Editor's note: Today’s guest blogger is Simon Turner, group IT director at Haymarket Media Group, a London-based publishing and events company with 60 print and online brands around the world. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

London-based Haymarket Media Group is the largest privately owned media business in the United Kingdom with more than 2,000 employees worldwide. Our 60 consumer and business titles range from marketing, medical and financial to sports and automotive. After more than half a century in publishing, Haymarket Media is transforming itself into a “Digital First” company that focuses on specialist markets via channels which include web, mobile, face to face events and print. This requires a more centralised way of thinking and a sea change in the way we collaborate -- which we get now with Google Apps.

Google caught my eye when a few early adopters in the company from Stuff began using Gmail a few years ago. We were using an aging Microsoft Exchange 2003 for email and needed a technology refresh. I launched a proof of concept last year with 50 staffers. After hearing presentations from Google Apps and Microsoft 365 sales teams, we made the decision to go with Google.

Implementing Google has been smooth. It took just six weeks to move 800 mailboxes earlier this year, with the help of Grove Group, a Google Enterprise partner. Google Apps integrates with other systems we use, like and Active Directory. It also saves us money -- we have Google Apps for about the same price that an email upgrade would cost.

But it’s the collaboration, flexibility and time savings that our employees love most. The 25 gigabyte mailbox in Gmail means people don’t waste time deleting emails; every single employee has an extra half hour in their week that was previously spent clearing out the inbox. During a recent office relocation employees were able to do their work from anywhere using Google Apps on their laptops and mobile devices.

Hundreds of reporters at Haymarket publications are writing and posting stories faster than ever because of the real-time collaboration capabilities with Google Apps. Several writers and editors in different locations can work on the same document simultaneously. They are sharing calendars too, so editors at PistonHeads know which reporter is covering which event at an automobile trade show in Detroit, for example. They are using Google+ to distribute articles to additional readers, as well as to share live events. In a recent Google+ broadcast, 150 people were talking about technology and media in our studio as part of a WebFest event.

We’re not stopping there, either. Later this year, we plan to adopt Google Sites and Google Drive as tools to support strategic development for the business going forward. Google is proving to be a key part of our Digital First campaign to meet -- and even exceed -- the pace of change in our industry.

Posted by: Ronald Ho, Product Manager, Google Apps for Business

Whether your organization has two people or 200,000, it should be easy to communicate and get stuff done together. In May, Hangouts launched as a unified way for people to communicate by voice, video or text across devices. Following the introduction of the new look full-screen video chat last month, today we're rolling out some new Hangouts features specifically for Google Apps customers.
With the addition of support for the Global Address List, it'll now be easier to quickly find and chat with your colleagues. The conversations you've recently had will still sit at the top of your Hangouts list, but start typing the name of anybody in your organization and auto-complete will help you find who you’re looking for.

New settings also give admins the ability to customize which Hangouts features are available to which employees. Admins can now choose to limit Hangout chat messages to being internal-only, set chat history to off by default and decide whether users within the domain can contact each other without sending or accepting formal invitations first. Video and audio chat can also be turned off across the organization.

Finally, the Google Apps support team will now provide the same level of help for Hangouts as they do for Google Talk, including 24/7 phone support.

Learn how to enable the new Hangouts experience.


Editor's note: Today we hear from guest blogger Paresh Nagda to find out how Navman Wireless, a global leader in GPS-based fleet optimization, uses Google Maps to monitor more than 190,000 vehicles for over 16,000 customers across five continents. This post is part of our series on the Transport and Logistics Industry and the ways they’re relying on Google Maps for Business to get people, products and assets to their destinations faster.
Fleet tracking & Google Maps--available wherever business demands
Every day, all over the world, millions of drivers hit the road to deliver goods and services. For our 16,000 customers – in dozens of sectors as diverse as mining, construction, transport, street cleaning and more – fleet monitoring is critical to their business success. Owning, operating and maintaining a vehicle fleet is a big expense, so more organizations are turning to advanced tools to maximize those assets. At Navman Wireless, our fleet optimization platform allows companies like Rio Tinto Group, Lloyds Pharmacy, JC Restoration, and Riviera Utilities to manage workers and keep track of important assets.

Before Google Maps, we had a hybrid solution – Microsoft Bing Maps combined with an in-house map engine. It was a drain on cost and engineering resources, and we struggled to keep data current. For example, map data updates required hours of our engineering team’s time; now with Google Maps, all updates are made automatically.

Google Maps was an obvious choice for us because it’s a cost-effective, reliable solution that works across geographies. We have customers in 14 countries who rely on us 100% to manage huge multimillion-dollar fleets, projects and logistics systems. With Google Maps, our customers see a visual display of their fleets constantly updated in real-time. One cool thing our customers love about Google Maps is the ability to use reverse geocoding to translate GPS data points into human readable addresses, so they can see where drivers are at all times.We can also draw polygons on maps to highlight customer sites, so they can see which trucks are coming and going.

