Google Apps Admin Corner: April 2015

Google has released a couple of important updates for Google Apps last April. Below is a digest of some key updates and other information to efficiently and effectively manage your GAFE domain including some product updates for Google Docs and Drive, Google Classroom, and mobile apps.

Google Classroom Now Supports Multiple Teachers & Other Improvement

Google Classroom now allows multiple teachers to work and collaborate on the same Classroom class. Additional teachers can post announcements and assignments, view/grade student work, add comments and other functions with exception of deleting the class altogether.

Teachers can also prepare for their classes ahead of time by saving announcements and assignments as “drafts”. Autosaving grades and improved email notifications for private messages have also been added. Learn more.

What Admins Should Do Now:

Inform teachers about the updates.
Two New Admin Policy Controls for Google Hangouts Available

Google Apps admins can now force Hangouts chat history to be on/off. With this new feature, admins can ensure chat participants cannot change this setting for new conversations. Admins now also have the options to require only Hangouts chat to be used. Learn more.

What Admins Should Do now:
Make changes to your organizations chat policy if necessary.

Improved Protection For Google Users

Google Password alert, an open-source Chrome extension that helps protect Google and Google Apps accounts from phishing attacks, is now available for download. The extension encourages people to use different passwords for different sites as a security best practice. Learn more.

What Admins Should Do now:
As an admin, you can install the Password Alert Chrome extension for all or some members of your domain. To get started, check out the following guides:

Preventing phishing attacks on your users
Phishing prevention with Password Alert FAQ

Self-service Password Recovery for Google Apps Users

Admins can now enable the ability for non-admins to reset their own passwords. This new feature is defaulted off at launch and can be enabled from the Admin console at: Security > Basic settings > Password Management. In the Password recovery section, click on “Enable/disable non-admin user password recovery.”

Note: non-admins must have set up a recovery phone in order to reset their own password.

What Admins Should Do now:

Admins should check the Help Center for considerations regarding 2-Step Verification, off-boarding, and hijacked accounts before enabling this feature.

For more information:

Set password strength and user password recovery
Reset your user password
Keep all of your work more secure with Google Drive

Set Custom Alerts on Audit Events

New Google Apps admin feature allows you to set up custom admin alerts for critical audit events such as setting changes made by other administrators, or suspicious login attempts.

What Admins Should Do now:
Configure alerts on sensitive events if needed.

For more information:

Keep all of your work more secure with Google Drive

Two New Animation Effects in Google Slides

Make your Google Slides presentations look more dynamic with two new animations: Appear and Disappear. You can also now set the direction (to and from left, right, top, and bottom) of two previously existing animations: Fly in and Fly out.

What Admins Should Do Now:
Inform users about the updates.

Google Docs and Drive Mobile Apps Updates

New versions of the Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps for Android are now available on Google Play as well as a new version of the Docs app for iOS.

The latest app releases include:

  • Docs 
      1. Accept, reject, or comment on suggestions (Android and iOS) 
      2. Tracked changes and comments in Word files (Android and iOS) 
      3. Edit tables (iOS only, already available on Android) 
  • Slides 
      1. Reorder objects to the front or back 
      2. Quicker loading and scrolling of PowerPoint presentations from the app 

On Google Drive for Android, new sharing options have been added giving users the ability to add people to sharing settings and share link directly from the upload notification after uploading a file. See all changes to the sharing options here.

What Admins Should Do Now:
Inform users about the changes.

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