All the new features that came to G Suite in January 2017

Upgrades and enhancements to G Suite have been so frequent over the last two years that Google started issuing monthly updates about every new feature. And as you’ll learn in this article, they’re often small changes with tremendous payoffs. Every organisation is different, and what seems insignificant to one company might totally revolutionise how another does business. So, in an effort to inform you of every single way G Suite can improve your business, let’s review everything that changed this past January.

A new mobile management option for iOS devices

Mobile device management services are a bit of a double-edged sword. Without them, no security-minded organisation would dare let employees access company accounts and data from their personal mobile device. But on the flipside, most employees have no desire whatsoever to allow their bosses unfettered access to their personal device.

To address this, G Suite added another tier to their iOS Mobile Management service. The new, “Basic” option enforces a couple baseline protections, without the need to install a business profile on employees’ devices. When enabled, this tier forces the implementation of a lock screen, creates the possibility of wiping a device remotely, and provides administrators with a searchable device inventory — all without setting up a single Apple Push Certificate.

One-click citations with Explore

Since last September, there has been a star icon in the bottom-righthand corner of every G-Suite document. This is the Explore function, which recommends relevant sources — such as credible journals, research papers, and articles — based on the contents of your document. And in December 2016, Google launched a feature to automatically add a footnote and citation when you use text from one of the suggested sources. Just click the quotation mark icon next to the link and select which citation style you need.

Better control over Sheets calculations

G Suite’s spreadsheet app, Sheets, is also getting minor improvements. In addition to mobile interface tweaks, Google has added “Iterative calculations” for users to limit the number of times a cyclical equation can be computed. For example, if a formula returns 5,000 results, but you want only the first 100, or if you want to limit results based on how close they are to each other, the iterative calculations settings can help.

User-friendly bouncebacks

Very few big-name vendors prioritise user experience considerations as heavily as Google does. For example, as of December 2016, Gmail users no longer receive an indecipherable block of text when an email bounces back. Instead, there is a simple vector graphic and a short explanation in plain language of why the message couldn’t be delivered. The message ID, SPF, and DKIM are still viewable; users just need to click on the Learn More button.

New template depot for Forms

Forms is a great G Suite application for quickly creating online forms to capture and catalogue survey responses, customer feedback, and onboarding paperwork. Like everything in G Suite, Forms walks a thin line between drag-and-drop design and professional-looking results. But all that aside, last year, every form still needed to be created from scratch. Now, users can visit the Transformation Gallery to pick from 100 different templates to get some inspiration before starting a new project.

More advice coming to G-Suite support page

Google Cloud Connect (GCC) is a support community dedicated solely to G Suite users. It’s full of case studies and discussion topics to help company administrators get the most out of the G Suite solution, and 2016 wrapped up with a number of truly wonderful posts from Google staff members. GCC is also the best place to learn about early adopter programs like those we wrote about in November.

While Microsoft usually leans towards grandiose reveals for new services and features at conferences and press releases, Google generally prefers to let it all out in bite-size pieces. There are pros and cons to each, but what really matters is knowing you’re getting the most out of whichever solution you’ve chosen. Contact Damson Cloud today for any questions you still have about your cloud productivity platform.

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