Our customers can’t stop raving about Google Street View and traffic information. Dispatchers use Google Maps to get real-time traffic information and preview streets to help their drivers be more efficient. For example, a dispatcher could tell a driver to take a different route to avoid traffic, or to take a side road to deliver a package, since Street View shows the freight door is located on a back alley.

Using Google Maps has lots of benefits, but perhaps the best one is it just works — and that means we can focus on our work. Previously, 12-15% of our customer service calls were related to problems with our maps. Once we switched to Google Maps these calls went to almost zero. Our customers love how easy Google Maps are to use, and so does my engineering team. Quite simply, Google Maps helps make the Navman platform more effective, interactive and engaging for our customers.


Editor's note: Today’s guest blogger is Athena Hutchins, executive director of the Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition (NITTEC), a group of agencies improving traffic mobility and safety in Western New York and Southern Ontario. Join Athena on a webinar to hear the NITTEC story from her directly on December, 12 at 11-12 PST. Register here.

There’s a lot of traffic activity at the border of Western New York State and Southern Ontario: every month, an average of one million vehicles cross the three bridges with border checkpoints between the U.S. and Canada. Our job at Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition (NITTEC) is to help vacationers and commuters in the Niagara Falls area see any traffic and road issues that might stand in their way. That’s why we created our new map — built with Google Maps — which takes a complex mix of data from local, state and federal agencies and gives drivers a single view of their trip.

We’ve used Google Maps on the NITTEC website since 2007. This year we developed a multilayered map as part of our efforts to improve traffic movement in the cross-border region. The new map uses the Google Maps API to help us pull together a wealth of useful data, including construction projects, delays and border crossing times. This information is available piecemeal from other agencies, but a traveler would have a hard time patching together a true picture of traffic conditions at the border, especially since we’re dealing with data from two countries.

The map is on the homepage of our new NITTEC website, so visitors can quickly find out how long it will take to get to the border, how much time they’ll have to wait at checkpoints and which alternate routes might be less congested. For instance, when the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge has long wait times, a quick glance at the map can tell drivers if they’re better off heading for the Peace Bridge or the Rainbow Bridge. Travelers can use the map’s control panel to choose which overlays they see, such as satellite views, highways, and live camera images.

To develop the new map, we incorporated 10 data feeds from across our 30 coalition agencies. The map refreshes every 20 seconds, using this constantly updated information. A mobile version of the map allows drivers approaching the border to get up-to-date info while they’re en route.

People are already familiar with Google Maps, so seeing our map provides clear, customizable and up-to-date traffic information that can be viewed at a glance and that’s easy to digest. It also helps us send a message about the NITTEC brand – that we’re on a mission to help people in the area get where they’re going safely and more efficiently.


Editor's note: Today, we hear from Joseph Kopser, Army Veteran, Bronze Star recipient as well as Co-Founder and CEO at RideScout, a mobile app that aims to streamline transportation by showing real-time information on public, private and social options in one single view. See what other companies that have gone Google have to say.

Several years ago, I was on active duty in the Army, serving as Special Assistant to Army 4-Star Chief of Staff General George W. Casey, Jr. at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. I lived less than 10 miles from my office and everyday I faced the question, “what’s the best way to get there?” I could take the bus, I could carpool, I could walk, and I could even take a taxi, but there wasn’t one service that helped me pick my best option for that particular day. Furthermore, I saw so many people, likely going to the same place as me, with four empty seats in their vehicles.

My frustrations spurred a discussion with a few Army buddies of mine, and in 2011, Craig Cummings and I decided to do something about it. Together we launched RideScout, a mobile app that helps people figure out the fastest and most cost-efficient way to get from one place to another. It takes real-time information and schedules on cabs, buses, trains, ride shares, and emerging services like car2go and Sidecar and pulls it into Google Maps so people can easily compare the options. Not only does RideScout help people get where they need to be faster, but it also reduces the number of cars on the road, increasing transportation efficiency and reducing harm to our planet.

Soon after RideScout got off the ground, I moved to Austin to teach leadership and military strategy at the University of Texas. Craig and I realized we needed a platform to help us collaborate and build the company collectively, despite the physical distance between us. We chose Google Apps from the get-go because its cloud-based platform allowed us to do exactly that. Now, RideScout has employees in Austin, D.C., and contractors in other cities working all hours spread across different time zones. We also use a lot of tablets and portable laptops, so storing everything in the cloud and being able to access it — regardless of our device — is essential.

Google Docs has been a crucial tool for the team, especially the product developers as we’ve gone through our app development iterations. We hold dozens of quick brainstorm sessions every week to go over product requirements and designs, and with Docs we can stay in sync throughout the process because we’re all looking at the same information at the same time. As we matured, we started seeing the same kind of collaboration happen in Presentations, and even with Drawings — they all became living documents with people commenting and editing simultaneously. I think of Docs and Spreadsheets as whiteboards, where RideScout employees can throw out ideas and iterate on them as a team in real time.

