U.S. Army & DoD move to Google Apps to go mobile and reduce costs

Google Apps Logo Ring hires

Google announced today on its Enterprise blog that the U.S. Army is the latest to go Google with a new program currently rolling out Google Apps and services to over 50k members of the Army and Department of Defense.

According to Google, driving the U.S. Army’s decision to adopt Google Apps is the ability to reduce IT costs and also run Apps on multiple platforms and operating systems through the Army’s existing security and authentication requirements. Another big motivator was the added advantage of Google’s mobile apps: Read more

Google Play Music ‘All Access’ for iOS reportedly landing this month following internal beta

Since first announcing its Google Play Music ‘All Access’ streaming service earlier this year on Android, Google has been delaying the release of an official Google Play Music app for iOS for unknown reasons. Android chief Sundar Pichai originally said the app would be out in “the next few weeks” in May, but four months later we’ve yet to get an iOS app or access to the $9.99 month streaming service on iOS. Today, Engadget reports that Google is continuing to test the app internally and will launch it later this month:

Sources aware of Google’s plans have let slip to Engadget that not only is the company currently testing a native Google Music iOS app internally, but that it’ll launch later this month. We’re told that while employees have been invited to test the app, Google still needs to fix a few bugs before it’s ready for release… The company had previously closed the door on iOS users because Flash was needed to enforce DRM restrictions set by music labels. Now, Google appears to have overcome that issue and is nearly ready to launch.

Until the official app from Google launches, popular third-party clients like the gMusic app have been updated to support the “All Access” streaming service. Read more

Google’s mobile Gmail app is going to start showing ads

Among other smaller additions, Android Police found a pretty big change coming to Google’s Gmail 4.6 App this week: Ads.

While El Goog hasn’t officially activated ads on mobile yet, the App is getting ready for them with a bunch of new code tailored around bringing ads to Gmail. Snippets are pasted below

<string name=”ad”>AD</string>
<string name=”ad_will_not_save”>Will not save ad as message</string>
<string name=”ad_will_save”>Will save ad as message</string>
<string name=”ad_dismissed”>Ad dismissed</string>

The above appears to suggest that you’ll be able to save ads as messages. Like an ad? Save it, and it’ll become part of your inbox. Don’t like it, and it’ll get dismissed. Very interesting, isn’t it?

To support ads, a whole brand new library was added called… ads:

com/google/android/gm/ads/

Inside, we have 8 classes, all related to ad presentation – toasts, teaser, sender header, ad header, ad border, and the ad view itself:

  • AdBorderItem
  • AdHeaderItem
  • AdHeaderView
  • AdSenderHeaderItem
  • AdSenderHeaderView
  • AdTeaserView
  • AdToastBarOperation
  • AdViewFragment

The likely move isn’t at all surprising and with Google popping ads disguised as email in Gmail tabbed interface and well, that’s how Google makes money.  You didn’t think Gmail was really free, did you? Read more

Google Talk & Hangouts bug sends messages to the wrong recipients – Google investigating

talk

Update 2, Sept. 27: Google is reporting that Google Talk issues have now bee resolved for all users.

Update, Sept. 27: Some users are continuing to experience issues with Google Talk services today. Google says it expects “a resolution for all users in the near future.”

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 11.04.27 AM

TechCrunch alerted us to an issue with Google Talk and Google Hangouts, which is rather alarmingly resulting in some messages being delivered to the wrong recipients.

examples …  Read more

Google apologizes for Gmail delivery issues, explains what happened

Gmail_Icon

Google has apologized for Gmail delivery delays experienced by some users yesterday. Google says that whilst most messages were not affected, 29% of messages were delayed by a couple of seconds, with only 1.5% of messages being critically delayed, by as much as two hours. The issue lasted for about 8 hours, starting at around 5:30 am PST.

Read more

Google Drive revamped for iOS with improved previewing, file sorting, searching

Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 12.05.29 PM

Google has redesigned its Google Drive application for iPad, and iPhone, and iPod touch to appear more in-line with the designs of the company’s other apps on iOS. The new design focuses on improved previewing of files, and it also includes improved management and sorting of files.

Also new is improved landscape editing support, copying links to files, and the overall sharing of files with other people.

