Software // Productivity/Collaboration Apps
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7/9/2014
01:55 PM
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Google Apps: 5 New Features For Businesses

Catch up on the newest Google Apps features, including a premium version of Google+, Hangouts integration with Microsoft Outlook, and new admin controls.

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Google had a busy first half of the year pushing out updates and new features to Google Apps, its suite of productivity tools.

Earlier in the year, it launched add-ons for Docs and Sheets; tested a new Promotions tab in Gmail; added a setting to control who can email you through your Google+ account; and rolled out new editing tools for Google Slides and Drawings.

Over the past few months, the company has shifted its focus to bring new capabilities and tools to its Google Apps for Business users. These updates include a new premium version of Google+, Hangouts integration with Microsoft Outlook, new admin controls, and more.

Here's a look at what's new and how you can take advantage of the new features.

[Take advantage of Gmail, Calendar, Docs, and more. See 10 Great Google Apps Tips.]

1. Restore deleted Drive files
If user deletes files from Google Drive and then empties the trash, the files are no longer gone forever. Admins can now restore them quickly for a specific date range from up to 25 days ago.

To restore a user's files, sign into the Google Admin console. Click Users, and then click the person's username. Click the icon of a trash bin with an arrow, and then select the date range for the files you want to restore. Finally, click Restore Data and click Close.

This feature, which Google added last month, will not work for users who have filled their Drive storage quota, Google said.

2. Add video calls to Microsoft Outlook meetings
Google Apps for Business users can schedule Hangouts with other Outlook users at their company using the Hangouts plugin for Outlook. Chromebox users who don't have Google Apps for Business can also use this plugin for meetings by entering the video call name using the remote control.

To install the plugin, you must have admin privileges on your computer. Once it's installed, two new buttons will appear in the Office Ribbon for Outlook Mail and Calendar -- one to create or attend a scheduled video call, and one for unscheduled video calls.

3. Upgrade to the premium version of Google+
Last month, Google added a new premium version of Google+ for its enterprise and business users that includes a handful of new business-specific features. These features give admins more granular controls over Google+ sharing and new Hangouts capabilities.

If you activate Google+ premium features, you'll gain additional control over what's shared outside the organization with a new default setting. Admins can choose from "unrestricted," which means posts and communities are visible to those outside the organization; or admins can make the default setting for new posts "restricted," which means only members can view posts and communities.

By default, users can start a Hangout On Air from within Google+. By enabling the premium version of Google+, admins can restrict access to Hangouts for the entire organization, or they can enable certain settings for different organizational units, Google said.

In addition, admins can control whether users' profiles can be indexed

Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

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Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
7/11/2014 | 3:00:07 PM
Re: Undelete
I'm not a fan of unbundling capabilities in mobile apps, but it's a trend: Facebook did it with Messenger and Slingshot, and LinkedIn has done it with its new Connected app and Job Search app.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
7/11/2014 | 2:55:48 PM
Re: Undelete
I don't know offhand if there's a specific way to delete something forever, but that's a great question. I'll find out.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
7/11/2014 | 7:57:14 AM
Re: Undelete
Thomas, 

"Does Drive offer a way to ensure that files are deleted immediately? It's not really deletion if Google retains a copy for 25 days."

It seems like several of us are wondering the same. I would think that Google thought about this and considered that some people mean to delete a file forever when they decide to delete it. 

Maybe there is an option to opt in or out this feature? Kristin, do you know? 

-Susan
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
7/11/2014 | 7:46:21 AM
Re: Undelete
Daniel, 

"I was using Google Drive on my phone the other day, and I noticed that I could no longer edit a spreadseeht without downloading this Sheets app."

I was also wondering about the need for these apps. I don't see too much point to them. It's strange coming from Google as its products are always characterized by simplicity. 

-Susan 
danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
7/10/2014 | 3:09:26 PM
Re: Undelete
I was using Google Drive on my phone the other day, and I noticed that I could no longer edit a spreadseeht without downloading this Sheets app. 

I don't necessarily agree that Google needed to produce these extra apps for mobile editing. It's an annoyance to me, and I'm not sure what the point is of extra apps instead of just using Drive for everything. 
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
7/10/2014 | 11:14:05 AM
Re: Undelete
I had the same question. I can imagine admins wanting to control who can and cannot delete files permananetly. There are some business scenarios in regulated industries where the norm is supposed to be to retain everything in some archived form.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
7/9/2014 | 4:46:01 PM
Undelete
Does Drive offer a way to ensure that files are deleted immediately? It's not really deletion if Google retains a copy for 25 days.
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