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Google Apps Articles

Google Makes Apps Script More Widely Available
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Google has launched the Google Apps Script in Google Apps Standard Edition, meaning that it is much more broadly available now. Previously, it was only available in Google Apps Premier and Education editions. It was released back in the summer.

Google Apps Script starts in the spreadsheets of Google Docs. It lets you create sheets to read and change formulas, formats and cell contents, and lets you create custom functions so you can automate repetitive tasks.

Google Apps Wins Over Another Corporation
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Whether or not you’ve heard of a corporation called MWV, you’re probably familiar with its products – MWV puts out everything from Coca-Cola packaging to Mead notebooks to asphalt for roads.  And now, this giant has entrusted some of the technical aspects of its operation to Google Apps.

Given that MWV has a market cap of roughly $4.75 billion and employs about 12,000 people, this counts as a big – and tough – job.  Moreover, those employees are spread out over 34 countries, and as you might expect, English isn’t every individual’s preferred language.

Google Apps Goes Live In L.A.
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The Los Angeles city government is moving ahead with its plan to embrace Google Apps.  Today, 34,000 city employees are supposed to switch to it from an old system, and the mood appears to be much more "excited" than "nervous" at this point in time.

The L.A. City Council approved a $7.25 million Google Apps contract in late October, but not everyone was enthusiastic about the move.  Councilman Paul Koretz displayed a bit of doubt, for example, by referring to both "cutting edge" and "the edge of a cliff."

Google Apps Gets Google Groups
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Google announced that is now including Google Groups in the Premier and Education editions of Google Apps. The company says Groups is one of its most widely-used applications, so it only makes sense.

When a group is set up, employees/students can share documents, spreadsheets, presentations, shared folders, sites, calendars, and videos with the group, rather than having to include individual email addresses or try to remember who joined or left a certain group.

Google Adds Relevance Option to Docs Search

In Google Docs, there is a new sort-by-relevance feature for search results. When you search in Google Docs, your results will be organized by relevance, rather than "last modified date", which has been the way of the past. There is a menu on the right side of the toolbar that lets you decide how you want your results sorted.

Gmail Lets You Send Attachments While Offline
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Google has introduced a feature that lets you send attachments in Gmail while you’re offline. It works the same way as it would online, except that you can’t include inline images.

Google May Take Over More Design Jobs
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Web designers beware. Google is expanding its templates for Google Sites, which is part of Google Apps, and the company is really pushing Google Apps these days. What this means is that as more businesses adopt Google Apps and find a wider variety of site templates to choose from, the less they may need the services of web designers for basic design work (developers are a different story).

L.A. Approves $7.25 Million Google Apps Contract
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The City of Angels has shown a great deal of faith in Google.  Late yesterday, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a $7.25 million contract that’ll have all branches of the city’s government adopting Google Apps over the next eight or so months.

Google Gets Serious About Marketing Apps
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Update: Google has expanded the campaign to additional countries:  U.K., France, Canada, Japan, Australia and Singapore.

Google Docs Gets New and Old Features

Google has made some updates to Google Docs. For one, they have introduced shared folders, which the company has been promising since July, and says is the most requested feature they get for Google Docs. Shared folders let users collaborate on groups of documents more easily.

Google Sites Gets New Image, Feed, and Template Features
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Google has made it easier to insert Picasa Web Albums photos into Google Sites. They have added a photo option to the "insert menu."

In addition, users can upload photos directly to Picasa Web Albums from within Google Sites, using the "upload photo" tab in the insert dialog. It should be noted, however, that Google Apps users will not see the options, because Picasa Web Albums is not available in Google Apps.

Google: IT Departments Moving Toward the Cloud
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Google has been pushing Google Apps use big time this year. They took out billboard space, and they recently sponsored a survey about IT departments and cloud computing.

The poll covered 1,125 IT decision-makers. Google has prepared an entire report based on the findings, which is available for perusal here (pdf).

API Makes Google Sites More Useful for Business
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Google has launched a new API for Google Sites as a Google Labs feature (meaning it may have some flaws). The Google Sites data API allows client applications to access, publish, and modify content within a Google Site. It is available to both Google account and Google Apps users.

Gmail Users Experience Another Hiccup
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Some Gmail users have been experiencing yet another instance of the service being down. This seems to be happening quite a bit lately, and at a particularly odd and unfortunate time for Google, as the company has recently increased its efforts to push Google Apps on Businesses.

Right now, when I log into Gmail I get the following message:

Gmail unable to access contacts

Google to Start Crawling Google Docs Documents
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Google has quietly announced that Google Docs documents that are published will soon be crawlable. This means if you have published documents as web pages, or used the publish/embed option for a document, and it has been linked to on the web, it can be indexed by Google and other search engines.

Google Introduces New Drawing and Form Features for Docs
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Google has launched some new features for Google Docs. They have made a couple improvements to drawings and added several new features to Forms.

Google Launches New Features for Sites
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Google has introduced some new features to Google Sites, the company’s web site creation and publishing app. The new features were made to make it easier for users to copy their site, and use more options to search and announce updates.

Google Sites now allows users to copy entire sites. You can do this by simply going to "Manage Site," then "General," and "Copy Site."

Why You May Have Gone a Couple Hours Without Gmail
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If you use Gmail, know someone who use Gmail, use Facebook or Twitter, or read blogs or online news, you probably know that Gmail had some problems yesterday. The service experienced a widespread outage, which lasted for about 100 minutes according to Google.

Google Wave To Splash Down This Fall
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There’s fresh word this afternoon about when (and to whom) Google Wave will become available.  Schools and businesses that use Google Apps appear to be first in a line that should start moving this fall.

Google Lets Businesses Speed Up Videos
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Google has introduced a feature for Google Video for Business that allows viewers to adjust the playback speed. There is a speed control button/slider on the video player that can be used to speed up or slow down a clip.

If you’re unfamiliar with Google Video for Business, it’s part of Google Apps Premiere and Education editions, and lets users share rich video information, keep videos secure and private, and collaborate on videos.

Google Lets You Add Tables in Presentations Now

Google has added the ability to include tables in presentations in Google Docs. The feature has apparently been in high demand, and the company says they really wanted it too.

Users can insert a table into their presentation, then easily add, select, and resize rows and columns, format and align text across the table, and set background colors for cells and borders. Rows will resize themselves to fit content.  Google provides the following example table: