Blog

June 3rd, 2014

googleapps_June2_CYou don’t have to be a photographer to enjoy sharing photos and videos. In fact, aside from personal family memories, you might also want to keep a photographic archive for your business. This could include shots of important corporate events which could be shown to customers or used to train employees in the future. Google has recently impressed with the introduction of Google+ Stories and Movies, a Web application that turns your photos and videos into a travelogue style. The question is what can the this app do and how does it work.

Google+ Stories is a mobile Web application which automatically weaves your photos, videos and places you’ve visited through Google+ into a stunning montage when you use the auto upload and backup feature. No more sifting through photos for the best shots or racking your brain for the sights you saw, Google+ Stories will automatically do away with out-of-focus images and use geo-tags to figure out where each picture was taken.

The next time you unpack after a trip, Google+ Stories will do all the work to help tell your story. Whether you’re looking to create a personal memoir or a business story about the development of your latest product, Google+ Stories is equipped for the task.

The Google+ Movies feature automatically produces a highlight reel of your photos and videos, including effects, transitions, and even a soundtrack. You can now tell the tale of your business or create a promo video for a product or service yourself. Google+ Movies adds the finishing touches that your videos may lack.

Both Web applications are available for Android and the Web, but as of the writing of this article, iOS users will have to wait a little longer.

How to use Google+ Stories and Movies:

  1. If you don’t have a Gmail account you must first create one.
  2. For those with a Gmail account, visit here and click on Upgrade.
  3. Download Google+ Auto Backup here and click on Preferences to turn Auto Backup on so that your photos can be synced automatically from your computer. Note that Auto Backup is available for desktop on both Windows and Mac as well as on Android and iOS mobile devices.
  4. Back up your photos and videos to Google+.
When your Google+ photos and videos match certain criteria, Auto Awesome copies them, leaving the original file intact and creating another version of your photos and videos made with add-ons like wide-screen panoramas or even short animations.You’ll get a notification when a story or movie is ready.

You can also create your own visual account by:

  1. Uploading photos and videos onto Google+ by hovering over the Home menu on the upper left corner and clicking on Photos.
  2. Clicking on Upload photos on the navigation panel and clicking Share.
Backing up photos to the cloud is now becoming essential for many. With Google+ Stories and Movies, it’s even easier to bring corporate and personal moments to life. Interested in learning more about using Google’s products and services in your business? Call us today for a chat.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Google Apps
May 7th, 2014

GoogleApps_May06_CGmail continuously add exciting features that you often can’t find with other email hosts. Have you heard about the Undo Send feature? It gives a short time delay in email delivery which gives you some time to rethink and retrieve less than perfect emails. The steps on how to achieve this are outlined in this article.

In this modern day and age, we all lean towards anything that gets the job done faster; like email as opposed to snail mail. Email is a widely-used form of business correspondence which explains why most email hosts are continuously adding exciting features like chat, theme customization, file sharing, and even the ability to unsend or recall emails. We all hate that moment when the Send button suddenly becomes a magic portal for instantly spotting typos and mistakes we may have overlooked or errors that we never thought were there in the first place.

It is extremely important to practice business email etiquette because these messages represent you and your business, and the recipient can form an opinion of you from a single email. We all want to give the impression of credibility and not send the wrong information or message. Gmail gives users a second chance with the easy to setup Undo Send feature.

The Undo Send feature gives the sender a chance to retrieve or recall an erroneous email at an allotted duration. The default duration is 10 seconds but you may choose to customize it up to 30 seconds. An undo link appears after hitting the Send button so if you forgot to include an attachment, notice an error, or simply change your mind about sending an email, you can click the link and the email won’t be sent until you prompt it to.

How do I set up the Undo Send feature?

  1. Sign in to your Gmail account.
  2. Click the gear icon. The gear icon is the pinwheel-like icon found in the upper right corner of your Inbox.
  3. Select Settings followed by Labs.
  4. Scroll down to the Undo Send feature.
  5. Click the Enable button to activate the feature.
  6. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Save Changes.
You should now see an Undo link at the top of your Inbox every time you hit the Send button. Clicking the Undo link will reopen the compose window so that you can edit or delete your message.

How do I customize the duration of the Undo Send feature?

  1. Click the gear icon in the upper right corner of your Inbox.
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Select General from the top row of options.
  4. Look for the Undo Send section.
  5. Click the drop down box, you may select 5, 10, 20 or 30 seconds.
  6. Don’t forget to scroll down and click Save Changes.
  7. Now, you’re all set!
It pays to always review any form of correspondence before hitting the Send button. You may find it easier if you get into the habit of reading through your message and also having a checklist in place for every email. Ask yourself what you want to communicate and whether you have included this information. Then:
  • Check that you have included all the relevant information and no extra details that are not necessary.
  • Double-check the recipient fields such as whether you have the correct address and whether you need to CC anyone else.
  • Check the subject line matches the message and,
  • Finally, check that you have added any attachments.
The ability to compose an error-free, well-worded email is fast-becoming a valuable business asset and the Undo Send feature gives you precious extra seconds to retrieve a potentially disastrous email. Never underestimate the power of a single second as it could save you from messing up a business deal with your suppliers and customers. If you need more than 30 seconds or wish to schedule email delivery at a later date, we may be able to help with a solution, so get in touch to find out more.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Google Apps
November 13th, 2013

2013Nov13_GoogleApps_CFor businesses who use Google's Apps, the Internet browser is one of the more important programs you will need to have installed. It is how you will access most of the Apps you use after all. Some businesses prefer to use Internet Explorer (IE), and at the moment you can access Google Apps using this browser. However, Google made a recent announcement regarding support for older versions of IE that you might want to take note of.

In early November, Google announced that they will be discontinuing support for users who access Google Apps on older versions of Internet Explorer (IE).

The announcement

The current version of IE is 11, which was introduced with the recent Windows 8.1 update. However, many companies that use IE are still using version 9, which came out in 2011. Google has announced that they will be ending support for IE 9.

What this means is that users of IE 9 may no longer be able to access the full versions of Google Apps. For example, instead of opening Gmail you will be redirected to the HTML (most basic) version, or calendars will be displayed in read-only mode, not allowing you to create or edit new entries.

This is an important development to respond to if your business hasn't updated to newer versions of the IE browser. You could find yourself unable to access Google Apps, which could create problems, particularly if your company relies on them to operate on an everyday level.

What should I do?

If you are using an older version of IE, the first change you are going to have to make is to update your browser. When you log into a Google App you should see a message come up instructing you about the impending cessation of support and how you should go about upgrading.

Before you press the update button however, check with an IT partner or your IT department to ensure that the update can be installed with minimal or no problems. Most users should see little to no difference but there is always a chance of something not working, especially if you use older software.

It is recommended that you  find out if other computers in your company need to be updated too. If you are unsure as to what version of IE you are running you can find out by:

  1. Opening Internet Explorer.

  2. Pressing Ctrl+H and selecting About Internet Explorer.

To inform yourself about Google's browser support policy check out this page here for more information. In general, Google supports the latest versions of Chrome, which automatically updates, and the current and previous major versions of FireFox and Safari. For IE, Google supports the three latest versions.

To learn more about Google Apps and services and how they can fit into your organization, or if you have questions about updating any software, please contact us today.


Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Google Apps
August 28th, 2012

Microsoft dominates the office market, with over 97% of computers in office environments using some form of Windows. One essential component that’s used in all businesses is Microsoft’s email program Outlook. Many employees have gotten used to and rely on it. The problem with Outlook is that it can be expensive to maintain, so companies are looking to solutions like Google’s Gmail. This can be met with stiff resistance, but there’s a way to have your cake and eat it too.

If you have employees who are reluctant to switch from Outlook to Gmail, there is a way to use the Gmail platform with the familiarity of Outlook through a feature Google calls Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook. Here’s how you can set it up. Note: you need to be a Google Apps Administrator for this to work.