Security also was an important consideration for us. We knew we wanted a cloud solution from the beginning, and Google Apps is a platform we could trust to keep our information safe. Because we don’t have to maintain our own servers, it’s just one less thing we have to worry about. And as a startup, taking something off your list of things to worry about is fantastic.

RideScout is scaling quickly. In July we had seven employees and we’ve more than doubled since then. The ability to add a new employee to the system in five minutes or less is extremely important when we’re working on limited resources and stretched to the max to get the product to market. With Apps we’ve got a platform that scales with us, so as we grow and expand to new markets, our employees can worry less about the process of sharing work and focus more on building a great product.


There are thousands of third-party applications that integrate with Google Apps for Business to help people to do more on the web and accomplish specific business tasks. These include apps like Mavenlink (project management), Insightly (customer relationship management), and myERP (business management). Starting today, administrators will be able to find, manage and deploy third-party applications, like these, directly from the Google Apps Admin console.

To start, over twenty third-party applications will be available in the Admin console. These applications all offer the latest OAuth 2.0 security, single sign-on (SSO), and integration with Google services. Admins can now see reviews from verified users of the applications to help select the best app to meet their needs. As additional applications are updated, they will become available to Admins directly from the Admin console. In the meantime, all third-party applications are available as always in the Google Apps Marketplace.

Many admins have asked for greater control of third-party applications. With this upgrade, third-party applications are moving to OAuth 2.0. This means admins can deploy applications only to specific people or organizational units (rather than the entire company) and developers can design apps to request more narrow access to corporate information.

To learn more about how to add third-party applications that work with Google Apps for Business, visit our Help Center.

If you are a developer and would like to learn more about these changes and to see how to migrate your application for easier development and deployment, visit the Google Apps Developer website.


Editor's note: Today’s guest blogger is Antti Känsälä, director of products for Vilant Systems, a Finland-based provider of RFID (radio-frequency identification) information systems for manufacturing and logistics. This post is part of our series on the Transport and Logistics Industry and the ways they’re relying on Google Maps for Business to get people, products and assets to their destinations faster.

When my Vilant colleagues and I attended a trade show in Stockholm recently, we had to carry a bunch of posters, brochures, and giveaways on the plane, because an earlier shipment of duplicate material got lost in transit. To avoid this scenario in the future, we decided that from now on, we’d place a Vilant Tracker on all event packages, so that we could see their progress on a Google Map.

At Vilant, we’ve made it similarly easy for businesses to track the progress of shipments to their destinations using Google Maps and the Google Geolocation API, and for shipping companies to share this information with their own customers. Vilant technology makes shipping more efficient: Vilant’s Tracker devices use GSM (global system for mobile communications) technology, which means they are less expensive to operate and last longer than GPS devices. We also recently developed a unique Air Tracker for one of our customers, and it will be generally available in the future to help track progress of shipments by air.

To add even more efficiency to our Tracker systems, we looked at mapping solutions from several vendors, and we found that the Google Maps and Geolocation APIs were the easiest to customize for displaying the information we receive from our tracking devices. We considered some open-source products, but Google Maps’ image quality was much higher and the resulting maps were more reliable and faster to get online.
Vilant has developed a web-based tracker portal, built with Google Maps, where our customers can go to check on shipping status and create and share customized maps through unique URLs. Some customers also have large track-and-trace platforms, and we can easily integrate them with our trackers using the APIs.

The ability to generate and share maps helps businesses stay on top of shipments without time-consuming dialogue with shippers and warehouses. One of our customers, Tieturi, which provides business training and coaching, ships dozens of computers to training locations and needs to know that the computers will arrive before classes begin. The Google Maps API enables this by showing shipment locations practically in real time.
Another Vilant Tracker user, ABB, ships motors and generators and needs to tell customers when they will arrive. Instead of taking calls from customers and then calling trucking companies, ABB can simply email its customers a link to a Google Map showing the shipment’s location. It reduces administrative work, and sets ABB apart from the competition.

Like our customers, we see Google Maps as a big competitive advantage. The ability to visualize shipment locations and see delivery progress at a glance is sure to bring us new customers and help us win a larger share of the logistics market.


(Cross-posted on Google Brasil Blog)

Editor's note: Our guest blogger today is Pedro Junqueira, CEO and COO at the Center of Operations (COR) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Established in 2010, COR monitors the daily activity of the city and potential crisis situations including traffic, major events and natural disasters. COR integrates the activities of 30 organizations. Today, 400 professionals work at COR in 3 shifts. See what other public institutions that have gone Google have to say.

Home to more than six million inhabitants, Rio de Janeiro is a vibrant city set in a tropical climate along the coast of Brazil. Rio is known for hosting large festivals and international events that attract hundreds of thousands of people, like the 2013 Confederations Cup, the recent Papal visit, and the beloved Carnaval. We’re currently planning for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.

