Posted:
Last week we announced the Android for Work program, which helps businesses bring more devices to work by securing, managing and innovating on the Android platform. Today, Google Apps Mobile Management is ready for you to take full advantage of Android for Work.

The Android for Work platform offers three main benefits: more granular control of Android devices, a framework for mobile application management via Google Play for Work, and a new layer of separation for work-related applications known as the Work Profile.

The Work Profile is an addition to our existing Android Sync for Google Apps offering. As domain admin, you now have the ability to choose a level of data separation that balances end user productivity with your organization's security requirements. There are two secure Work Profile operating modes, governed by a setting in the Admin console:

  1. third-party mobile app distribution - Employees may continue to safely operate Gmail and other Google mobile apps using the built-in account switcher, while admins curate third-party apps, available for download from Google Play for Work, in the Work Profile.
  2. separate container - Admins approve and whitelist all work-related apps (both Google and third-party) for the Work Profile, and employees download the apps appropriate to their job function from Google Play for Work.

Whichever mode is chosen, employees have a seamless experience on their mobile device and all work information is encrypted and can be remotely wiped, thereby keeping corp data secure from other activity on the phone. On one’s phone, work apps are identified by an orange briefcase badge:
n7-3.png
Check out the Help Center for more details on how optimize these new features for your organization.

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release

For more information:
Help Center
Google for Work blog post


Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
Check out the latest "What's New in Google Apps" newsletter [pdf] for a roundup of all Apps launches from February 2015.
whats_new_doc_header_feb15.fw.png
Newsletter Archive & Translated Versions (coming soon for February issue)

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
With the launch of the new Drive UI last year, we renamed the ‘Shared with me’ section to ‘Incoming’ and tweaked the functionality a bit. We’ve since heard feedback from people using the new UI that they miss the ‘Shared with me’ functionality, so today, we’re bringing it back.

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release

For more information:
Help Center

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
The admin quarantine feature provides greater email security and control by allowing admins to moderate when messages satisfying certain conditions are encountered in their domain’s mail traffic.

When a message is flagged by a policy for quarantine (e.g. subject contains the word ‘confidential’), it will not be delivered to the intended recipient. Instead, this message will show up in the admin’s quarantine review UI. Admins can then review the message, choose to allow delivery to the intended recipient, deny delivery with or without rejection notice or do nothing. If no action is taken, messages expire and are removed from quarantine after 30 days.

To make quarantine management easier, up to 20 named quarantines may be set up with unique quarantine criteria. Admins may choose to put messages in different quarantines based on several classification criteria by setting mail flow policies (content compliance, objectionable content, etc.).
quarantine2.png
See the Help Center for more information on optimizing this feature for your needs.

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release

For more information:
Help Center

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
Based on admin feedback―and in an effort to reduce overall notification volume―we have stopped including suspicious login alerts in the Admin console notification inbox. These alerts will continue to be sent via email.

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release


Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
To help people use the Google Docs editors when signed in to multiple accounts in an upcoming release, we are changing the structure of Docs editor URLs to no longer use the format /a/DOMAIN for Google Apps customers and to instead use a format containing /u/. 

All current URLs will continue to work after this change. If you click on an old URL, you will be redirected to the new structure that removes /a/DOMAIN without having to do any additional work. Note that users may still see /a/DOMAIN included in Docs editor URLs for an approximately one week-long transition period after this launch. 

Why are we making this change?
Currently, when people are signed-in to multiple Google accounts and open a Docs editor file, they may be asked to select which account to use to open the file. After this change, the Docs editors will be able to select which account to use automatically by examining all logged in account sessions and choosing the first one with view access (prioritizing accounts in the same domain as the document owner) without people needing to specify. 

In the future, the change will also enable us to lift the one account per domain restriction currently imposed while using the Docs editors.

Impact
We vetted this change with trusted Apps customers and partners and do not anticipate any disruptions as a result. However, to mitigate any unforeseen impact on Apps customer and partner systems and processes, we are announcing this change four weeks in advance to allow for any necessary adjustments.

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release coming in 4 weeks

More information:
Help Center



Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
People using Gmail now have the option to view the Gmail UI in Burmese, the 74th different language offered. Language settings can be changed from the “display language” drop-down in Settings. One’s display language doesn't affect the language in which messages are sent and received.

Note that the ornate Burmese script requires some specific fonts to make sure it displays correctly.

Release track:
Rapid release, with Scheduled release coming in two weeks

For more information:
Help Center
Gmail Blog post

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
Today we announced the Android for Work program. With a group of partners, we're helping businesses bring more devices to work by securing, managing and innovating on the Android platform.

Check out the Google for Work blog post for details on how the program provides businesses and workers with the choice and flexibility they need to get things done at work.

Google Apps supports Android device management today and will fully support these Android for Work features when available. Stay tuned for more information.

For more information:
Google for Work blog post
Android for Work overview

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
A new version of the Google Calendar app for Android is coming to Google Play over the next few days. Based on your feedback, we’ve made a number of improvements―with more on the horizon:

  • See more events at a glance with 7-day week view and pinch-to-zoom
  • Add Google Drive files to events
    • Drive will check if all event invitees can open them 
  • New Birthday calendar settings (coming to Calendar web next week)
    • Birthday calendar can be hidden
    • Control whether birthdays from Google+ are shown
  • A new option to show week numbers in settings
  • Import .ics files sent to you in Gmail and other apps

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release

For more information:
Help Center
Get the latest Calendar app on Google Play

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
Today we announced several improvements to Google Classroom. On the web, teachers can now bring their own personal touches to Classroom by uploading their own images to use as themes. They can add their own custom images, or choose from our gallery of options, which has been updated with 18 new images and 30 pattern themes.

For the Android and iOS Classroom apps, we added the ability for students and teachers to view the class resource page, and a few other features for both Android and iOS. 

The Classroom app allows students to do their work anytime, anywhere and is designed for schools with iPads or Android tablets and students' personal devices. If you are a Google Apps for Education admin and your school is using managed Android tablets, iPads, or ChromeOS devices, please consider installing the Classroom app centrally, as students may not be able to install it themselves. To make sure students have a great experience using the Classroom app, be sure to install the Drive and Docs apps (Docs, Slides, and Sheets) to the devices at the same time. 

To learn more about our native mobile apps, please visit the Classroom Help Center.

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release

For more information:
Help Center

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
People using Google Docs can now use different headers and footers on the first pages of their documents, which comes in handy for:

  • Following academic formatting guidelines (e.g. MLA, CMS, APA)
  • Starting page numbering on the second page
  • Making a title page without headers or footers

After inserting a header or footer in your document you’ll see a new checkbox―just tick it and you’ll be able to set a different header and footer on the first page:
headers-footers.png
There’s also a new Insert > Page Number menu that lets you customize how and where you start your page numbers―like on the bottom of the second page, for example.

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release

For more information:
Help Center: Headers and Footers
Help Center: Page numbers

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange® v4.1 is now available with the following new features:
  • Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange® Email migrations now uses the latest Email Migration API  (version 2).

  • Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange® now uses latest Admin SDK API (version 1) for user validation and group creation.

  • Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange® now uses the latest Contacts API  (version 3)

  • Administrators can choose to have message content that can not be migrated due to file size restrictions or blocked file types written to a user specific mbox file.

See what's new in this release for more details.

Note: All customers running previous versions of GAMME must upgrade to GAMME 4.1 before April 20, 2015. Older versions will stop functioning after this date.

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
A new version of the Google Docs Android app is now available on Google Play. New features include:
  • Support for selecting, cutting, copying and pasting text along with images, tables, and charts in Office Compatibility Mode
  • Ability to insert links in Google documents
Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release For more information:
Download the latest Google Docs app on Google Play

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
We’ll be releasing some minor UI changes to Google Groups for Business over the coming weeks, including a cleaner ‘My Groups’ page and new notification bars and dialog windows. 
my_groups.png
There will be no functionality changes, just improvements to look and feel. We’re also implementing various performance improvements to reduce latency when using Google Groups.