  1. Log in to your Google account and navigate to your Dashboard. From there go to the Settings tab (located on the bar going across the top of the window) and click Email (located on the left of the window). Under the General tab scroll down and tick the box that says Enable Google Apps Sync and Google Apps Connector for my users.
  2. Scroll down to User email uploads and tick the box that says Allow users to upload mail using the Email Migration API. This will allow users to upload their profiles from Outlook.
  3. Select Contacts from the left side of the screen and select Enable contact sharing.
  4. Click the Dashboard tab from the top of the window, and select Your Google Apps and ensure that Google Calendar is on.
  5. Navigate to Domain Settings, the tab is at the top of the window, select User Settings and check the box that says Enable provisioning API.
  6. Download and install the Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Office tool. It should run automatically.
  7. Sign in to Google Apps Sync and select which data is to be merged from Outlook into Gmail and press Create profile. A screen will pop up asking you to open Outlook. When you do, the migration will then start.
  8. While the migration is in progress, which could take a while, right click on the Google Sync icon on the bottom right of your screen (beside the clock) and select Set calendars to sync. Select the calendars and hit Ok.
After the sync is complete, your employees will be able to continue to use Outlook to compose and send emails. Outlook will also sync with Gmail. If you have any questions about the syncing process please contact us.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Google Apps
August 15th, 2012

Maslow's hierarchy of needs illustrates the five levels of needs that humans need to be content. This pyramid was developed before the introduction of the Internet; it should now be updated to just three levels: psychological, safety and the Internet. Google agrees, and has introduced its own super fast Internet connection that should allow you to fulfill all your Internet needs.

In late July Google introduced its new Internet and TV service, Google Fiber and Google Fiber TV. The service aims to bring 1-gigabit Internet connections (1,000 megabits) and fiber optic TV services to customers, while simultaneously encouraging current Internet and TV providers to adopt faster and better Internet connections at lower prices. As of the last week of July, residents in Kansas City could sign up for the service, which is currently under construction. Service connection is expected by summer of 2013.

A gigabit Internet connection is the fastest Internet connection currently available in the United States, and most countries for that matter. For small businesses this will essentially make anything related to the Internet up to 100X faster, and you’ll also be able to communicate with clients and other businesses using HD video, or operate in the cloud with no connection interruptions.

Currently the service is only available in the Kansas City metropolitan area, but Google has stated that if the project is successful, they would like to roll it out in other cities. With the launch, Google is offering three packages:

  1. Gigabit and Fiber TV. The first package includes both the gigabit connection and Fiber TV. Fiber TV offers all the regular broadcast channels along with television shows on demand and Fiber TV specific channels. The Internet connection comes with no data cap - download as much as you want - and 1 terabyte of storage on Google Drive. The cost for the service is USD$120 a month.
  2. Gigabit Internet. Users who don’t want to sign up for TV can sign up just for the gigabit Internet connection. As with the first package, there is no data cap and you will also get 1 terabyte of storage on Google Drive. This package will cost USD$70 a month.
  3. Introductory. This package is for users who don’t have a broadband connection. For $300 for the first year, and free for the next six, you get a 5 megabit connection.
Each package costs USD$300 to connect on top of the monthly price, except for the third package. For the third package, Google is allowing users to pay the connection fee on a monthly basis over one year - USD$25 a month.

While this service is only in Kansas city for the time being, it’s a high possibility that Google will expand the service across North America in the near future. If this is successful, it will be guaranteed that small businesses will see Internet providers introduce plans with super fast speeds at incredibly affordable rates. This means there will be no excuse not to be on the Internet, and companies currently limited by slow Internet speeds will be able to utilize the Internet much more effectively.

If you’re interested in Google Fiber and would like to know more about it, or any other Internet Service Providers, please contact us.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Google Apps
August 7th, 2012

The Internet is one of the most useful tools to all businesses, it helps us collaborate, share and understand each other, while connecting us like no other medium has before. Despite the free and openness of the Internet, the majority of the western world, businesses included, tend to stay within one company’s sphere. Yes, Google has enraptured a large majority of the Internet with its useful products, yet there are some great features that are unknown.

Here are five Google features and products you’re probably not using.

