Google GSuite (Google Workspace)

Recent Announcements

Carol LaRow

         Contact: (518) 377-8332

Check this page for updates, changes, and new features to various Google tools.
You will also see updates and announcements for G Suite.

Some of the announcements below have links to additional information supplied directly by Google.
Others have links to pages within this website, or PDF files and/or images to download.

These will assist you, especially if you are using "G Suite For Education" in your school.

Carol LaRow, Google Apps For Education K-12 Regional Leader, Eastern States
Google Tools:

Feb. 22, 2021: Google Workspace Updates

  • the host can end a Meet video call for everyone at once; this includes the breakout rooms
  • once the Meet has ended, people will not be able to rejoin, unless the host rejoins first
  • Google Workspace for Education Users: if participants' requests to rejoin a Meet are denied twice, they won't be able to request to join the Meet again (but the
  • Meet host can manually invite them back)
  • when the host leaves a Meet, he/she can choose to keep others on the call or end the call, which ends it for everyone (helpful for educators working with students)
  • the host can also choose to have the Meet continue after he/she leaves
  • currently this feature is available with Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals and Google Workspace For Education Plus

Feb. 22, 2021: Control Access To A Video Meet

  • Meet hosts/organizers can use "Quick Access: to decide if participants must ask to join the video Meet
    When Quick Access Is On:
    • Participants from your domain can automatically join the meeting using their computer or mobile device.
    • Participants who dial into the meeting using their phone can automatically join.
  • Any participant can dial out of the meeting.
    When Quick Access Is Off:
    • All participants from inside and outside of your organization must ask to join the meeting. This includes people who dial into the meeting by phone.
    • People who are invited during the meeting by someone other than the host/organizer must ask to join.
    • Only the host/organizer can dial out of the meeting
  • Note:
  • Quick Access is turned on by default. After the host starts a Meet, he/she can change the setting as often as is necessary, using Meet on a computer
  • If Quick Access is turned on or off, recurring meetings re-using the same meeting code, will inherit the same setting for future meetings.
  • If the host turns Quick Access on or off in a one-time nicknamed, or instant meeting, the setting will return to "on" after the meeting ends.

Feb. 19, 2021: Google Workspace Updates

  • can limit Google Drive sharing to specific groups with target audiences, now generally available; helps make data more secure and easier to share files with the right students/colleagues
  • domain administrators can define specific audiences with whom their users can link-share Google Drive files. Learn more.
  • can mute all Google Meet participants at once
  • Meeting hosts in Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals and Education Plus domains can now mute everyone all at once in Google Meet.
  • available to Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals and Education Plus customers only. Learn more.


February 17, 2021: Google Workspace For Education - The Next Era of G Suite For Education"

There are now 4 Choices:

Google Workspace For Education Fundamentals:

  • Includes Classroom, Meet, Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Meet, Chat
  • The FREE edition of G Suite For Education is being renamed to "Google Workspace For Education Fundamentals"
  • For those domains currently using G Suite, features they are used to will still be there
  • Can be used in compliance with FERPA, COPPA, and GDPR
  • New features will also be added

Google Workspace For Education Standard:

  • has all the features of the "Fundamentals" suite
  • in addition, provides enhanced security features thought the "Security Center"
  • advanced device and app management to perform audits and enforce security and app access rules
  • advanced audit logs for DRIVE, devices, LDAP to track usage across the domain
  • Gmail log and Classroom log export for insights and analysis
  • advanced mobile management

The Teaching And Learning Upgrade:

  • can be added to "Fundamentals" or "Standard" suites
  • advanced video capabilities in Google Meet
  • Meets with up to 250 participants and 10,000 "in-domain" live stream viewers
  • new features added to Classroom - interactive Q & A's, polls, breakout rooms
  • Classroom add-ons to directly integrate favorite tools and content
  • unlimited originality reports and ability to check for peer matches across a private repository of past student work

Google Workspace For Education Plus: (formerly G Suite Enterprise For Education)

  • builds on "Fundamentals," "Standard," and "Teaching And Learning Upgrade"
  • Google's best edition for a comprehensive suite of tools
  • advanced security and analytics
  • live stream up to 100,000 "in domain" viewers in Meet
  • sync rosters directly to Classroom from any SIS
  • personalized cloud search for your domain

Feb. 2021: Create Your Own QR Code, From Any Webpage, Using Google Chrome's Built-in Feature

  • Google has added the ability to create QR codes in the Chrome Browser
  • Look for the icon in the right side of the omnibox in Chrome
  • No need to add an extension
  • Be sure you have the latest version of the Chrome Browser
  • Can download the image it creates to use in emails, websites, Jamboards, taped to a classroom wall or door
  • Also gives you the URL to the webpage

 Click To Learn More

How Can You Tell If Your Chrome Browser Is Up-To-Date?