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release

For more information:
Help Center

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
Last March, we announced that we’d be ending support for the Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server on March 5, 2015. Please note that we’re now one month away from the end of support date. On March 5, we will turn down the underlying services and the Google Apps Connector for Blackberry Enterprise Server will no longer sync messages.

Background
Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server allows BlackBerry 7 OS and older devices to connect to Google Apps through the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES). However, BlackBerry no longer supports the version of BES that the Connector needs. The latest BlackBerry devices also do not require a BES. As a result, we’re ending support for the Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server on March 5, 2015.

Who does this affect?
This will affect any Google Apps user with a BlackBerry OS 7 or older device connecting to Google Apps with a BlackBerry Enterprise Server version 5.0.3.

What are my options?
Android and iOS
Android and iOS devices have native apps that support Google Apps.

BlackBerry 10 OS
If you update your device to BlackBerry 10 OS, you can connect to Google Apps using established sync protocols like Google Sync or IMAP / CalDAV / CardDAV.

BlackBerry 7 OS and older devices
If you'd like to continue connecting to Google Apps with BlackBerry 7 OS and older devices after March 2015, you can access mail.google.com and calendar.google.com from your mobile browser.

When will this take effect?
On March 5, 2015, we will end support and turn down the underlying services used by the Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release

For more information:
Help Center

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
Google Takeout allows people with Google accounts to backup and download their data. Takeout creates an archive of data from one’s Google products that can be used to migrate to another solution. Takeout is already integrated with several Google services―such as Gmail, Drive, and Calendar―and we’re now integrating Google Groups for Business.

The addition of Groups for Business to Takeout will allow group owners to download a JSON file containing a list of member email addresses for each group that they own when using the Takeout service. This includes any groups created in the Admin console as well as those created in Google Groups for Business.

For Google Apps admins, the Takeout service can be enabled or disabled in the Admin console at: Apps > Additional Google Services (Note: if Google Takeout is not listed, click on the filter icon and uncheck ‘Show top featured services’). 

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release

For more information:
Help Center

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
When working in a Chrome browser, people using the Google Docs editors with offline access enabled can work on files even when not connected to the internet. Files are synced so they can be viewed and edited offline, allowing for continued productivity regardless of one’s internet connection.

Setting up offline access manually can be cumbersome, so in a couple of weeks you’ll be able to just sign into Chrome on the web and visit Drive, Docs, Sheets, or Slides―and offline will be enabled automatically. This is already the default behavior on Chrome OS, so nothing will change there.

Google Apps admins can still centrally enable or disable offline access for their domain in the Admin console (see the Help Center for instructions depending on your version of Google Apps). Existing settings for domain-level offline access will not be altered by this launch.

Note that Google Apps users should not sign into a Chrome browser on public/non-work computers with their Google Apps accounts to avoid unintended file syncing.

Release track:
Both Rapid release and Scheduled release launch coming in two weeks (gradual rollout)

For more information:
Help Center

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
Google Apps Password Sync 1.3 is now available with the following new features:

  • GAPS now uses the Admin SDK - Directory API (version 1)
  • Improved Google Apps validation when configuring GAPS
  • Several bug fixes

Note: All customers running a previous version of GAPS must upgrade to GAPS 1.3 before April 20, 2015. Older versions will stop functioning after this date. 

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release

For more information:
Help Center

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
whats_new_doc_header_jan15.fw.png
Check out the latest "What's New in Google Apps" newsletter [pdf] for a roundup of all Apps launches from January 2015.

Newsletter Archive & Translated Versions (coming soon for January issue)

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
Back in November 2014, we announced that older spreadsheets (those created prior to Dec 2013, including any subsequent copies) would start being gradually migrated to the new version of Google Sheets for Google Apps domains on the Rapid release track, with Scheduled domains to follow.

While the migration started for consumer spreadsheets, we decided to delay the migration for the Rapid release track to ensure a more smooth process. Starting next week, we will formally start the migration for Rapid release domains, with Scheduled release domains to follow 2-3 weeks later (note: we have decided against displaying the migration notification in the Sheets interface for Google Apps customers to prevent unnecessary confusion).  