At the city’s Center of Operations (COR), it’s our job to keep the city running efficiently throughout the year, whether it’s during a major festival, when traffic is at peak levels, or during the summer rain, when flooding can create emergency situations. It’s no easy feat, but thanks to collaboration and teamwork, we’re able to get in front of potential crises and respond to emergencies when they do occur.

Technology plays a pivotal role in helping us do our job. We use Google Maps for Business to build and share geospatial data with partners that allows us to have a common operating picture and detect potential problems. We can act before they turn into real emergency situations. Each summer, for example, Rio is deluged by summer rains, leaving homes and streets flooded, inaccessible and damaged. With Google Maps for Business and a team that monitors meteorological conditions each day, we’re able to keep a close watch on flood-prone areas with dense populations. And when rain reaches a critical level, the team warns local officials to prepare for possible evacuation operations.

All the information needed to assess risks and take action is shared on one Google Map, enabling the various teams from the Municipal Guard, Civil Defense, Mayor’s office and others to easily coordinate and respond. We can even use Google Maps for Business to study preventative measures and minimize the impact of events that could affect the operational routine of the city. It’s all on a single map that combines data from a range of different agencies and sources.
Tracking the real-time state of the city and responding to emergencies immediately couldn’t be done without reliable technology like Google’s mapping solutions. Google Maps for Business integrates with our internal systems, and employees already rely on these tools in their personal lives, so using them for work comes naturally. Google helps COR make faster, better more informed decisions every day. It’s good for us, and it’s good for the people of Rio de Janeiro.


Revised Editor's note: As of fall 2013, T Dispatch stopped using Google Maps for Business.

Editor's note: Today's guest blogger is Mario Brandao, CTO of T Dispatch, a fast growing global provider of fleet management software. This post is part of our series on the Transport and Logistics Industry and the ways they’re relying on Google Maps for Business to get people, products and assets to their destinations faster.

If you’re like me, wherever you are in the world, you often depend on the knowledge of taxi and minicab drivers to get you where you want to be. And the firms that manage, equip and train these drivers are on a constant quest to improve the way their cars get around the many cities they travel around in. We started our company back in 2010 with the aim of creating an affordable mapping and dispatch technology that could be used by all sizes of fleet companies to become more efficient and more profitable.

Our clients tell us that drivers can spend around 30% of their time with the car empty; this is ‘dead’ mileage, which is costly and bad for the environment. We use Google Maps and an intelligent autodispatch algorithm to send jobs to the nearest driver, to find jobs within their catchment area and even to allocate jobs on their route home at the end of a shift. Controllers can create and dispatch a booking within 15 seconds, and we’re able to reduce time spent ‘empty’ by up to 50%.
We’ve found our clients love all the different features, too. The Google Tracks API makes it easy to pinpoint exactly where their drivers are at any one time, allowing jobs to be allocated more efficiently by dispatchers. And as this location data can be saved for up to ten years, clients can also use the technology to recognize trends and patterns and create more efficient processes in due course. Google’s snap-to-road tool even helps call centre dispatch managers to find out which side of the road the driver is on, which is especially helpful in some cities with complicated one way systems.

In the future we plan to integrate live weather reports, traffic information and use historical data to predict where busy areas will be, allowing fleets to anticipate where to send the drivers.

From a driver’s point of view, not only does the software help calculate the fastest route with the least mileage, but with Google Directions, drivers are able to calculate directions between locations before setting off, which prevents them from getting lost. Most importantly, most people are familiar with Google Maps and find it easy to use - which is important in a job when you’re often dealing with stressful circumstances like traffic and road closures.
Google Maps provides us with a comprehensive feature set too, so we’re able to offer our customers features like Directions as part of the package, which is a huge selling point for us. Furthermore, if we used some of the competition’s offering, every customer would have to pay a licensing fee but with Google this is avoided.

Google Maps has played a crucial role in helping us grow and move into new markets seamlessly - we’ve won clients across six continents, in over 30 different countries. I’m now looking forward to taking our technology with us to our next area of expansion - South America.


Editor's note: For transport companies, getting things from point A to point B in the safest, smartest and most efficient way is a top priority. This week we're showcasing the Transport and Logistics Industry and the ways they’re relying on Google Maps for Business to get people, products and assets to their destinations faster.

GPS technology and digital mapping have had a huge impact on making transport and logistics companies more efficient. This week we’ll be demonstrating innovative ways transport and logistics companies can use maps for smarter fleet and asset management, routing, tracking and planning. To kick things off, we’re announcing a new snap-to-road feature of the Google Maps Tracks API that can help organizations gain access to valuable data about where they’ve been.

Launched last year, Google Maps Tracks API allows users to store, display and analyze GPS data on a map. For a shipping company with a fleet of delivery trucks, for instance, the Tracks API offers a way to record all the routes and places its vehicles have traveled to and from. Stored in the Google cloud and visualized on a Google Map, fleet managers can access their information reliably, securely and using a map interface they’re familiar with.