  • On a computer:
  • Open the Chrome Browser
  • In the top, right, click the 3 dots
  • Go to > Help > About Chrome
  • Chrome will automatically check for updates
  • Chrome 87 was the last browser update for 2020
  • Chrome 88 was released in Jan. 2021

February 2021: New Features For Google Classroom

  • Some of the features will be added later in 2021
  • Teachers using the "Plus" and "Learning Upgrade," will be able to choose their favorite Ed Tech tools and content from a market place and assign to students directly inside Classroom
  • Domain administrators will be able to install add-ons for teachers in their domains
  • For "Plus" users, domain administrators will be able to create classes, populate, and sync rosters directly to Classroom from their SIS
  • Grade Export, currently available to Skyward and Infinite Campus users, will be available to Aspen SIS. Teachers will be able to track grades and push them from Classroom's Gradebook to their SIS (no longer need to have grades in two different places)

Additional Features Coming in 2021:

  • better way to track student engagement and interaction in Classroom
  • Classroom Android App:
    • students can work offline, without an Internet connection
    • students can attach and submit photos of their work more easily, for teachers to review
    • improved grading on mobile devices for teachers
  • Rich text formatting on computers, iOS, and Android for Classroom assignments and posts
  • Originality reports in 15 languages
  • "CS First" Integration of Google's free, introductory computer science curriculum

Fall 2020: Some New Changes/Features For Google Meet:

  • larger tile view to see entire class at once
  • will be able to see 49 people on one screen, at the same time (in auto and tiled layout options)
  • if there are more than 49 participants in the Meet, host will be able to see an indication of the participant's name that is interacting/speaking
  • available to all G Suite editions, not just Enterprise Edition
  • G Suite users will not need to use an extension to see up to 49 users in tiled view
  • meet hosts will also be able to see themselves during the Meet; can add/remove themselves from the grid; can adjust the number of visible tiles with a slider
  • enhanced privacy with custom or blurred backgrounds
  • personalized backgrounds
  • students cannot upload custom backgrounds
  • breakout rooms being added; can split large meetings into smaller forums
  • hand raising feature added to identify students who may need help; can ask for help without interrupting the meeting
  • whiteboard to share ideas in real time; with Jam/Meet integration
  • closed captions added
  • noise cancellation so background noise does not interfere (for mobile devices)
  • Teachers can admit "out of domain" viewers
  • automatically adjust video in low light conditions (mobile versions only)
  • support for Internet Explorer 11
  • increased participant limits for all G Suite editions: Enterprise 250, Business 150, Basic 100
  • attendance tracking (in development)
  • Q & A - set up and participate in a Q & A for a meeting; review the questions and answers after the meeting

Report A Problem With Google Meet

Use this page to report problems. Check the heading you need: computer, android, or iPhone/iPad

         Click To Open  

April 2020: New Google Meet Features:

  • Create and join Meets from within Gmail
  • create Meets via Google Calendar
  • see up to 16 Meet participants using Grid View

May 23, 2017: Google Jamboard

  • Don't miss the built in Jamboard Tool (whiteboard) in the Google browser, Chrome.
  • use it like a whiteboard, in real time
  • write, draw, and highlight important information on the board with a suite of tools
  • import images, notes, text from the Web, Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more
  • can use for teaching concepts, having students show their work, collaboration, peer work, etc.
  • can be used by both teachers and students
  • an entire class can collaborate on one jamboard in real time
  • share with entire class or a few students
  • great for revising, editing, concept mapping, representing things visually
  • math students can show their work
  • use for warm up activities (or closure activities) for remote learning
  • can annotate over images that are imported
  • use for digital storytelling, note taking, brainstorming
  • choice of backgrounds - graph paper, lined paper, solid colors
  • all Jams are stored in your Google Drive
  • has full integration with Google Classroom; can make copies for each student
  • great for any age level


Earlier Announcements And Features


Backup and Sync For Files and Photos

September 2017: "Backup and Sync" is a tool to help users backup files and photos from their computers. This way they are accessible from anywhere. GSuite enterprise users will also have an update to their current Drive for Mac/PC, Drive File Stream.

Web Clipboard Being Removed

September 2017: Google will remove the web clipboard feature in Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings. The feature was originally added to improve the copy and paste feature for those browsers that had difficulty with that feature. Now that most browsers allow copy and paste, the feature is being removed from those tools. However, Google is planning enhancements to the traditional copy and paste functionality in Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings.

Group Items Vertically in the "New" Google Sites

June 2017: Users of the "new" Google Sites have requested this feature. Now, you can group objects (images and text, for example) vertically. This allows you to move those "group" together, as a single unit, without having to move each one separately. As an added plus, you can drag them apart easily if you wish to edit the groups.

Team Drives

May 1, 2017: Team Drives are a shared space where teams, committees, groups, etc. can store, search, and access files anywhere, from any device. Team Drives differ from My Drive because the tiles in a Team Drive belong to the team, not one individual. If a team member leaves, the files stay in the Team Drive so the team can continue to work. Team Drives are available in G Suite editions. Members permissions can be customized.

Smart Reply Inbox for Gmail

May 17, 2017: Now, on iOS and Android, Gmail users can use "Smart Reply," which suggests up to three responses based on emails received. Inbox recognizes emails that need responses and suggests quick responses to those emails. The user can choose to send the response or edit it.

