Category: G Suite

Dropbox Announces Integration Plans with Google Cloud & G Suite

Dropbox has announced a major integration plan with Google Cloud that ultimately will result in users of the cloud storage service to be able to access their G Suite files from it.  The news essentially means that Dropbox would replace Google Drive as the storage location for these files and access to them.

In the announcement, the San Francisco based Dropbox outlined a series of integrations that will be happening this year.   There were no specific timelines announced other than later in 2018.

Quick Access Coming to Google Docs for G Suite Customers

Google has announced that the Quick Access feature will be rolling out to Google Docs for G Suite business and enterprise customers.  Functionally, it is very similar to the Quick Access feature that is found in all versions of Google Drive.  For Google Docs however, it is more AI driven based on Drive activity as well as the content of the files themselves.

Quick Access for Docs uses artificial intelligence to suggest relevant files based on signals like Drive activity and information in your documents, so you can work with the most up-to-date information and create new material quickly.

Google points out that for this feature to work, customers must have Google Cloud Search enabled on their domain.

Hangouts Chat Generally Available to G Suite Subscribers

Nearly a year after it was announced and almost all of that time in early adopter programs, Google’s Hangouts Chat is now generally available as a core service to G Suite customers.  It provides deep integration with the entire G Suite of apps for easy collaboration and sharing of files along with group and direct messaging capabilities.  There are also some 25 bots available starting today to further integrate with other solutions your organization may have in their portfolio.

The most direct comparison of Hangouts Chat in the market today is Slack and in many ways, the two messaging & collaboration solutions are equal.  But for G Suite customers, the advantage of Chat is that everything stays inter-domain which provides another layer of security.

Google Adds More Tweaks to G Suite App Menus

For the third month in a row, Google has begun rolling out menu tweaks to some of the G Suite apps today.  The update that is rolling out today impacts Google Docs and Google Sheets online and will be coming to all G Suite customers over the course of the next week or two.

Like the updates from last month, these tweaks are aimed at making navigation within Google Docs and Google Sheets easier by clarifying what a function does.  These are all visual changes and not changes in function.

G Suite Team Drive Adds Ability to Email Members

Team Drive, the G Suite equivalent of Google Drive with a lot more sharing and searching functionality, is getting a new email feature added to it.  The new feature will allow users to email all members of a Team Drive.

The feature will work two ways according to the announcement by the G Suite team:

  • From the Team Drive: Navigate to the Team Drive, click the drop-down menu next to the Team Drive name, and click “Email members.”
  • From within a file that is in the Team Drive: While editing or viewing the document, open the File menu, and click “Email Collaborators.”

Once you have selected to email everyone, you can customize the list of recipients.

Google Drive Now Allows Commenting on Microsoft Office Files and PDFs

A new feature to Google Drive is currently in the process of rolling out to all G Suite versions that will allow for commenting – and to be able to see those comments – on Microsoft Office files, PDFs and image files.  The new feature means that users of G Suite will be able to collaborate with colleagues or others outside of their organization who use Microsoft Office.  More importantly, this can be done without having to convert the files.

The new feature appears in Google Drive online and when you open up the preview pane on a Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint file, you will be able to see the comments on that file and be able to add comments.  They will be saved and will stay attached to the file.  This should significantly lower the friction on collaborating on projects within organizations and with customers of an organization.

Basic Mobile Device for Android Comes to G Suite

File this under the “better late than never” category.  Over a year after releasing the ability to manage iOS devices, even those without a Mobile Device Management (MDM) profile, Google has added the same functionality for Android devices in G Suite.  The feature means that admins can set basic security requirements on Android devices without requiring the BOYD owner to install a MDM profile on their phone.

When Basic Mobile Management is enabled, admins can:

  • Enforce a device screen lock. (Lollipop or later)
  • Wipe a corporate account (but not the entire device).
  • View, search, and manage their device inventory.

It is unclear why it took Google so long to add this functionality for Android devices but likely has to do with the shear number of devices that are out on the market with various configurations.

Slack Activity Integration Comes to Google Drive

Google has announced a further integration of Google Drive and Slack where you will now be able to see Slack related activity on a file that has been shared on Drive.  The announcement indicates that the new activity feed works two ways:

Two types of actions are logged as events: someone sharing a file stored in Google Drive, and someone commenting—within Slack—on a Google Drive file that has been shared in Slack.

The good news is that these comments and activities are only available on files that have been shared on specific Slack teams or channels.

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