No New Mail? Try Google+

What’s the message displayed by Gmail when there’s no message in your inbox? If you answered “No new mail! Want to read updates from your favorite sites? Try Google Reader”, you are right. It was Google’s subtle way to promote Google Reader.


Before Google Reader was released, Gmail’s “inbox zero” message used to be: “No new mail! There’s always Google News if you’re looking for something to read.”

Now that Google focuses on developing Google+, a modern version of Google Reader, Gmail’s new message is: “No new mail! See what people are talking about on Google+.” The links sends Gmail users to the “what’s hot” section of Google+ which “highlights selected content thought to be exemplary, interesting, and appropriate: showing you serendipitous and diverse information”.


From Google News to Google Reader and now Google+, Gmail illustrates three different ways to read news. Google News ranks and clusters articles from the web, Google Reader allows you to read news from your favorite sites, while Google+ lets you read the articles shared by the people you follow. From news that are important to everyone to news that are important to the people you trust.

Easier to schedule events: Event time zones now in Google Calendar

For Domains whose admins have enabled the ‘enable pre-release features’ checkbox in the Control Panel:

Event timezones – You can now specify the time zone for a given event. You can also set up events which start in one time zone and end in another.

For Domains with ‘enable pre-release features’ checkbox disabled:

Optional attendees: When adding invitees to an event, you now have the ability to communicate the importance of a meeting for each attendee.

Event timezones: Click the “Time zone” link to the right of the date and time fields on the event page to enter the timezone. Events will appear on your calendar according to the current time zone you’re in, and when you change to your destination time zone they’ll be in the right place.

Google Search: This week in search 6/27/10

Speed is a common theme at Google—the notion of speed is baked into all of our products, from Google Chrome to web search. Often, we also simply develop features that help deliver answers fast. Whether by displaying the exact content you’re looking for at the top of your search results page or by optimizing the way you search, many of these speed enhancements save you keystrokes—and time.

This week, we released two new features:

Sunrise and Sunset Search feature
Whether you’re looking to find the best time for a morning jog or trying to plan that perfect moment for a wedding proposal, knowing exactly when the sun rises or sets can always be helpful. This week, we were happy to launch a Sunrise and Sunset feature for search. It gives the precise times of sunsets and sunrises for any location around the world. Unlike the weather, sunrises and sunsets are quite predictable, and as a result, we don’t use a data source. Instead, we calculate sunrise and sunset times based on latitude, longitude and the current time. This calculation has been of interest to astronomers and mathematicians for millennia, so they’ve had time to get it just right. And for most locations, it’s accurate to within a single minute.


Example searches: [sunrise port jefferson ny] or [sunset cancun]

Google Search by Voice expanded to more languages
Google Search by Voice enables people to search the web faster than ever before—getting you answers with fewer keystrokes. This service was originally launched in English, and was offered in the U.S., U.K., India, Australia and New Zealand. We later introduced Japanese and Mandarin to expand the number of possible users. Just a week ago, we launched the service in French, Italian, German and Spanish. Given that local dialects are a factor in the performance of speech recognition, we first launched our service in the four countries most closely associated with these languages: France, Germany, Italy and Spain. This week we followed with Korean and the launch in Taiwan of Traditional Mandarin.

To get started with Google Search by Voice, visit the Google mobile page in your country’s domain (for example, in France go to m.google.fr) and download the application for your phone’s operating system in your locale. You’ll find this available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry phones. Ultimately, our goal is to bring Google Search by voice to speakers of all languages, so stay tuned for more announcements here.

We’ll see you back here next week for more new announcements.

Posted by Johanna Wright

Google Apps: Now Two more states open Google Apps for teachers and students

Oregon is the first state to begin offering Google Apps to public schools. Today, Colorado and Iowa are joining the movement. Google Apps for Education will now be available to more than 3,000 schools across the two states.

These state-wide agreements enable schools and districts to benefit from centralized resources such as deployment support and training materials, paving the way for an easy transition to Google Apps—including Gmail, Docs, Sites, Calendar, Video, and Groups—in their classrooms, immediately.