With snap-to-road, transport and logistics companies can have an even more accurate view of their GPS information. Based on GPS data points, it identifies the most likely road a truck has been traveling on and plots the route on a map. This allows an organization to easily decipher driver behaviors and routing trends.
The images above show the same GPS data from a delivery truck before and after applying snap-to-road. With snap-to-road, the delivery route is correctly shown on a Google map, indicating that the driver traveled down a major highway.
For a transport company, having more accurate ways to track and understand GPS data means they can plan and predict routing and logistics with greater precision. Contact our sales team for more information about the Tracks API and how Google Maps for Business solutions can help your business.

Editor's note: Colorado has enticed all sorts of pioneers since its Wild West beginnings. We’re excited to highlight a handful of these trailblazers - the intrepid entrepreneurs, aspiring micro-brewers and ambitious thought leaders - who have helped create the adventurous and innovative culture the Centennial State is known for. Today, we hear from Ian Bernstein and Adam Wilson, co-founders of Boulder-based Orbotix, a robotics toy company.

Can you tell us about Orbotix and how the company got started?
Orbotix is a new kind of robotics toy company: we’re creating a game platform that combines physical objects, smartphones and a software marketplace. We launched in 2010 with our first product, the Sphero ball, a robotic ball you can control with a tilt, touch or swing from your smartphone. You can drive the Sphero ball through a virtual obstacle course or let your dog chase it across your actual yard (under your control, of course) — it lets you both engage in the virtual world and play in the real one. We just released Sphero 2.0, and with a team of 35, we’re just getting started.

Why did you choose Google Apps? How are you using it day-to-day?
We use Google products like Gmail, Drive and Docs in our personal lives, so it was natural to use Google Apps for Business when we started Orbotix. We rely on Drive to securely store, centralize and share our executive documents — everything from legal forms to non-disclosure agreements. We use Docs to brainstorm, create and collaborate on new ideas, or to upload and store product specs that multiple people need to access on a regular basis. The fact that we can create and edit a single document at the same time has dramatically increased our efficiency and reduced the amount of time it takes to finalize a project. We’re a very collaborative team, and Google helps us keep a very team-oriented work environment. Docs is especially vital when we’re on the road, attending events or working remotely. The fact that we can pull up important docs on our mobile devices is crucial to keeping our business running 24/7.

How do you stay connected with your employees outside of the Boulder office?
Hangouts are integral to keeping the company connected, especially as we’ve expanded beyond Boulder — and into China. Our team there has the Hangouts app on their smartphones so they’re connected and available for a quick chat or for a virtual tour around a factory on the other side of the globe. It makes a world of difference to see each other face-to-face rather than just hear a bunch of voices on a conference call, and the experience is such an organic, seamless part of our daily routine. We saw it ourselves just a few weeks ago, when we were in China to check in with the team and do a global press tour: we found ourselves relying entirely on Hangouts to keep in touch with the Boulder office. Ian would be in one room on a Hangout with our CEO, I'd be in another room on a Hangout with our engineers. It was like we hadn't left Colorado.

Has Google Apps helped in your recruiting efforts?
We're always looking to add tech-savvy programmers and talent to our team, and the kinds of people we're looking for expect us to use cool and cutting edge-technology like Google Apps. I know that if I was looking to join a new company it would be a red flag if they were using anything different. We all use Google in our personal lives, so it’s natural that we want to extend that experience to our professional lives.

Do you use Google Apps to partner and collaborate with groups outside of your company?
Absolutely. We recently launched Sphero Rangers, which teaches kids of all ages how to program using Sphero robots. We go to local classrooms and host meetups in the Boulder area, but because we can’t travel to every city where there’s interest, we made a universal Rangers training deck using Google Presentations. That way, there’s a single master document we can share with our partners just by sending along a URL, and we know they always have the most up-to-date version. The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, for example, have hosted a handful of programming classes for kids, thanks to our handy shared Google Presentation.

Alan Mariotti, Vice President of IT and Security at Chico’s FAS Inc

Editor's note: Today’s guest bloggers are Eric Singleton, Chief Information Officer and Alan Mariotti, Vice President of IT and Security at Chico’s FAS Inc, a retailer established in 1983 with a nationwide family of brands that include Chico's, White House | Black Market, Soma Intimates and Boston Proper. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

Chico’s FAS first opened its doors in 1983 in a 800 square foot tobacco shop in Sanibel Island, Florida, where folk art, sweaters and accessories from Mexico filled the store’s shelves. The clothing took off, and within two years, a second store opened nearby. Now, 30 years after getting started, we employ 22,000 people, operate 1,470 stores and own four specialty retail brands: Chico’s, White House l Black Market, Soma Intimates and Boston Proper.

Our technology changed quite a bit over the years, and in early 2013, we realized we were limping along with a very outdated email system and escalating infrastructure and storage costs. We considered our options: we could keep the status quo and upgrade from Microsoft Exchange 2003 to the 2013 version—which would cost millions—or go with a lower-cost option that would both help our distributed workforce collaborate faster and eliminate our need for resource-intensive servers. We tested Google Apps with 100 employees in one of our business groups and it passed all of our testing and scalability metrics within a few short months. The enthusiasm and efficiency gains alone convinced us it was the obvious and most cost-effective solution.