Google Cloud Search Now Available for iOS devices

April 11, 2017: Google's Cloud Search, which was available for Android devices and the WEB in February 2017, is now available for iOS devices. There is an iOS app that can be downloaded from the App Store. Cloud Search allows users to search across all their GSuite applications from their iPhones or iPads.

Google Login Page Has New Look

April 10, 2017: Google has a new look to its login screen. The changed is aimed at making the login interface more consistent across different devices, using Google. Plus, the "Stay signed in" checkbox is being removed, which means users will remain signed in, requiring them to opt out

The "New" Google Earth

April 19, 2017, Google announced a new version of Google Earth that does not require installing an application on your device. It will run in the Chrome Browser, and it works on Chromebooks you may have already purchased for your school. You cannot build tours yet, as you can with the "classic" Google Earth, but it has some neat new features including:

  1. a magazine-like appearance with 20,000 pre-made tours of places around the World, both famous and ones you haven't discovered yet
  2. a "Voyager Feature" of interactive guided tours, with brilliant photos
  3. Knowledge Cards which give users information about the site they've searched for, along with nearby related placed
  4. links to related topics the user has searched for; example: search for a particular volcano, and see a list of other volcanoes around the World
  5. a 3D button, which allows you to view places from different angles
  6. much more . .

Lesson Plans Posted In Google Apps For Education

A collection of lesson plans written by Google Certified Teachers and Google Certified Trainers:
- listed by subject area and grade level
- lessons use Google tools

Pleased to say I have two lessons posted on the site:
1) Historical Novel - grades 6 - 12
2) Class Collection of Book Reviews - grades 6 - 8

Read More


Chrome Device Management For GAFE

Chromebook Inventory: Have you seen Andrew Stillman's Add-On for GAFE domains? For use with Chrome device management console licenses. Super-admins can export and bulk update key metadata and organization units.
Read More

Migration Of Older Spreadsheets To New Version Of Sheets

January 30, 2015: Google announced that it will formally start migrating older spreadsheets to the new version of Google Sheets. Older versions are spreadsheets created prior to December 2013.
No action is needed; upgrade is automatic.

Release track:
Rapid release - starting week of Feb 9th.
Scheduled release - starting approximately Feb. 23rd.

VAULT Added To All GAFE Accounts - At No Charge

On Jan. 29, 2015, Google announced that it has added VAULT to all GAFE accounts at NO CHARGE. Existing GAFE accounts, who do not have Vault enabled, will see it added to their accounts.

Release track: Rapid release and Scheduled release
Read More


New Look - GAFE Admin Console

January 27, 2015: GAFE Admin Console is getting a new look and a new design.

1) Put most important controls in front
2) Make common tasks easier to complete

Link For More Information

Google Sheets - Improvements

January 21, 2015: Google Sheets

Google has announced several improvements to Sheets.
1) can lock down all content except a particular cell or range
2) faster set up; can re-use permissions previously chosen on a different set of cells
3) can lock down a sheet or range to a single person, a small number of people, or a group

Updates To Google Classroom

On January 14, 2015, Google released updates to GOOGLE CLASSROOM. Updates were based on feedback from teachers.

There are two new features:
1) a teacher assignment page
2) ability to archive classes

In addition, Google launched a Classroom mobile app for both Android and iOS (available in Google Play).
With the mobile app, users can take photos from the assignment page. Users can also attach images, PDF's and webpages from other apps to their assignments.

Google Classroom Mobile App Launched

January 14, 2015: Google Classroom Mobile App

Google has launched a Classroom mobile app for both Android and iOS. The purpose is to help teachers and students be more collaborative in the classroom, saving paper and time.

New Gmail Feature For iOS Apps

January 13, 2015: Google added Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides to the App Launcher Menu in GAFE domains. This will make navigation easier for people when they are signed into other Google tools.


New Feature To Gmail for iOS Apps

January 9, 2015: For organizations using GAFE, Google has added a feature to the Gmail iOS App. When using the search box in Gmail, users will see query suggestions in a drop down box. This will save time when searching emails.


Google Classroom Updates

January 14, 2015 - Google released updates to Google Classroom this week. Updates were based on feedback from teachers.

There are two new features:
1) a teacher assignment page
2) ability to archive classes

In addition, Google launched a Classroom mobile app for both Android and iOS (available in Google Play).
With the mobile app, users can take photos from the assignment page. Users can also attach images, PDF's
and webpages from other apps to their assignments.

Check it out here

Gmail Has New Setup Gadget For New Users

July 18, 2014: Gmail has a new "setup" gadget to help new users learn the interface and get started. The gadget is customized for Google Apps and helps users set up their Gmail accounts. Actions in the gadget include things such as adding a profile picture, creating an email signature, creating auto responders, and using features such as undo.

The setup gadget is hidden once the user completes all the actions. The gadget can be relaunched from the Settings Menu.

