best of the messages you filter out of your inbox and might otherwise miss. Just change your Priority Inbox settings to “Override filters” and Gmail will surface any important messages that would otherwise skip your inbox

4. Use filters to guarantee certain messages get marked important (or not)

If you read and reply to a lot of messages from a certain sender, Gmail should automatically put incoming messages from them in the “Important and unread” section. But if you want to be 100% sure that all messages from this person (e.g. your boss or client) are marked important, you can create a filter for messages from that sender and select “Always mark as important.” Similarly, if you regularly read messages from your favorite magazine, they should automatically get marked as important. If you’d rather they end up in the “Everything else” section, you can create a filter to never mark them as important.

5. Archive unimportant messages quickly
One of the features that can help make you more efficient is the ability to archive all of the visible messages in the "Everything Else" section at once. Just click on the down arrow next to "Everything Else" and select the "Archive all visible items" option. If you want to be able to archive even more messages at once, you can increase the maximum number of messages that show in that section from the same drop-down.

Recent launches

To help you and your users get the most out of Google Apps, we have bi-monthly webinars that you can sign up for to find out what’s new in Google Apps. This webinar series focuses on the newest functionality and settings. For more information and to sign up for the next webinar, visit the calendar here.

Help your users

We’ve teamed up with one of our partners to provide some eLearning videos which are a great resource to pass on to your users. We recommend including them in a Getting Started Resources list and distributing it within your organization as a Google Doc or a PDF.

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