The update also brings an enhanced focus on searching through files:

And last, we brought search to the forefront of the app so you can find the exact file you’re looking for, whether you’re on a small iPhone or a larger iPad. And remember, Drive search recognizes objects in your images and text in scanned documents. So the next time you’re looking for photos of that trip to the Statue of Liberty, just enter the phrase “Statue of Liberty” and your photos will appear – voilà!

The update is available for free on the App Store.

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Google switches all users to Gmail’s redesigned compose window with full-screen mode

compose

Google announced today that it is starting to roll out the redesigned Gmail compose experience that it first introduced us to back in October of last year. The feature, which makes the compose window a small, chat-like pop up window within the Gmail inbox, allows users to easier multitask while composing messages and compose multiple messages at once. It started off as a preview, and Google eventually made it the default option for everyone back in March.  However, up until now Google allowed users to opt-out and switch back to the old full-screen compose mode. Over the next few days that won’t any longer be an option.

Google made a point of noting that you can make the new compose window “full-screen” and set that as the default if you prefer an experience more like the old compose window: Read more

U.S. Government proposes new privacy ‘rules’ for apps

android

Image: technotin.com

App developers may soon be asked to tell us what data they collect, and how it is used, under a set of government proposals released today (via TNW). 

The US government’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration today issued its first draft of what will be a mobile apps code of conduct intended to better protect consumers and their privacy. If made final, policy states that publishers must provide consumers with “short-form” notices in multiple languages informing them of how their data is being used [...]

Just so that there’s no doubt about what “data” means, the government entity specifically says it includes biometrics, browser history, phone or text log, contacts, financial info, health, medical, or therapy info, location, and user files …

There is rather more doubt, however, about how effective the proposals might prove …  Read more

Google testing encryption to hide your Drive files on heels of NSA surveillance controversy

google_drive

Privacy protection in the apps we use on a daily basis has been a big topic of conversation following accusations that Google and other large tech companies were working with government agencies to provide user data. Google has worked tirelessly to clear its name during the scandal, and today CNET reports that the company is testing encryption for Drive files that could further keep its users’ data protected from prying eyes.

As a reminder, Google does not currently encrypt files store in its Drive cloud storage service, but rather only encrypts files being transferred on their way to Drive: Read more

Google brings voice back to Gmail w/ new group chat features, free calls to US & Canada from other countries

Hangouts-gmail-video call 2

When Google rolled out its new unified Hangouts messaging service, some users were disappointed that the new experience within Gmail removed the ability to place free calls within the US and Canada. Google previously confirmed that the feature would be returning and today it announced on its Gmail blog that it is rolling out the free calling feature to Gmail Hangouts and also adding some new features.

In addition to improvements to desktop calling, such as the ability to “add multiple phone numbers and video participants to the same call” and play sound effects, it is also making calls to the US and Canada free from any country with access to Hangouts. Read more

Google adds sports scores, weather, and more editors’ picks to Google News

Google-News-weather

Google-News-Sports-ScoresGoogle announced today on the official Google News blog that it’s rolling out new features for Google News users including an expanded 4-day weather section built into the right side of the homepage, more Editors’ Picks throughout various News sections, and sports scores:

For avid sports fans, a newly introduced “Sports Scores” section on the News homepage and the Sports page will give a snapshot of live, recently concluded and imminent sporting activity. From this summary, it’s easy to dive in further and do things like click on a score for details of the match or on a specific team to get recent news about it. The section is customizable; for example, if you prefer not to see hockey scores, you can turn hockey ‘off’ while keeping the other sports ‘on’. You can also remove the entire section if you prefer. At the outset, we’re launching in the US, with the big four sporting organizations covering basketball, football, baseball and hockey. Over time, this section will expand to other countries and sports. Stay tuned.

Google notes that the new weather section will automatically adjust to your current location and it is now including more Editors’ Picks sections across Technology and Business pages instead of just on the News homepage.  Read more

Google announces new BYOD features for Android devices

Google_2591170b

As more and more companies start allowing employees to bring their own smartphones and tablets into work, Google is obviously looking to capture a portion of that enterprise market. The company on Thursday announced several new features for the growing bring your own device, or BYOD, market.

Comprehensive mobile device management is included with Google Apps for Business, Government and Education. Organizations large and small can manage smartphones and tablets – including Android and iOS – right from the Google Apps Admin console, with no need for special hardware or software.

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