Changes to URL's Pointing To Google DRIVE

July 17, 2014: Currently, there are two URLs users can use to reach Google DRIVE.

Google has introduced new home screens for Docs, Sheets, and Slides, and has announced that it will be re-directing to point to the new Docs Homescreen - Google suggests that users update their bookmarks.

GAFE Administrators - New Options For User Profiles

July 11, 2014: When adding users to domains, administrators now have the option to add and manage contact information on user profiles. Examples of this are: secondary email addresses, phone numbers, address information, ID numbers, titles, departments, etc. The data entered will be visible on user profiles in the Admin Console and Gmail Contacts.

New Mobile Apps For Docs and Sheets

April 30, 2014: As of April 30th, there are stand alone apps for Docs and Sheets. Slides will be next.
You can use them offline - view, edit, and create files without being on the WEB.

Add-On Feature in Docs and Sheets

April 1, 2014: There is a new add-on feature in Docs and Sheets. You can see the Add-On feature in the menu of an open doc.
Click on it to browse through choices. Once you install an add-on, it will be available across all of your documents or spreadsheets.

Please note: GAFE administrators can disable add-ons through the DRIVE Settings in the Admin Console.

Edit Images In Google Slides And Drawings.

March 26, 2014: Users can now edit images in both Slides and Drawings.
Editing features include: crop, apply shape masks, and borders.

Google Calendar Events - Have Hangout Video Call Link

March 26, 2014: New Calendar events now have a Hangouts video call link. The link is added automatically to save time and eliminate the need for event creators
to add the Hangouts link manually. This will be beneficial if the event creator forgets to supply the link for users.

You will also be able to add names to Hangouts video links to make it easier for people to join the video call.
Note: The Hangout creator must have an active Google + profile for this to work.

For GAFE and GAFB accounts, admins can disable this features through Calendar Settings in the Admin Console.

New Google SHEETS Has Replaced The Older Version

March 21, 2014: Starting today, the new Google SHEETS is now the default, which is faster and can support larger spreadsheets. Google Apps domains will start to see the release soon. If domains are on "rapid release," they will see the change over the next few weeks. Any spreadsheets created after the upgrade is complete, will be using the new version. Users may opt-out through the settings menu in Sheets.

Google Adds 100% Encrypted HTTPS Connections

March 20, 2014: Starting today, Gmail will always use an encrypted HTTPS connection when users check or send email. Gmail has supported https since it was launched in 2010. The change started today means that others cannot "listen in" on emails between your computers, mobile device, smartphone, etc. and Google servers. The importance of this is that this encryption is in place even if you're using a public WiFi or your home connection.

Add-Ons for Docs and Sheets

March 11, 2014: Google has launched "Add-Ons" for both Docs and Sheets. This allows users to access new tools created by Google developer partners. The tools give users more features in documents and spreadsheets. You can see which add-ons are available when you are working on any doc or sheet. A "Get Add-Ons" item can be seen in the "Add-Ons" menu at the top. Click to browse available add ons, and install them. Once installed, the add-ons will be available in all your documents and spreadsheets. Add-ons for sheets are ONLY available in the new version of Google Sheets.

Please note: In Google Apps domains, the administrator must enable add-ons through the Drive settings in the Admin Console.

Changes In Gmail

February 25, 2014: The Gmail advanced search box now has an option to search emails by size. Click on the down arrow in the search box.

Google Apps - Reminder About Signing Out

February 16, 2014: Reminder, especially for students. The "Stay Signed In" checkbox is selected by default. Users who want to sign out of Google Apps automatically when the browser is closed, must deselect the checkbox. If there is a check in the box, the user will be still signed in for two weeks or until de-selecting the checkbox. Encourage students to look in the top, right corner of the window to see if they are still signed in.

Google "End Of Life Chart" For Chromebooks

February 14, 2014: There is a point at which Chromebooks are considered to be older devices, and no longer receives full support from Google Enterprise team.
Updates will no longer be pushed out to the devices.

Google states, ". . . advances in hardware and technology eventually make devices out-of-date, and as time goes by, we can no longer provide updates to leverage new OS features." Updates are not "guaranteed" past their EOL dates. (You might want to read the page).

This can be significant for those of you who have purchased Chromebooks for your schools and manage them through the control panel. Google also states that when a model is considered obsolete, it will no longer receive full support, and you may find that devices cannot be managed via the admin control panel. It also says you may not be able to use new management features released.

Here's the link

New Activity Stream in Google DRIVE

January 31, 2014: Google has added an activity stream to DRIVE. Click the, "Details and Activity" button in the top, right corner of the DRIVE Window to show the stream. The stream will show who has taken action on files and folders in MY DRIVE. Users will also see what collaborators are doing such as editing, commenting on notes, adding spreadsheets, renaming files, etc.

Bonus: Select a specific file or folder, and the stream will indicate specific information about that item.