Our decision to move to Google Apps is also part of a larger cultural shift we are driving at Chico’s, where we’re looking toward technology to enable swifter innovation and invention across the company. With traditional enterprise environments, information is siloed, existing in separate servers and applications, leaving a business to operate as the sum of many independent parts. We’re moving away from this toward a more progressive hybrid cloud model, with Google at the foundation. It’s this new environment, positive feedback loops accelerate, and we can bring together multiple solutions and data sources, all built in the cloud, and look at our business holistically. That’s our vision, and Google is a big part of it.

Even though we have completed our entire enterprise deployment, our journey with Google has just begun and we’re already seeing some great benefits. Our ability to collaborate and share sensitive information across our global team has significantly improved since moving to Google Apps — and we’re saving money at the same time. Our team in Hong Kong, for example, is responsible for visiting and monitoring our factories to ensure they’re compliant with numerous security and performance standards. Before “going Google,” we found ourselves physically travelling back and forth quite often to meet and review access to important documents in person. Now, the U.S. team jumps on a Google+ Hangout with its Hong Kong counterpart, pulls up the essential information from Drive, and has a productive meeting from halfway across the world, all while resting assured that the information is safe and secure in the cloud. Additionally, cost on travel in dollars and time away from campus is greatly reduced.

The benefits of moving to Google Apps continue to reveal themselves to the global team each day. That’s part of the reason we’re so excited about our new platform: not only do we know our information is secure or that our employees are collaborating in new ways over Hangouts and in Docs—we know this is just the tip of the iceberg. We’re driving a new culture of innovation and invention, and Google is one of the cornerstones of that vision.


(Cross-posted on the Gmail blog.)

Tablets are great because the large screen not only gives you a more immersive experience but also extra room for serious multitasking. And with today’s update to the Gmail iOS app, you’ll be able to do even more with your iPad.

If you hold your iPad in landscape mode, you’ll immediately notice the new left hand navigation bar, which allows you to quickly switch between multiple accounts, or between inbox categories, with a single tap. To help you get through your email faster, you’ll also see a new message counter for each category.
For those preferring a more focused immersive experience, hold your iPad in portrait mode to get a full screen view of individual messages.
In addition to improvements to scrolling performance, there’ll also be extra room to compose your messages in full screen.
Lastly you’ll notice several iOS 7 visual updates on both iPad and iPhone. You can download the app right now from the App Store.


Editor's note: This Veterans Day, we’re celebrating our veteran’s contributions and successes as entrepreneurs, by highlighting a handful of the 3.7 million businesses run by veterans in the U.S. Today’s guest blogger is Jonathan Hudgins, Co-Founder and CEO of Flying Scarfs, an enterprise that empowers partners in developing countries to flourish in the global economy.

When I deployed to Afghanistan with the 335th Fighter Squadron in the summer of 2011, I didn’t expect to return with an idea for a nonprofit, much less a plan for making it a reality within months of getting home. But that’s exactly what happened over the 6 month stint. During my time in Afghanistan, I spent days exploring the local Bagram bazaar with three of my fellow Air Force Officers and future co-founders, Joseph Stenger, Joshua Carroll and Ryan Bodenheimer. We befriended a merchant who was selling scarves made by widows in the area, then giving the proceeds back to the women so they could educate and support themselves. These women typically didn’t have much access to capital or jobs, so this gave them some financial stability — and with, a stronger political voice.
Flying Scarfs Team
As our deployment came to an end, we realized there was an opportunity to stay connected with and support the Bagram community by selling their scarves back in the U.S. and sending the proceeds back to the women who made them. By sharing their creations with a broader audience, we could stay connected with the community while also helping the artisans achieve economic success and stability. That’s how Flying Scarfs got started. We had the idea, the business plan, the connections in Afghanistan, and even a retail store, my parents’ shop in North Carolina, to sell our first batch of scarves — the next step was finding a tool to connect the dots. Google Apps was our answer from day one: we could appear professional right off the bat with our email, and with the cloud-based storage and email, we didn’t even need an office. That was essential at the time, since Joey, Josh and Ryan were still on active duty and we were all in different locations. With Google Apps, we could still stay connected and up to speed no matter where we were.

Two years later, we’re grown up and are even more spread out, but with Google Apps, we’re always on the same page, whether it’s on Gmail, Docs or Spreadsheets. Our CFO, for example, keeps a master financial spreadsheet that gives the rest of the team visibility into our expenditures, costs, sales and margins. We review it each quarter, but if an odd charge shows up at any point, he can ping us and ask if we know where it came from. We can just add details to the Notes column in the spreadsheet, and voila, everyone else knows where it came from.