  • Hellofax. From the name, you probably guessed that Hellofax is an app that can send and receive faxes. What makes the app appealing is that it integrates with Google Drive, allowing you to send faxes directly from Google Drive and faxes that come in will be automatically converted and stored in Google Drive. If you only send the occasional fax, or don’t want a fax machine in the office, this is a great app for you.
  • DocuSign. As a business owner, chances are nearly 100% that you’ll sign documents on a relatively regular occurrence. It can be wasteful to print a document, sign it, scan it and email it. To save your time and paper, you can use DocuSign to attach your signature to documents saved in Google Drive.
  • Activity Reports. Would you like to know how much time you spend using Google’s products, what you search and anything else about Google? With Activity Account you can do just that and have Google send reports to your email. This is a great tool if you’re looking for ways you can improve your productivity, or Google Fu.
  • Gmail Snooze. When you’re on holiday, or away from the office do you ever feel that you’re never really “away”? If you’d like to escape for a while, even for a couple of minutes for a quick siesta, Gmail Snooze is a script that can help. If you’d like to install a script like this, follow Lifehacker’s great step-by-step instructions.
  • Gmail Meter. Have you ever wanted to know exactly how many emails you get in a week, your average response time and your most productive - email wise - time and day? Gmail Meter is a script that will compile a report to let you know exactly this and more. There is a little bit of installation needed, however the gmail blog has a good explanation on how to get it set up.
These are just a few of the many features, apps and products of the Google universe that should help you and your business. Are there any other Google features or products you use that others don’t? Let us know below.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Google Apps
August 1st, 2012

Google is arguably the most popular technical company, it’s the main search engine for nearly every netizen, and Google Chrome is quickly becoming the most popular Internet browser and Google Drive is a viable cloud storage solution. The only downside to Google’s products is that they’re based on Internet connectivity. If you want to edit a doc with no Internet connection, you can’t...until now.

At the I/O conference in June, Google announced some big changes to its cloud storage/document suite - Google Drive. The biggest announcement was that you can now create and edit spreadsheets and documents when you’re not connected to the Internet. Google calls this new feature Offline Docs.

This is a great upgrade for businesses with spotty Internet connection who have been looking for an cloud based office suite, or are looking to provide employees with a solution that allows them to be more efficient while mobile.

How to enable Offline Docs At this time, Offline Docs is only available to users of Google Chrome. If you use Firefox, Safari, IE or any other browser, these steps won’t work. Google has not announced when, or if, the feature will be available for other browsers.

To enable Offline Docs:

  1. Open Google Drive.
  2. Select More, located on the left-hand side of the screen, below CREATE.
  3. Click Enable offline docs and wait a few seconds for a dialogue box to open.
  4. Select Install from Chrome web store, followed by Add to Chrome.
  5. Click on the Google Drive icon and Offline Docs will be enabled.
After Offline Docs have been enabled, docs stored in your My Drive folder will be available offline. When your Internet isn’t working, simply open a new tab in Chrome and select the Google Drive icon, the offline version of Drive will open and you’ll be able to edit documents. Note that any features that require an Internet connection will be unavailable. When you connect to the Internet again, the document will be uploaded.

If you find that you don’t need to use Offline Docs, you can turn it off by clicking the gear in the top right-hand side of the Google Drive window and selecting Stop using Docs offline. To learn more about other useful features of Google Drive, please contact us.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Google Apps
July 24th, 2012

One of the most popular things to do on Google is to search for yourself or your company, hoping to find your business on the top page. You may have noticed that recently, your result has dipped a few results, or, may have even risen. This happens because of an algorithm written by Google which ranks your page and this algorithm was recently upgraded with some interesting results.

In order to make your website, its pages, links and keywords within them relevant, while ranking them by importance to related search results, Google uses advanced algorithms that assigns a numerical weight to keywords and then ranks them. The better the total rank, the higher your page will be on relevant search results.

Companies that take advantage of this algorithm and keywords to get their website to show higher in results are engaging in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In order to ensure better, more relevant search results, Google is constantly tweaking its algorithm. These tweaks could be a big thing for your website as they could force it to show up higher/lower in search results. A recent update, Penguin, has many businesses confused as to why their ranking has suddenly dropped.