Login Screen For Domains - Change

January 22, 2014: Google announced that it would be changing the login screen for domains last November. Over the next four weeks, starting on January 22nd, domains will be using a new login method. The goal is to have a consistent look as users login to any of the Google Apps services. Example: The sign-in page for Calendar or Drive will look the same as the sign-in page for Gmail or any other Google Apps service. Google says this will improve security and make it easier for users to switch between accounts.

The Google Apps login page can no longer be personalized with colors and custom logos.
Domains will have the same look across all Google login pages
Users will have to login with their full email addresses
For SSO domains with a network mask, users will be presented with the new Google sign-in page when the login from outside the SSO network mask.
This change does not affect domains without a network mask.

View And Save Gmail Attachments Directly In Drive

November 13, 2013: Google is about to roll out a new feature in Gmail. You can view attachments and save files directly to Google Drive without leaving Gmail. Users will see previews of the files at the bottom of emails. A Drive button will appear in the preview. Just click the button, and the file is saved to the user's Drive.

End Of Support For Internet Explorer 9

November 5, 2013: Google has announced that it will support the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. Each time a new version of these browsers is released, Google will begin supporting the update and stop supporting the 3rd oldest version. Google's test plans have been adjusted to stop all testing and engineering work related to Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) since Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) was released on October 17, 2013. End users who access Gmail and other Google Apps services from an unsupported browser will be notified within the next few weeks through "in-product notification" messages, with directions for upgrading.

New Version Of The Google Bar

October 30, 2013: Google has a new version of the Google bar for Google Apps users. It is designed to be simpler and more consistent with Android and Chrome OS. It included notifications, a Google+ share box (if Google+ is enabled), and a new App Launcher with links to other Google products. Google services that are not enabled will not be shown in the Google App Launcher. Marketplace apps will be listed under the More section in the App Launcher.

Share Docs, Slides, and Drawings With People Who do Not Have Google Accounts

October 20, 2013: Files can be shared (by Google account users) as "view only" outside domains with those who do not have Google accounts. From within a GAFE account, your users can share Docs, Slides, and Drawings to email addresses not linked to an existing Google account. The files are "view only." If the receiving person wishes to be able to edit the file, he/she must sign in with a Google Account in order to edit or comment.

Note: Google Apps administrators can prevent this by disabling sharing outside the domain to people who are not using a Google account (Admin Console setting).

Google Apps - Monitor User Logins, Storage, & Apps Usage

October 1, 2013: Google has added new features to the Admin SDK Reports API to easily visualize Google Apps usage and security in domains.
New features include:

  • Security reports - monitor successful, failed, and suspicious logins to your domain
  • Authorized applications - view a list of 3rd party applications that users, in your domain, share data with.
  • Usage reports - view user-level quota usage

Google Calendar - Delete Button Moved To New Position

June 20, 2013: Google Calendar - The delete calendar button has been moved to a different place. It used to be under "Settings --> Calendars," but it is now located in the "Calendar Details" page for each calendar. Look on the sidebar for the "Delete Calendar" topic. There's a link to permanently remove the calendar. Or, use a shortcut method. On the main Calendar page, click the arrow next to the name of the calendar you wish to delete. Choose "Calendar Settings."

    • Google made this change because the delete button was too close to the unsubscribe button,
      and users were deleting calendars by mistake.
    • The change is being rolled out the week of June 20, 2013 for rapid release domains
    • Scheduled release domains will be updated soon.

Google Sites - Improved Access For Themes, Colors, and Fonts

June 18, 2013: Google Sites reorganized some of the settings for themes, colors, and fonts. They are easier to access, and the previous text size limitation in the horizontal navigation interface is gone. This does not affect existing Sites pages and templates. You can always see what your site page will look like by clicking the "Preview" button near the top (or the Preview link below each theme).

Google Apps Domains - Google Storage Quota Combined

May 28, 2013: Google has a new storage allowance for Gmail and Drive that is now combined. Before, Gmail had a 25 gig limit and Drive
had a 5 gig limit. Instead of being separate, they are now combined with a single 30 gig total that covers: Gmail, Drive, and Google+ photos.

Effects of this change:

    • Each user will have a total of 30 gigs of storage that can be used across Gmail, Drive, and Google+ photos.
    • Users who may have needed extra storage under the old plan, may not need it now. Example: A user may have used up the Gmail limit, but will not need to upgrade to extra storage because he/she can expand within the new 30 gig limit
    • Gmail Inbox is no longer limited to 25 gigs, and users can purchase up to 16TB of email storage licenses
    • Files created in Docs, Sheets, Slides, and photos smaller than 2048px will not count against storage quotas.

Rapid release will roll out to domains on May 28, 2013. Scheduled release will roll out on June 11, 2013.

Google Apps Has New Look For The Administrative Dashboard

May 17, 2013: Google recently announced that it has a new design for the administrative dashboard/console within Google Apps Accounts. The purpose is to make it easier to manage users, services, and devices within your Google Apps domain. Google is phasing in the new dashboard. New Google Apps customers will receive the new interface immediately. Existing Google Apps customers will transition from mid-May onwards. Administrators can still do the same tasks as before, but the console will have a "cleaner" look, will be easier to navigate, and administrators can customize their workflows.