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter said it best, “I’m pleased to see the Statewide Internet Portal Authority (SIPA) continue its tradition of bringing innovative tools to members of the Colorado public. By leveraging the Internet, educators are able to bring new ways of learning to the classroom and connect with students in exciting and challenging ways.” And Brent Siegrist, Director of Iowa Area Education Agencies Services, reflects, “As a former teacher, I can see how these tools will engage students, make the classroom a more vibrant place and allow teachers to work together more collaboratively.”

Saving money is just one reason schools are moving to Apps. Educators and students from JeffCo Public Schools, the largest school district in Colorado with more than 85,000 students, have been using Google Apps to help students collaborate and learn by working together. Teachers in Colorado and Iowa praise the “anytime, anywhere” availability of Google Apps. They’re using the unique online collaboration tools to teach feedback and revision strategies to students, and are even starting to go paperless on a number of assignments.

This week we’re also introducing a set of training solutions for schools to start making the most of Google Apps. We’re also extending the promotion for Google Message Security to allow primary and secondary schools opt-in to the email filtering service free until the end of this year.

If you’d like to learn more, come meet the Google Apps Education Team and some of the teachers using Google Apps in Colorado today, Monday June 28, through Wednesday at the annual ISTE conference. Stop by booth #2536 and take a seat in our teaching theater to learn more about what Google Apps can do for your school. Executive Directory of SIPA John Conley will join us at our Google Block Party after the conference today. We hope you’ll join us to learn more about Colorado’s decision to move to Google Apps.

Posted by Jaime Casap

Google Docs: Google Docs viewer now supports .doc and .docx file types in Gmail

You can now view Microsoft® Word files as attachments in Gmail with a single click — no need to download, save, and open files with a desktop application to preview. The Google Docs viewer that allows you to view .pdf, .ppt, and .tiff files in your browser, now supports .doc and .docx formats.
If you receive a message in Gmail with a .doc or .docx attachment, click on ‘View’ at the bottom of the message to easily see a preview of the attachment.

For more information:
http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/view-doc-attachments-right-in-your.html

The search for 16: World cup special

With the group round of the World Cup coming to a close and the round of 16 under way, it’s the perfect time to see what’s piqued searchers’ interest since our pre-tournament search trends kick-off.

Understandably, searches for [world cup standings] climbed steadily during the first week of play as fans around the globe watched the various teams jockey within their groups to qualify for the next round. Upsets in the group round have been particularly effective at driving increased search volume. Switzerland’s win over Spain on June 16 (one of the tournament’s earliest upsets) drove its share of search traffic, and New Zealand’s unexpectedly good performance against Italy, the 2006 tournament champion, inspired people to look for information about the “All Whites” (the Kiwi team’s nickname). Until England’s keeper let in a “soft” goal in the game against the U.S., [striker] was a more popular term than [fullback], [goalkeeper] or [midfielder]—but since then, searches for [goalkeeper] have largely outpaced the other positions. Searches for [england keeper] and [rob green] also spiked on the day of that game.

One of the rising—and controversial—stars of the World Cup’s initial days was the ubiquitous vuvuzela, which, at its peak on June 15, nearly overtook searches for [waka waka], the official song of the 2010 World Cup sung by Shakira. Viewers—and listeners—around the world searched for information about the South African horn, although after the initial spike it seems people have become accustomed to this unofficial match soundtrack, or perhaps purchased their own (listen for the German fans in the round of 16!).

But the vuvuzela is certainly not the only aspect of this year’s World Cup under scrutiny. Controversies have cropped up throughout the tournament, and a rise in search volume was never far behind. Interest in the much-debated 2010 World Cup ball, or [jabulani], has remained high throughout the first two weeks, and searches for [world cup referees] reflect the growing awareness that an official’s decision can make or break the fate of a team. Search volume for this topic peaked on June 18, the day a potentially tie-breaking U.S. goal against Slovenia was disallowed by a controversial offsides call. Searches for [offsides] also spiked on June 18, as well as on June 11 following an offsides call during the opening game between Mexico and South Africa, and June 23 after a call in the U.S. game against Algeria. Among English-speaking countries, most of these searches came from the U.S., a country relatively less familiar with “the beautiful game.”

Participating teams and individual players have also done their part to spark controversy. The French team has been in the spotlight for a variety of reasons: qualification for the tournament in a win over Ireland credited to a Thierry Henry handball, refusal to train after Nicolas Anelka was sent home for insulting the team’s coach (searches for [anelka] spiked following his departure), and their eventual elimination from the tournament. In another newsworthy twist, searches for Algerian player Rafik Saifi have skyrocketed in the last days after his altercation with an Algerian journalist.