About Penguin Penguin, an update to the Google algorithm was released in April 2012. Its goal is to update page rankings, and decrease ones that don’t meet Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. In layman’s terms: If your website doesn’t meet the established guidelines, it will show up lower in search results.

There are three things about Penguin website owners should be aware of

  1. It’s not out to harm all websites. As Penguin is an update and some websites will receive a lower rank, Google doesn’t mean for this to be a punishment, rather a correction and update to bring more relevant search results.
  2. Certain links are harmful. If your website has site-wide links - A link or links that appear on every page of your website, referring to another site. These links often appear in the header and footer of webpages, and serve no other purpose than increasing page rank (more links with keywords = better ranking). - your rank will fall.
  3. Websites can recover. The good thing about Google’s analytics is they’re dynamic. If you’re Web page drops in rank, you can act to improve it. In fact, Google will email you notifying you about the links. Google will also contact you if you have too many links from low-quality websites/networks (Google considers low-quality to essentially be spam).
If you’re unsure about your SEO ranking, and would like to see your website feature higher in search results, please call us, we may have a solution for you.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Google Apps
July 17th, 2012

There’s so much information on the Web, scattered across a nearly uncountable amount of websites, it’s nearly impossible to find anything without the use of a Search Engine like Google Search. It’s safe to say that anyone who has used the Internet more than a couple of times is comfortable with the idea of using Google to search for something, but, they could use a little help refining their search technique.

Starting July 9, 2012, Google has a course to help your employees sharpen their Internet searching skills. Power Searching with Google is a course that aims to teach users about the more advanced features and shortcuts of Google Search.

The courses will take place over six sessions, each lasting around 50 minutes and will be conducted online using Google Groups and Hangouts On Air - a live broadcast using Google’s online video conferencing tool. These courses are comprised of traditional assignments, interactive searching and group sessions that allow you to communicate with other “students” and staff from Google.

After you’ve completed the course and passed the final assignment, Google will email you a printable certificate of completion. If you’re interested, or feel your staff could use a boost in their searching abilities, registration is open now. Why should you register you ask? Well, the first reason is because it’s free. The second reason is because this could really help make you and your employees more efficient at finding the information they need.

To sign up for the course, visit Google’s Search blog and press Register. If you’d like to know more about Google’s products and how your company can benefit from them, please contact us.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Google Apps
July 10th, 2012

Google is a company that’s good at raising the eyebrows of users and critics alike. Recently, they hosted their annual I/O conference, where Google’s many divisions get together and introduce new products and services. This year they made some interesting announcements that have fans drooling, while leaving competitors looking a little less so.

Across the conference, Google had three major announcements:

  1. A Nexus Tablet. As most Android users know, Nexus is Google’s line of mobile devices, they’re what Google thinks of as the benchmark Android system. This year the big announcement was a USD $200, 7 inch tablet, the Nexus 7. With a superfast 1.3 Ghz processor, 1GB of RAM and up to 16GB of storage all in a thin - 10.45mm - body, this tablet gives the iPad a serious run for its money. At half the price of the cheapest iPad, it’s more affordable for nearly all small businesses.
  2. Jelly Bean. Google likes to give sweet - literally - code names to different versions of the Android operating system. The newest version, 4.1 Jelly Bean, has some great new features including the ability to use voice to search, a new location based feature that keeps you updated about what's going on around you, and a faster interface. 4.0 users should see the update in the near future.
  3. Google Glass. Announced a few months ago, Google officially introduced their take on augmented reality, Google Glass, a hybrid mobile device/eyeglasses system. Users wear them as they would any other pair of glasses and interact with their environment through the system. They can record their daily lives, look up addresses and maps, etc. This disruptive technology could change the way businesses interact with customers.
Google has announced some intriguing devices and updates that could help improve the way small businesses operate. The most intriguing device is the Nexus 7 tablet, which could prove to be the best tablet solution for small businesses. If you’d like to learn more about Google’s I/O or any of Google’s other services, please contact us.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Google Apps