Hangouts have become an equally integral part in keeping the team up-to-date on the latest updates and developments, both on a regular basis and for ad hoc meetings. When ABC World News published a piece about us in August, for example, our daily website traffic suddenly increased by 100 times our average and our order requests from our online store shot up. We were all over the place — our CFO was in Chicago, Ryan was in Idaho, Josh was in DC, and the rest of us were in North Carolina — but by jumping on a Hangout, we were able to outline a clear plan for handling the sudden activity. A phone call doesn’t always do the trick when you’re trying to replicate the kind of brainstorming you’re able to do when you’re together in a room, while a Hangout was exactly what we needed to plan our immediate next steps.

Using Google Apps lets us to focus more on what matters to us: empowering artisans across the world. And since we’re not tied to a single desktop computer or physical office, we’ve even been able to add new partners in Kenya and Haiti and seamlessly start selling their products back in the U.S. Because that’s what it’s all about - sharing the beautiful work of craftspeople with a wider audience, so they can support themselves economically. That’s what we believe in.


Today we’re launching tablets with Google Play for Education for K-12 schools in the U.S. For the past five months, thousands of students and more than 50 schools have used Google Play for Education and shared their experiences as part of our beta program. What’s been clear from their feedback is that teachers and IT administrators need time-saving solutions to help their students learn in the classroom and smooth the transition to new curriculum standards. They’ve asked for something easy to set up and manage, that helps them find educational content they can trust, and that doesn’t break the bank.

Google Play for Education is an extension of Google Play designed for schools. Here educators can discover apps approved by teachers for teachers, as well as educational videos and a collection of classic books for their classroom. Teachers can search for approved apps by grade, subject and standard, including Common Core, pay using a purchase order, and deploy the content to students instantly. We’ve been working with top developers to bring the best educational apps to Google Play for Education, including ClassDojo, Socrative, Explain Everything, NearPod, and many more.

Schools can choose from three classroom ready tablet options: Nexus 7 (a 7” tablet) available today, and the ASUS Transformer Pad (a 10” tablet) or the HP Slate 8 Pro (an 8” tablet), both available early next year. Schools can set up a classroom of tablets in minutes with a few simple taps. Just hold the administrator tablet together with the student tablet to set up each device quickly. Tablets with Google Play for Education are built on Google Apps for Education so students use their Google accounts to log in seamlessly. Tablet pricing starts at $229 and management is $30 per tablet.

The passionate educators and talented students at New Jersey’s Hillsborough Township Public Schools were amongst the first to roll out tablets with Google Play for Education. Watch their story.

To learn more visit Interested schools can click “Contact Us” to speak with a member of our team. We’re working with resellers like CDW-G to get these tablets into schools, with more resellers coming soon.

With more than 30 million people using Google Apps for Education already, tablets with Google Play for Education easily plug into many schools’ existing technology. This is an affordable, 1:1 solution that puts greater power in the hands of teachers to find the best tools and content for their classrooms. We’re continuing to evolve the Google in Education offering and are happy to bring even more choice in devices and content.


(Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog and Google Drive Blog)

You're probably used to downloading email attachments, but each of those files takes time to download, eats up space on your device, and can get buried deep inside your "Downloads" folder. With today's update to Gmail, you can skip that whole process. Instead, you can view attachments and save files directly to Google Drive without ever leaving Gmail, making it easy to access them later from whatever device you’re on—computer, phone or tablet.

The next time you open an email with attachments, you’ll see new previews of the files at the bottom of the email, from photos and videos to spreadsheets and PDFs.
When you click on one of those previews, a full-screen view of the image or document will appear. You can read, search for a particular phrase, and even browse through multiple attachments right in Gmail.
You can now also save your attachments directly to Drive simply by clicking the Drive button that appears when you hover over the preview. Of course, if you prefer to download the attachment to your computer, you can—just click the arrow button.
This new attachment experience is available on desktop and will be rolling out over the next week. If you’re one of the more than 120 million active Drive users, you know that saving your files to Drive lets you get to them from any computer, phone or tablet. And if you aren’t taking advantage of Drive just yet, give it a try with your next Gmail attachment.


Editor's note: This Veterans Day, we’re celebrating our veteran’s contributions and successes as entrepreneurs, by highlighting a handful of the 3.7 million businesses run by veterans in the U.S. Today, we hear from Derek Bennett, former Army Captain and Chief of Staff at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).

When Paul Rieckhoff returned to the U.S. after serving in Iraq as an Army First Lieutenant and infantry rifle platoon leader, he couldn’t help but notice two things: how difficult the return to civilian life could be, and how important it was for veterans to join the national dialogue in the media and on the ground. Starting IAVA was his way of doing something about it - and it has accomplished quite a bit since its inception in 2004. IAVA is the country's first and largest organization dedicated to supporting and representing new veterans and their families, with nearly 300,000 members and supporters. And we’re as dedicated as ever to our original mission: helping veterans understand the benefits available to them, ensuring their voices are heard in mainstream media, and giving them a safe community to ask questions and get advice from fellow vets.
A lot of amazing people have helped us get where we are now - a lot of selfless veterans, generous civilians and dedicated employees. But we also couldn’t have done it without some help from technology like Google Apps. We’re a mobile company: we have offices in New York and Washington, D.C., but often travel or work from home, and our volunteers come from all over the country, so we have a pretty flexible work policy. Since Apps allows us to access our email and documents from anywhere, whether on our laptops at home or the mobile Drive app on our tablets, our teams can get their work done whenever and wherever they need.