The migrations will take several months to complete, but you'll be able to take advantage of the new features and capabilities in the new Sheets as older spreadsheets are migrated. Simpler spreadsheets will be upgraded first, while those that use Apps Script and more complex features will be migrated weeks to months later to ensure a seamless transition.

Release track:
Migration for Rapid release starting next week, with Scheduled release to start 2-3 weeks later (gradual rollout)

For more information:
Help Center

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
In September 2014, we announced that Google Apps Vault would be added to all Google Apps for Education accounts at no charge. 

As of yesterday, all new Google Apps for Education customers will receive Vault as part of their Google Apps for Education suite. Existing Google Apps for Education customers who do not already have Vault enabled will now see it added to their account (note: these customers will first have to set up retention policies for archiving to begin). Existing Google Apps for Education customers who already have Vault enabled will not see any changes.

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release

For more information:
Help Center

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
At Google I/O last June, we introduced material design, a single underlying design system that allows for a beautiful unified experience across platforms and device sizes. You’ve seen these design principles applied to many of Google’s products recently, and today we’re announcing that the Admin console is next in line.

The Admin console has been redesigned to better meet the needs of Google Apps admins, putting your most important controls front and center and making the most common tasks easier than ever to complete. 

To help you get acquainted with the new design, we’ve prepared a design change guide [pdf], featuring screenshots of the new navigational elements and guidance on how to change settings, manage and add users, apply filters and access other frequently used features in the new UI. We also pulled together before and after screenshots for context on how things will be changing. We suggest spending some time reviewing these guides to ensure you can hit the ground running with the new design.

Release track:
Launching to both Rapid release and Scheduled release domains gradually, starting this week

For more information:



Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
We’re launching several improvements to the protected sheets and ranges functionality in Google Sheets, providing faster and more granular control when locking down sections of content in spreadsheets.

Key changes include:
  • Ability to lock down all content in a sheet except a particular cell or range
  • Faster set up with the ability to re-use the same permissions you previously chose on a different set of cells
  • Ability to quickly lock down a sheet or range to only a single person, a small number of people or a domain
protected-1.png
Release track:
Rapid release, with Scheduled release coming in two weeks

For more information:
Help Center

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
New versions of the Google Docs, Sheets and Slides apps are now available on Google Play and the App Store. New features include real-time spell-checking in documents (new for iOS only)inserting links (Android only) and hiding rows/columns in spreadsheets, and grouping shapes in presentations. We’ve also added support for Touch ID on iOS, so you can unlock Docs, Sheets and Slides with your unique fingerprint.

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release

For more information:
(New) Google Docs blog post
Download the latest Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps on Google Play and the App Store

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
In September 2013, we announced our plan to remove NPAPI support from Chrome, a change that will improve Chrome’s security, speed and stability. We gave some more details on timing and expected changes last November. The first of those changes will take place with the launch of Chrome 40 to the stable channel, currently planned for next week.

Currently Chrome supports NPAPI plugins, but with the exception of a small number of whitelisted extensions―including Google Talk―they are blocked by default unless the user chooses to allow them. With the launch of Chrome 40 to the stable channel, we’ll no longer use the whitelist to allow certain NPAPI plugins to run without requiring user approval. As a result, people using Google Talk on Chrome 40 will see a ‘Plug-in blocked’ notification in their browser bar, requiring a one-time approval in order for the Talk service, specifically audio calls, to function. The approval will be recorded and remembered.
npapi_notification.png
If this approval is not granted, users will also be prompted to run the plugin within the Talk UI when attempting to make or receive calls. 

When we launch Chrome 41 to the stable channel in March, this approval will be required every time the browser is loaded and with the launch of Chrome 42 in April, NPAPI support will be disabled by default in Chrome. At that time, audio calls in Talk will start operating through the Hangouts dialer (and will require Google Voice to be enabled for standard telephone calls. Hangouts Chat does not need to be enabled for the Hangouts dialer to work). 

