Google Apps paying $15 to acquire each new customer through new referral program

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Google announced today on its Enterprise blog that it’s introducing a new Google apps referral program that will see the company payout $15 for each new customer referred through the program.

Many of the millions of Google Apps customers learned about tools like Hangouts, Drive and Gmail for business from their customers, friends and networks. To help continue the momentum, we’re launching the Google Apps Referral Program. The referral program makes it easy to share Google Apps with your network and show them how they too can use these tools at work. To show our appreciation, we’re offering a $15 referral bonus for each new Google Apps user you refer.

Those interested in joining the referral program will need a valid taxpayer ID number and bank account for direct deposits. Google also says it will provide email and website templates that can be used to send a unique referral link to potential customers.Google Apps users in the US and Canada that are interested in joining the referral program can do so here.

Update: We had a quick Q&A with Google pasted below:

  • Are you phasing out the $5/user/year you guys give to IT service providers or is that staying? This program does not impact the amount provided to Google Apps Resellers.
  • Is it an affilaite program?   After joining the program, members will receive $15 for every user that signs up from their recommendations. In order to receive the incentive, referrals must be Google Apps customers for at least 4 months. Then we’ll make a direct deposit to the referee’s bank account every month for the amount they’ve earned. 
  • How long do people have to stay in the program for a payout? I’m assuming the $15 comes with a year program signup. In order to receive the incentive, referrals must be Google Apps customers for at least 4 months. Then we’ll make a direct deposit to the referee’s bank account every month for the amount they’ve earned. 
  • Will Google be expanding this to include $ on apps or Android apps or hardware/Nexus products? (Hope so!) We’re excited about today’s launch of the Google Apps Referral Program, but have nothing else to announce.

The fine print from Google is below: Read more

How-to: Setup and Use Chromecast to stream your content from a Mac and Android device

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The Chromecast, Google’s streaming HDMI dongle came out last summer. It is compatible with any Android device running 2.3 or later, iOS devices with iOS 6 or 7, and any Mac or PC. Initially, users were able to stream Netflix or Youtube from an iOS device and Android device, Google Play on Android, or stream websites to a TV using the Chrome browser on a computer. The Chromecast works differently from Apple’s AirPlay system in that you can multitask and do other tasks on the device or you can let it go to sleep while streaming.

Very quickly after its release, Chromecast has received support for Hulu +, Pandora, and HBO GO. Last month a major update added ten new apps including Plex, Vevo, Songza, Red Bull TV, Post TV from the Washington Post, Viki, RealPlayer Cloud, Avia, Revision3 Internet Television, and BeyondPod. The most recent update the Chromecast received allowed users to stream Google Play movies and music directly from the Chrome browser on a computer.

In this How-to, we’ll discuss how to setup the Chromecast, use it with a Mac and Android device, and explore its gaming potentials.

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Gmail now lets you send emails to Google+ profiles

Continuing its integration of Google+ into just about everyone of its other products, today Google announced a nice improvement to Gmail that will auto suggest Google+ contacts. Gmail already displayed Google+ information next to emails, allowed you to search for emails by Circles, and keep your contacts up to date using Google+ data, but up until now you couldn’t select a Google+ contact as a recipient when composing an email. While Gmail will now auto suggest Google+ contacts when composing a new email, it also has a new setting to control who can reach you and see your email address: Read more

Boston adopts Google Apps for 76,000 city officials, teachers, and students

In an announcement shared on Google’s Enterprise blog by Boston’s chief information officer, the city has announced it will officially migrate some 76,000 city employees, police officers, teachers, and students to using Google Apps and email services from a variety of alternative systems including Microsoft Exchange.

The Boston official noted the city’s success in adopting Google Apps, particularly for boston.gov email addresses for every city official, due to the minimal effort in maintaining the system thanks to Google’s existing and scaling infrastructure. Read more

Google updates its Free Play Music list with Nine Inch Nails, Kanye West, Taylor Swift, Phil Collins, more

Google has once again refreshed its free Google Play Music playlist for its December Deals offering with new music for you to grab. This week’s artist once again includes an interesting range of performers including Nine Inch Nails, Stevie Wonder, 2Pac, and Amy Winehouse.

What’s more is the playlist leads with Taylor Swift and follows with Kanye West, the two of which famously made headlines together following the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards when Kanye unapologetically interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech.

At any rate, go ahead and grab 10 tracks while Google’s picking up the tab! Read more

Google announces the winners of its Players Choice award for best apps and games of the year

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Google has announced the winners of the 2013 Players’ Choice awards for top Google Play apps and games. The awards are given based on user popularity, unlike the apps featured last week in the Play Store for a similar award,  which were chosen by Google themselves. There were six categories spanning apps and games. The winners of each respective category are listed below, as chosen by the Android community.

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Google rolling out support for Gmail and Google Calendar data export

Google is rolling out support to its take out service for exporting email and appointment data from its Gmail and Google Calendar services, the company announced today.

While Google often supports data exporting when sunsetting a service, the company says in this instance it’s simply allowing users the ability to better archive personal data and switch to other services with less friction. Read more

Gmail adds action buttons for Offers, restaurant reviews, & YouTube, Dropbox, & Drive uploads

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Back in May Google rolled out new contextual quick action buttons in Gmail that appeared next to messages in your inbox allowing users to, for example, quickly RSVP to an invitation or check-in to flights. Today Google announced on its Gmail blog that it’s rolling out even more quick action buttons in Gmail. One of the new buttons will allow users to rate and review restaurants and save Google Offers with a single click:

For example, you can rate and review restaurants you ordered from on Seamless and even modify OpenTable reservations—all without opening an email. And for the deal lovers out there, you can conveniently save a promotion from Google Offers with one click, making it easy to find and buy it when you’re ready.

Another new quick action button will allow YouTube and Vimeo uploaders to click a “View video” button next to emails in their inbox to jump right to viewing their finished uploads (pictured below). The same button will also appear for Dropbox, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.  Read more

Google adds handwriting input to Gmail and Google Docs via mouse & trackpad

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Google announced today on its Gmail blog that it is adding handwriting input functionality into Gmail and Google Docs for those that find it easier to draw characters than use a traditional keyboard. Both Gmail and Google Docs within Drive will allow users to draw single or multiple characters using a mouse cursor or their finger on a trackpad:

Gmail and Docs offer wide language support, however in some cases using the keyboard is less than ideal. Whether you’re a student trying to include a foreign phrase in your paper or an international consultant hoping to begin your message with a friendly local greeting, now you’ll be able to use your own handwriting to input words directly into Gmail and Google Docs

The feature is first rolling out for more than 20 languages in Google Docs and over 50 languages in Gmail, including many of the most requested languages for handwriting input such as Japanese, Chinese, Hindi, and Russian.

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Here’s how to enable it: Read more

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

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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