5 Updates to Google Apps You Need to Know This Spring

April 18, 2016 Jiordan Castle

  1. Google Forms got a makeover… and more. Google Forms got a new look and feel last September and has only gotten better with age. Now, users can use add-ons (like Form Publisher and g(Math) for Forms — both available in the Chrome Web Store), edit scripts in the new Forms editor, and even view individual survey responses. Another new feature I love: users can get Forms to send them an email notification whenever someone fills out a form. (Note: you can enable the capability in the settings menu in the particular form, but the default is set to off.)
  1. More transparent (read: efficient) sharing in Google Drive. Google Drive is a treasure trove of collaboration tools, but the sharing settings haven’t always been the easiest to navigate or update. But now if you want to see who’s been given which permissions in a shared folder in Drive, you need only hover over the new “people icon,” and you’ll see the faces, names, email addresses, and permissions of everyone with whom the folder’s been shared.goog1
  1. Issue commands in Google Docs using voice typing. Voice Goog2commands in Google Docs, while enticing, were only ever useful for bulleted lists or taking quick notes; not ideal for people in need of proper formatting. Now you can pause and reissue commands as needed, and more easily do what you really need to: format text by saying things like “select [margherita pizza]” and then “bold.” (Here’s more help with voice typing in Docs.)
  1. Google for Work Connect — Google’s community specifically for Google admins. Google users stand adamantly behind Google Apps because they’re intuitively designed. If you’re a Google Apps admin, it gets even better. Google for Work Connect (GWC) is a community for Google Apps admins to discuss best practices, post questions, engage with peers, and even interact with Googlers. Aside from its social capabilities, it also makes it easier for admins to keep up with launch announcements, product updates, and user guides.
  1. Google Reminders have arrived on the web. Back in January, I told you about the wonders of Google Reminders for Android and iOS users. Finally, Reminders have made it to the web — complete with the ability to sync across all things Google that support them. (Meaning that if you create a reminder in Calendar, you’ll see it in Inbox, and vice versa.)

Bonus update for all the Google Photos fans out there! Like Google Photos? Here’s a new feature that’s equal parts fun and impressive: the ability to search using emoji. Google Photos users have already come to know the extent of its image recognition skills, but searching with emoji clearly takes it to the next level. Search ? and voilà — you’ll see all the photos you’ve ever taken of nature’s most perfect food: pizza.

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