As the stakes climb even higher in the elimination rounds, we’re all on the look-out for more exciting (and controversial) moments and emerging stars. So stay tuned—we’ll be back with more search trends as the World Cup action continues.

Posted by Emily Wood

Google Apps: Multi-domain management now available in Google Apps

Google Apps administrators can now manage multiple domains from one control panel in Google Apps. Users from different domains preserve their original email address, but all users are on the organization’s global address list, and calendars, docs and sites can be shared throughout the entire organization.

Admins can now add additional domains in the Control Panel under ‘Domain Settings’ by adding the domain name in the text box. For these domains, admins will still have to verify domain ownership just like the primary domain.

To add another domain:
1. In the Google Apps Control Panel, click ‘Domain settings’, then ‘Domain names’.
2. Click ‘Add a domain or a domain alias’.
3. Enter the domain name that you want to add in the text box.
4. If you just want to add the domain as a domain alias, enable the checkbox ‘Make this domain an alias of my primary domain’.
5. Click ‘Continue and verify domain ownership’ to verify ownership of the domain
6. Follow the instructions to verify domain ownership and set up email delivery.

– After adding a domain, when admins now create a new user, they will have the choice to create the user with username@domainA.com or username@domainB.com.
– This feature is only available to domains using the ‘Next Generation’ version of the Control Panel. To enable this version in the control panel, click ‘Domain settings’ > ’General’ and ensure the checkbox ‘Next generation (US English only)’ is enabled.
– These changes are gradually rolling out and will happen in the next few days.

Note: It is not currently possible to merge existing Google Apps accounts. For more information on what is supported by multi-domain management, please visit the Help Center.

For more information:
http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2010/06/introducing-multi-domain-support-in.html
Help Center: http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/topic.py?hl=en&topic=14579

Google Docs : Optical Character Recognition now in Google Docs

Google Docs now supports importing scanned documents and then allowing you to edit the converted docs.

How to access what’s new:
In Google Docs, on the upload page, check the “Convert text from PDF or image files to Google Docs documents”, upload your scanned images (JPEG, GIF, PNG) or PDFs, and Google Docs will extract text and formatting from the scans. You can then edit the converted document.

For more information:
http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2010/06/optical-character-recognition-ocr-in.html

Google Docs: Format painter and GoogleLookup function now in the new Google Spreadsheets editor

– Format painter allows you to apply the same formatting to other elements more easily.
– GoogleLookup function attempts to find the values for straightforward facts about specific things.

Format Painter: Apply the formatting that you want to a particular cell/column/row. Click the paintbrush icon to use the format painter, then click your desired cell/column/row to apply the exact same formatting.

GoogleLookup: Enter this formula syntax in the desired cell: =GoogleLookup(“entity”; “attribute”) where “entity” represents the name of the entity that you want to access, like Kuala Lumpur, Audrey Hepburn, or oxygen, and “attribute” is the type of information that you want to retrieve. An example would be =GoogleLookup(“Ireland”; “internet users”)

Google Docs: New sharing settings in Google Docs

Private: Private docs are accessible only to people or groups you’ve explicitly invited to the file. Anyone trying to access the file will have to sign in to verify that they have access to the file.

People at your organization with the link: Docs set to this option are accessible to anyone inside the domain who knows the URL of the file. If you also select the ‘Allow anyone to edit’ option, anyone with the URL will be able to view and edit your file. This option allows you to easily copy and paste the file’s link into chat, email and calendar invites.

People at your organization can find and access: Docs set to this option will be indexed by Google Docs search and may be opened by anyone in your organization.

If your Google Apps administrator allows sharing outside of your organization, you will also be able to make a file Public on the web or available to Anyone with the link (no sign in required). Administrators can also control the default visibility setting from the control panel.

– To see the new options, click the ‘Share’ button when editing a document.
– You can easily see the full list of editors and viewers by clicking on the visibility option/icon next to the document title or clicking on the ‘Share’ button.
– From the Docs list, you can now modify the sharing settings of multiple documents at a time. Select the documents that you want to modify and click the ‘Share’ button.