Google Adds More Tweaks to G Suite App Menus

Google Docs New Break Menu

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.

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G Suite Team Drive Adds Ability to Email Members

G Suite Team Drive Email Feature

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.

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Google Drive Now Allows Commenting on Microsoft Office Files and PDFs

Google Drive Icon

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.

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Basic Mobile Device for Android Comes to G Suite

Google 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.

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Slack Activity Integration Comes to Google Drive

Slack Activity in 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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G Suite Mobile Management Users Can Now Publish Private Apps to 20 Organizations

Google G Suite

Google has announced an improvement the Google Mobile Management feature in G Suite today. The improvement allows administrators to publish a private app to up to 20 different organizations in their domain.  This gives admins more flexibility to deploy a private app to a particular region or a test group as an example.

For those not familiar with it, Google Mobile Management is part of the G Suite business offering that allows companies to have a private Google Play Store that regulates which apps can be downloaded to corporate phones.  This also allows for private apps, those not published in the public Play Store, to be available to employees.  To this point, the publishing of apps in this private store was across the entire domain.  Now admins can be more selective.

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G Suite Improving Gmail Attachment Compliance to Prevent Corporate Data Loss

G Suite Attachment Compliance for Gmail

Google is in the process of rolling out a new Gmail attachment compliance policy to all G Suite customers.  The new settings, which are optional, allow for G Suite administrators to configure scanning of the content of an attachment to prevent corporate data loss.

Previously, G Suite admins could configure attachment scanning but it would only scan the header of the attachment of configured file types (like .docx, .pdf, etc).  The problem is that users could change the file extension to bypass the scanning and thus get the corporate data out of the corporate network.

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