In preparation for these upcoming changes, Apps admins from domains using Google Talk on Chrome 40 should inform their users to expect to see the ‘Plug-in blocked’ notifications. Longer term, this is a useful opportunity for admins to consider switching from Talk to
Hangouts Chat, which does not require a plugin on Chrome.

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release


Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
Google Drive for Mac/PC syncs any or all of your files to Google Drive on the web, making them available anywhere, at any time, on any device. It also provides secure cloud-based storage for your files.

A new version of Google Drive for Mac/PC is rolling out this week, featuring a new, more visually rich status menu. The menu allows people using Google Drive for Mac/PC to more clearly follow their sync status, including guidance on already synced files, files currently syncing and files yet to be synced. When you hover over a recently synced file, you’ll see an icon that saves you steps by letting you share it right from the menu:


You can also now choose to limit how much bandwidth Drive consumes while syncing your files for those times when you need extra bandwidth for something else. You can do that in the Advanced section of the Preferences menu.

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release (gradual rollout)

For more information:
Sync files and folders with Google Drive for Mac/PC
Install Google Drive for Mac/PC

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
Today we’re launching a native Classroom mobile app for both Android and iOS to help teachers and students be more collaborative in the classroom and save even more paper and time:
classroom_android.png
New with the mobile app, students and teachers can:

  • Snap a photo: Right from the assignment page in the mobile app, students can snap a photo and attach it to their assignment.
  • Share from other apps: Students can also easily attach images, PDFs and web pages from other apps to their assignments. 
  • Offline caching: Class streams and assignment information are automatically cached every time you open the app with an Internet connection, so that you can see them when you don’t have a connection. 

We’re also launching two new desktop features to help teachers stay organized as they head into the second half of the year: 

  • Teacher Assignments Page: On Classroom for desktop, we’re launching a teacher assignments page, where teachers will be able to get quick access to any assignment, see how many students are done and mark assignments as reviewed.
  • Archive Classes: We also know that classes don’t go on forever —that’s why today we’re launching the ability to archive classes. Archiving a class will remove it from the home page and make it read-only — teachers and class members can still view valuable information in archived classes, but can’t make any changes or turn in assignments.

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release

For more information:
Google for Work blog post
Classroom apps: Android | iOS
Help Center:
Mobile app | Archive classes | Teacher assignment page


Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
As announced last month, the Docs editors―Docs, Sheets, and Slides―have now been added to the App Launcher. The editors icons are on the first screen of the App Launcher, along with your other Google Apps products:
Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 5.00.43 PM.png
Groups and Contacts were moved to the ‘More’ screen to make room. 

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release


Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
People using Google Sheets will now be able to add images to frozen sections. This is helpful for prettying up invoices, reports and other spreadsheets where you want to feature a logo or image:
images_frozen.png
To insert an image in a frozen section, select a cell in the row and click on Insert > Image. You can then resize and move your image to fit the section or rows as needed.

Release track:
Rapid release, with Scheduled release coming in two weeks

For more information:
Help Center

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
To make it easier to find and connect with your work contacts in Hangouts in Gmail, we’ll now display them as a distinct group as you start typing in the search box. The work contacts will appear below any contacts (work or personal) that you regularly Hangout with, so you can always find your most frequently contacted colleagues and friends.

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release

For more information:
Help Center

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
Google Apps customers using the Gmail iOS app will now see query suggestions when searching their email. The query suggestions are shown in a drop down as a query is typed and are tailored to the content in your email, so you can save time and get the information you want faster than ever before―same as the experience in Gmail on the web:

NoteThis launch does not apply to Google Apps for Government customers

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release

For more information:
Help Center


Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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Posted:
To make it easier to know when people using Hangouts are available to chat, we’ve added timestamps as part of status (e.g. ‘last seen 2h ago’), indicating when one was last using Hangouts:
last_seen.png
Individuals can control whether this info is shared from Hangouts chat settings.

This feature is now available on Hangouts in Gmail (gradual rollout), as well as on the latest versions of the Hangouts Android and iOS apps.

Release track:
Rapid release and Scheduled release

For more information:

Note: all launches are applicable to all Google Apps editions unless otherwise noted

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