G Suite Can Now Allow Any App to be Installed on Managed Android Devices

Google G Suite

G Suite is getting a small but time saving feature for admins who have corporate owned Android devices, or devices with a corporate work profile.  They will now be able to allow any app to be installed on those devices, saving the tedious work of having to whitelist apps one at a time.  It is a change that will be rolling out to all domains over the course of the new few weeks.

To this point, if a corporate owned or corporate work profile device needed to install an app beyond what the admin’s had whitelisted, they had to go and approve that app for that specific device.  As you can imagine, this can be time consuming if you have a lot of corporate devices.  Now admins can allow any app to be installed but, and this is important, end users will still only see the whitelisted apps in the corporate version of the Google Play Store first.  It is only when they search for an app that they will be able to find it and install it.

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G Suite Improves User Management in Revamped Admin Tool

Google Admin Card View

Google is in the process of rolling out a revamped Admin tool for G Suite administrators that makes it much easier to manage users on their domain.  The new look, which will take up to 15 days to roll out to all domains, makes it easier to see what settings a user has enabled and what features are available to them should the admin grant the privileges.

To this point, finding a particular setting of a user in G Suite hasn’t been overly difficult but it involved multiple clicks and diving into different menus.  This new card style look brings current settings front-and-center and makes it easy to determine what settings or features are available to that particular users without all of the clicking about.

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G Suite Adds Another 23 Apps to their SAML Single Sign-On Catalog

Google G Suite

The G Suite team has announced that 23 new pre-integrated apps have been added to their SAML Single Sign-on (SSO) support in the platform.  SAML is one of two SSO standards that are supported by G Suite and additional apps being supported means that it is easier for Admins to get their users enabled across various services used by their organization.

For those who may not be familiar with Single Sign-On, the hint is somewhat in the name.  SSO allows a domain user to use their network username & password to sign into other services that their organization uses.  It cuts down on users having to remember several passwords but also gives admins greater control and recover tools for those additional services.

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Google Jamboard Created Files Now Show Up in Google Drive

Jamboard Files in Google Drive

Google Jamboard, the whiteboard sharing and collaboration tool, has a new feature rolling out that will be handy for G Suite users who have the device.  You will now be able to see your Jamboard created files in your Google Drive, making it easier to review and to share those files with others.

While the rollout of this new feature will take a few days, once you have it, you will be able to do three key functions within Google Drive with Jamboard files:

  • Share jam files directly from Drive.
  • Open jam files from Drive in the Jamboard web and mobile applications.
  • Search for jam files in Drive (by entering “type:jam” in the Drive search bar).

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G Suite Adds Security Key Support for All Customers

Google G Suite

Google has announced that physical USB security key support is coming to all version of G Suite over the next few weeks.  Support of security keys, to this point, has been limited to Enterprise level customers.  That is changing as all variants of the service will be gaining support.

Security Keys are a physical USB key that you plug into a device that gives you access to it.  It is perhaps the ultimate in 2-Factor authentication.  Yubico is perhaps the most well known of these types of keys and they are readily available at low cost.

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G Suite to Enabled Basic Mobile Management by Default This Year

Google G Suite

Google has announced that by the end of 2018, the basic mobile management feature on G Suite domains will be enabled by default.  The announcement comes as part of a series of announcement the company has made regarding data and device security.

When the change is enabled, it will require that all users of Android and iOS phones associated with a G Suite domain to have, at a minimum, a password or PIN to unlock their phones.  Without it, users will not be able to access G Suite associated apps and thus, the data associated with those apps.

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Google Continues Menu Improvement Efforts in Google Docs

Google Docs New Break Menu

Google’s continuing efforts to improve menus within the G Suite apps has brought a new update once again to users.  This is the fourth month in a row that one of the G Suite apps has had a menu update with this month’s efforts focusing on Google Docs and Google Slides

Functionally across all of these changes, Google hasn’t changed much.  Rather, this is an effort to more clearly define what a feature does and, in some case, move the feature to another menu within Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides where it makes more sense to have it.  The updates to Docs and Slides are along those lines.

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Activity Dashboard in G Suite Shows When Shared Files are Viewed

G Suite Activity Dashboard

A new Activity Dashboard has started rolling out to G Suite domains that allows admins and users to see when shared files have been viewed by others.  The idea behind the dashboard is to improve collaboration by letting users know when someone who is working with them on a file has actually viewed that file.  Think of it as read receipts for files.

The new feature works for Google Docs, Sheets and Slides files and the feature will be rolling out in two phases.  First, admins will have the ability to enable or disable the feature starting today and only they can see the Activity Dashboard.

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