Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Share Docs, Slides and Drawings with people who do not have a Google Account

Sharing Google Documents with someone who doesn't have a Google account was sometimes a little confusing. An update was announced that should make this sharing process a little easier.

Google update: Share Docs, Slides and Drawings with people who do not have a Google Account
We are making it easier to share Docs, Slides and Drawings with people who don’t have a Google Account. As a result of this change, files shared outside your domain to an email address not linked to an existing Google Account can be viewed without having to sign in or create a new Google Account. If a file is shared with edit or comment permissions, the receiving user must still sign in with a Google Account in order to edit or comment on that file.

When a user directly shares with individuals who do not have Google Accounts, those recipients will be able to view the file without signing in. Because no sign in is required, anyone may view the file with this sharing link until the person who the file was explicitly shared with creates a Google Account and expends the invitation. Once the person creates a Google Account two things happen: (1) the sharing link will no longer work for new users to access the file and the sharing dialog will indicate that the invitation has been used; (2) any user who accessed the file using the sharing link while it was open and signed in using their Google Account will be added to the sharing access list for that file and will continue to have access. Users with permissions to change sharing settings can revoke this access if desired.

Google Apps admins can prevent this behavior by disabling sharing outside the domain to people who are not using a Google Account via a setting in the Admin console.

Rebirth of IT - a post by Eric Schmidt


Yesterday I had the chance to deliver the keynote at the Gartner ITExpo in Orlando. I took this opportunity to reflect on how business technology has evolved in the three years since I last spoke on this stage — and, as part of that, how Google’s commitment to enterprise customers has grown.

In 2010, the suggestion that a company could move all of its employees to the cloud was often met with skepticism. People relied on desktop computers and Exchange servers because that was what they’d used in the workplace for the past two decades. And, the few companies that did embrace the cloud tended to see it as a more cost-effective way to do things they’d always done. But over time, they started to recognize the transformational benefits of working in the cloud.
Today, moving to the cloud is not a questionable proposition — it’s inevitable. This is good news for IT staff, who don’t need to spend time maintaining servers and installing upgrades, and also for employees, since the cloud makes it easy to collaborate and get more stuff done quickly. Sooner than almost anyone thought possible, hundreds of large-scale companies have succeeded in moving their businesses to the cloud, paving the way for millions more to follow. Consider a few recent examples:

  • Woolworths is Australia’s largest retailer, with more than 3,000 stores and a staff of 200,000. They moved to Google Apps and Chrome.
  • The country of Malaysia adopted Google Apps for 10 million students, teachers and parents, and deployed Chromebooks to schools nationwide.
  • And yesterday, Whirlpool — which owns Maytag and KitchenAid — announced that they’re rolling out Google Apps to help 30,000 employees collaborate and innovate more quickly.

These organizations realize that the cloud is not just a cheaper way to maintain the status quo, but also a way to fundamentally transform the way a business is run and how people can get work done together. Inviting 50 people to collaborate on a Google document in real-time is an order of magnitude more efficient than sending attachments back and forth to those same people. More than half of Americans now own smartphones, while PC sales are steadily declining. In their personal lives, employees expect to check email on their phone and join a video call from their tablet, at any time, from wherever they are. Increasingly, people want to bring these habits to the workplace so they can work the way they live.

Companies like Google play a pivotal role in this “consumerization of IT.” More than 425 million people around the world rely on Gmail in their personal lives, and now more than 5 million businesses are using Gmail as part of Google Apps at work. At Google, there are now thousands of employees — a substantial portion of the company — who help us build and support products for these business customers. 

The real beneficiaries of this rebirth of IT are not technology companies, but the rest of us — business owners,makersteachersstudents and employees. Having the power of massive data centers and smart mobile devices at our fingertips makes it easier than ever to create, communicate, learn and collaborate. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Make sure you include everyone needed on that email

When you compose an email you enter email addresses in the To, Cc or Bcc fields for delivery. Sometimes, it's just helpful to look at your contacts to make sure you've included all the people needed.

You can now click on To, Cc and Bcc as theses are hyperlinks that will bring up your contacts. This will let you review your contacts to make sure you are sending email to all that need it

New ways to customize Forms

Four new ways to customize your Google Forms

From classroom pop quizzes to RSVPs for your team offsite, you can use Google Forms in tons of different ways -- which is why it's important to be able to customize each form to fit your needs. Starting today, you’ll be able to take advantage of four new features to create your perfect form: progress bars, data validation, embedded YouTube videos, and custom messages.

Guide respondents through your survey with a progress bar
Sometimes it’s helpful to give respondents a sense of how much of a survey still needs to be completed, and now you can by turning on a progress bar in your form.
To turn it on, just check the progress bar box in the Form Settings tab.

Get results the way you want them with data validation

Let’s say you’re using Forms to collect sign ups for an email newsletter. With data validation, you can now ensure that the email addresses are formatted correctly, and consequently avoid those unpleasant bounce-back messages.

To get started, create a new Text question in Forms, then click on the Data validation tab. Click the checkbox and select “Text,” then “Email address,” and voila, the survey taker will see an error message if they don’t enter an email address.
You can also set up data validation for maximum character count, numbers, zip codes, and more.

Embed YouTube videos
You can now embed a YouTube video right inside a form -- perfect if you want to get feedback or ask questions about a video.

This works really well for quizzes in class, especially if paired with data validation and the progress bar. Embed a video and then use data validation to give hints when students enter incorrect answers, and add a progress bar so they know how far along they are in the quiz.
Add a custom message to closed forms
Sometimes when a form is closed, you still want to make information available for respondents who weren’t able to complete it in time.
After you've switched your form to “Not accepting responses,” you can now add your own message and instructions for follow up.

Get your email favicon back - get rid of that wrench

Many people have become distraught about losing the red and white gmail icon on their tab. Apparently the gold wrench with the blue background is just not cutting. Here are two solutions that could help.

  • Option 1 - Go to Labs and Enable Unread Message Icon
    • Click on the Gear and go to Settings
    • Go to Labs and search for Unread message icon 
    • Enable Unread Message Icon
    How to Get Rid of That Annoying Blue Gmail Favicon

  • Option 2 - Just be patient, and it will get fixed. From Google: 
    • This is the new favicon for the Google Apps Admin Console. It is definitely nothing to worry about. It is currently being displayed for some users in Gmail as well. This is not intended. This issue is currently being worked on and will be resolved as soon as possible.