Gmail: Compose And Reply Feature Change

April 16, 2013: Google will add some redesigned features to Gmail. Compose and Reply will be enabled by default. The purpose is to save the user time, allowing them to reference other emails while composing a new email. Users will not have to close the email draft to search other emails or check on whether new emails have arrived. The Compose Window can also be minimized to finish later. The Reply Window has been designed to fit better inline, taking up less vertical height. Users will also notice that when adding recipients to emails, profile pictures of contacts in autocomplete show up, making it easier to find the right person.

Google Keep

March 21, 2013: Google released a new Android app. It allows you to save ideas and organize to do lists as things happen.
Users can create notes, lists, photos, and voice recordings from their phones. Notes can be accessed and edited via browsers
at Users will also be able to do the same from Google Drive

Google Drive - Menu Change

February 6, 2013: Google has changed the way the CREATE Menu looks in DRIVE. The purpose is to allow for easier access to DRIVE apps and third party apps. You will now see FOLDERS at the top of the menu, allowing you to create a new folder, and the name is no longer COLLECTIONS.
Note also that the access to the Template Gallery is no longer in this menu. To access the Template Gallery, use File > New > From Template, from within Docs, Sheets, or Slides. This change affects: Google Apps For Education, Google Apps For Business,
and Google Apps For Government.

Recognize Domain Profiles With Google+ Labels

When using Google+ with your organization, users can recognize other users/profiles from your organization by small profile labels that indicate a Google Apps user's domain. This allows users in your organization to distinguish profiles inside your domain from profiles outside your domain. The labels are confidential and will only be seen by other users in your domain. This helps users when they are sharing content and they have more than one profile. The small icon helps the user choose the correct profile when sharing.

Google Docs Export Format Change

January 31, 2013: Google has added the ability to export Google documents to the newer Microsoft Office formats that rely on open standards (.docx, .xlsx., .pptx). Google will be focusing on exporting to these newer open formats rather than the older proprietary Office formats (.doc, .xls, .ppt). The older formats were used in Office 97-2003. This affects Google Apps, Google Apps For Education, Business, and Government. Release Track: scheduled

Google Presentation - Create, View, and Edit Offline

January 31, 2013: Google Presentation has new features. Users can create, view, and edit presentations without an Internet connection, with Google Slides offline.
You need to have enabled offline editing of Docs and Sheets. Offline access to presentations is only available in Chrome and on Chrome OS devices.

Google Forms Have New Features And More To Be Added

January 30, 2013, Google Forms have some new features. The interface is different, and one of the cool features is that you can copy and paste a bulleted list directly into the Form. No need to type each line separately. The bulleted lists can be from a document or spreadsheet.
You can also collaborate with others in real time.

You can also "send" to a new spreadsheet or add to an existing one right from within the Form. There's a link at the top called, "Choose Response Destination." And, you can export to a CSV file.
Google will be adding more features this week too.

Google + Now Available For All EDU Domains, Including K-12

November 15, 2012, Google announced that Google+ is available to all EDU domains. That includes K-12 now too. Google + can be enabled as an additional service using the administrative dashboard. Administrators can enable Google+ for the entire domain or selected sub-organizations within the domain. There are a few things to consider before enabling the feature. You may find the following links helpful
1) Official Announcement
2) How To Enable And Disable
3) Some Considerations

Google Cultural Institute Website

October 2012: There is a new education resource from Google called, "Google Cultural Institute Website." The theme is history, and there are 42 online exhibits that tell the stories behind major historical events of the last century. Examples: Apartheid, D-Day, the Holocaust. Google has partnered with seventeen museums and organizations to offer this new website - a great resource for teaching and learning.

Google Drive - New Cloud Storage Product For Mac and PC and Mobile Devices

April 24, 2012 - Google announced "Google Drive," a cloud storage product that allows users to sync files among all of their devices and access them from any of those devices. Users can use "My Drive" to organize all of their files, folders, and Google Docs, and they can share files with others and edit them from any device. To enable the service, "Google Drive" must be installed (found at The installer adds a folder to the computer's desktop. That folder syncs with Google Drive. Users' files can be accessed through WEB browsers, the Google Drive client, and the Google Drive mobile app.

1) Google Drive Installer
2) Google Drive for iPhone and iPad
3) Get more Google Drive Apps For Mobile Devices
4) Android Phones and Tablets

New Gmail Features With Google+

As of April 23, 2012, there are new features in Google+:

1) Users can share YouTube videos and inline images in Gmail messages with one click.
2) Users can add Google+ users to Circles directly from Gmail messages
3) There is a new People Widget in the upper, right hand corner which shows the last three images a contact has sent. If you click on the image,
it takes you directly to the email message the image was sent from.

New Dashboard Features: Administrators Can Disable Forwarding Of Gmail

Released on April 18, 2012: By default, Gmail allows users to automatically forward incoming mail to another address. Administrators can now disable forwarding of Gmail. This also prevents users from setting up automatic Gmail forwarding. This is now available in both Google Apps For Education and Google Apps For Business.

Discontinued Support For Mobile Browsers That Do Not Support Cookies

Starting May 1, 2012, Google will no longer support mobile browsers that do not support authentication cookies for signing in to Google services. (This typically only affects older generation mobile browsers.) When users sign in with username and passwords, the mobile browser receives an authentication token, which is stored as a cookie. If your mobile browser does not support cookies, you will only be able to use Google services that do not require user logins such as Search and Maps. If your mobile device is affected, you will see an alert message.

Google Menu Bar In GAFE - New Look

Google has a new look to the Menu Bar at the top of the window in all the Google tools. It's a different design, with a black background, and is intended to make a more consistent experience as users navigate to different services and tools. There is now a similar search box in the various tools, right under the Menu Bar.
Additional links have been added to the Menu Bar, which moves some of the more popular ones from the drop-down menu.

1) In Google Apps For Education, services that have been disabled by administrators for their domains will not appear in the menu. Those services that do not have
on/off settings in the dashboard will appear. Services such as Search and Images will always appear.
2) When services are turned off for a domain, other services move to the top level of the Google bar or to a higher position in the More drop-down menu.

Google+ Integration Features

As of April 3, 2012, Google+ allows users to manage contacts more efficiently in Gmail. Users can:
- see user details in a box on the right side
- sort Gmail messages and Contacts by Circles
- share images from Gmail messages to Google+
- see details from contact lists when viewing someone else's Google+ profile

Also, Google+ contact information is automatically updated for users in shared circles.

Gmail's New Look Now Default

As of March 27, 2012, Gmail's new look is permanent. Before, users had the opportunity to opt out of the new look. That link has been removed, and users who chose to opt out previously will be moved to the new look of gmail. For those using Google Apps For Education, the release track is "rapid" and "scheduled."

Spam Gmail - See Why Messages Marked As Spam

As of March 20, 2012, Gmail messages marked as Spam will now tell why the message was flagged. Plus, users can learn about potentially harmful content within those messages.

New Look In Calendar Now Default For Domains

February 7, 2012: Google Calendar has a new interface, which is now the default look for all Google Apps domains. This brings Calendar more in line with the other Google tools, in order to give users a more consistent experience as they go from one tool to another.

Some of the new features are:
1) Quick Add - has been moved under the CREATE Button
2) Calendars listed under MY CALENDAR and OTHER CALENDARS no longer have colored backgrounds. The arrows next to the names of
     the calendars will have colors.
3) The calendars listed in the left sidebar are collapsed (by default). They can be expanded by clicking on the small gray arrows.
4) PRINT and REFRESH buttons are now icons, not links.
5) Release Track: Rapid and Scheduled

You can give Google feedback on changes using this online FORM.

Google Docs - Offline Access Now Available

February 1, 2012: any file in Google Docs can now be available to you "offline." This means that whether you're online or not, files are accessible to you.
Google Docs automatically updates the files when you are connected to the WEB. You can also manually update them by clicking on "update" in the Offline Section of the app.

Android tablet users have an added feature. When viewing a Doc on the Android, you will see a high resolution version of the document.
To change pages, swipe left or right. You can also use the slider at the bottom to navigate through pages quickly.

Google In Education - New Resources Launched

Google launched three new resources on January 26, 2012. The "Google In Education" website has a new look and design.
You'll see specific links for teachers, organizations, and students. And, each topic has sub-categories. There's even a page for
some of the latest news about Google's work in education and a calendar of events.

GAFE Schools - Additional Google + Integration with Gmail

December 25, 2011: If your district has enabled Google+ within GAFE, and if users have activated their profiles, the following features are now available for
Gmail accounts:

1) If someone with a Google+ account sends you an email, they can be added to your CIRCLES.
2) The PEOPLE WIDGET will show recent Google+ posts from the sender.
3) If you receive an email with an attached image, you can also share it to Google+ directly from your INBOX. Attached images will upload to     your Google+ account and will only be viewable to the CIRCLES you choose to share them with. (You can still view or download images.)
4) Email can now FILTER by CIRCLES. CIRCLES are shown as LABELS in the NAVIGATION BAR. Users can choose to show messages     received by members of that CIRCLE.
5) CIRCLE names can also be configured to show in your email INBOX.

Google Docs & Spreadsheet - New Look Now Permanent

Google announced on Dec. 16, 2011, that the new interface look for Docs, Spreadsheet, and Sites is now permanent. Prior to this, users had the option of using the "classic" look. GAFE domains may wish to alert their staff and students to the change.

Some of the new features in the new interface include:

1) Some options moved under the FILE MENU such as "publish to a webpage" and "email collaborators."
2) Clicking the SHARE BUTTON now shows the visibility state of a Doc when user does a mouse over of the doc.
3) The SAVE button has been removed in DOCS. Google says it's because Docs automatically saves your work. Users can still revert back to earlier versions of a
document by using REVISION HISTORY.
4) The LAST UPDATED TIME is now near the menu bar.
5) There is now a BACK ARROW that allows users to navigate from an open DOC back to the DOCUMENTS LIST. Hover the mouse near the document's title,
and a back arrow appears.

Drawing Feature in gmail For iOS devices

December 2011: Google added some updates to the gmail app for iOS devices. One of the newest features is the ability to add line drawings to emails. Gmail now supports line drawings, including colors, line width sizes, spray can, and there's even an eraser.

Some other changes include:

1) Users can now customize signatures when sending email from a mobile device.
2) They can also access and edit vacation responders.
3) There is a new notification sound for incoming mail in iOS 5 to more easily recognize incoming mail.
4) Labels have been improved, including support for nested labels.

Google Docs Adds "Stock Photos" As a Choice

December 25, 2011: Google has added another choice for inserting images to Docs, Presentations, and Spreadsheets. Use the usual INSERT --> IMAGE command in Docs, and you'll notice another choice in the left sidebar. Click on "Stock Photos," and use the search box. (See two images attached). This works in Docs, Presentation, and Spreadsheet. You will need to be using the new version of Presentation though. Students don't need to leave the documents they are working on to access these stock photos. Although some of your searches may not render images you are looking for, there are a number that work such as: birds, names of specific animals (rabbits, wolf, lion), United States, rivers, George Washington, etc.

Try it out. If you find some keywords that render good results, please post them to the thread in the East K-12 User Group under, "Stock Photos In Google Docs" so others may benefit.

New Look For Gmail

December 10, 2011: Google is changing the way Gmail looks. When users access their Gmail accounts, they will see a new interface. Users may still postpone the "new look" for now, but Google has announced that the new look will be permanent within a few weeks.

If you are a Google Apps administrator, you can use the, "One-time switch in the control panel" to have the interface change for all the users in your domain. That way you can determine when you will offer the new look throughout the domain so that all users have the same experience.

Learn more by viewing the attached PDF file.

GAFE - Changes In Calendar Sharing Settings, December 10, 2011

December 10, 2011: Google has made some recent changes in Google Apps For Education, Business, and Government. The "Sharing Settings" in the administrative control panel now affect secondary and resource calendars as well as primary calendars. If there is a secondary calendar embedded in a site, you may need to modify the settings to ensure that the calendar is still visible or has the sharing settings you chose.

You can read more in "Set Calendar Sharing Options,"
Or, download the attached PDF file.

Education and Business Domains Can Have Scheduled Release Tracks

December 1, 2011: Google Apps For Education and Google Apps For Business can choose to release new features for their users in one of two ways:

1) Rapid Release - New features are available to users within your domain as soon as Google releases them.
2) Scheduled Release - New features are available one to two weeks after Google releases them, which allows schools to learn about the new features, train staff,
and introduce them.

Where can you find this? In Dashboard, go to "Domain Settings," and look for "Choose how to release new features".
See illustrations below.

Google Maps - Fly Over Your Route in 3D

October 4, 2011: Google Maps has a new feature as of October 2011. You can now "fly over" your route and see landmarks, roads, topography, and more. You get an aerial view of the route, along with 3D features. This will work with driving, transit, walking, and biking routes you plot. Click the "3D Button" under "Get Directions." You can even pause the fly over and zoom in to get a better look. When done, click the play button to continue.
Note: You will need to have the Google Earth plugin installed in your browser. Posted 10/4/11

Google "SITE Operator"

July 13, 2011: You can tell Google to search a specific website by using "SITE OPERATOR." This tells Google not to harvest the information from other sites by limiting the search to the site you specify. Just type your search term and the SITE Operator into the search box.

Here are a few examples:

1) Paul Revere
2) MLA
3) 1099 Form

Google Docs - Preview Tip

May 30, 2011: You can get a "Print Preview" in Docs to see how your document will look if you choose to print it.
You can also see how many pages your document is.
Choose: File --> Print Preview

Google Search Tip – Search For Websites More Appropriate For Your Students’
Reading Levels

May 22, 2011: Want to find webpages appropriate for the reading level of your students? Google has added a feature to Google Search. You can have webpages labeled as, “Basic,” “Intermediate,” or “Advanced.” Click on “Advanced Search,” and use the drop down menu next to “Reading Level.” And, you can teach your students to use the same feature as they search the WEB for information - helps them find more appropriate reading levels.

Note: You can always “undo” this choice.

Gmail Tip - "Mute"

May 22, 2011: You can “ignore” certain emails if your InBox is getting too much mail. Under “More Actions,” choose, “Mute,” and new messages will bypass your InBox. You won’t lose the messages. They will be archived. This feature can be helpful when you are getting several emails on a thread.

Google DOCS Tip

May 22, 2011: Did you know you can upload folders as well as files in Google DOCS? Plus, there are many files types Google accepts. And, now you can drag and drop files from your desktop to the DOCS window. You have three choices for uploading files to DOCS:
 1) Click the upload button and choose “Files”
 2) Click the upload button and choose “Basic”
 3) Drag and drop directly from your desktop

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