Google Spreadsheets have completely revolutionized our volunteer signup process at recruitment events. Instead of having people sign a piece of paper, entering their names on a spreadsheet, and emailing the new version around, we have our team take tablets into the field and enter information directly into a Google spreadsheet. That way, we know everything is up-to-date at any given moment, not to mention we save time and minimize the risk of typos or forgotten updates.

While Spreadsheets help us bring in new volunteers more efficiently, Hangouts make it possible to build camaraderie between our team and those volunteers. We recently launched Squad Leaders, a program where IAVA ambassadors host barbeques, set up networking events and provide professional mentorship for vets in their local communities. We want to make sure our Squad Leaders feel as connected to the core IAVA team as they do with the vets in their neighborhoods, and Hangouts help make that happen. We use them to conduct Squad Leader training sessions and to run regular check-ins, so our ambassadors feel personal connections with a program that’s otherwise geographically spread out.

Veterans are service leaders, entrepreneurs, teachers, students, parents and politicians. IAVA’s mission is to make sure they’re all those things and everything else they want to be - that they feel fully supported and represented as citizens. Our veterans have already committed so much to their country by they time they return home that they should feel empowered to accomplish even more in the years ahead. With 2.6 million veterans, it’s no easy feat, but with the help of a growing team of employees and supporters, I think we’re off to a pretty good start.


Like a lot of veterans, my decision to serve was inspired in part by my family. In my case, it was my grandmother.

I grew up in California, and after graduating high school, my grandmother took me on a trip to Kenya to see a different world (she was a very cool grandma). We landed in Nairobi on August 7th, 1998 — the same day the U.S. Embassy was bombed. We felt compelled to go to the site and try to help. Later, we learned that more than 200 people had died and thousands were injured from the attack. I felt terrible for those impacted, but I was also inspired by what I saw: in the midst of the destruction and shock, the Marines established control over the situation. They acted with assurance and purpose. That’s when I knew I needed to be a Marine.

I went to the University of Colorado, Boulder on a ROTC scholarship and joined the Marine Corps the day I graduated. I deployed twice to Iraq, where I served with some of the bravest men and women. Then, 9 years after the day I knew I wanted to be a Marine, I returned home. I did what many vets do when they return to civilian life — I wrote out my resume and went on a job search. There were a lot of great companies looking to hire veterans, but I was drawn straight to Google, because I saw they had an inspiring mission and the same strong sense of purpose that we had in the military. That direction appealed to a Marine like me. I started as a temp in fraud protection and now manage a sales team focused on driving adoption of Google Apps for Business.

According to the latest Census data, veterans run 3.7M businesses in the U.S. and are 45% more likely to start a business than the average American. The numbers speak for themselves, but personally, I think vets are such successful entrepreneurs because they value teamwork, demonstrate leadership and have a high tolerance for stress.

I also believe Google Apps is a critical tool for veterans (or anyone) starting or running a business, because it lets them focus on their ideas and their companies, rather than worrying about the technology behind it all. One of my favorite parts of the job is getting the chance to talk to veterans about launching their businesses with Google tools, like I did at a Google for Entrepreneurs workshop for veterans last summer.

This week, we’re highlighting a handful of veteran owned businesses that use Apps to communicate and collaborate with partners all over the world. These are just a small sampling of the interesting and innovative veteran owned businesses out there, with more starting each day.

Finally, for those that serve, for veterans and their families who have answered the call of duty and know it as a way of life, I am forever indebted to you and I salute you on this Veterans Day.

Rob Dyer, Marine Corps Aviation Officer and Founder and CEO of RuckPack

Editor's note: This Veterans Day, we’re celebrating our veterans' contributions and successes as entrepreneurs, by highlighting a handful of the 3.7 million businesses run by veterans in the U.S. Today, we hear from Rob Dyer, active duty Marine Corps Aviation Officer and Founder and CEO of RuckPack, a peak performance nutrition shot.

The idea for RuckPack was born while I was deployed to Afghanistan with Marine Special Operations Command. While at camp we’d talk about how great it would be to start a company together when we got home — we could keep the gang together and hire other veterans to build up the team. We even came up with a business idea: a nutrition shot with all the vitamins and minerals to keep guys in our position healthy and focused through the long, tough missions. And before we knew it, we had the early makings of RuckPack.

We tried to get the company up and running when we got back from Afghanistan, but it was hard with everyone spread out all over the country. I told a Marine buddy of mine about the business plan and some of the challenges I was facing. He told me the first step to getting the company off the ground was to start using Google Apps for Business. The majority of our team is still on active duty, myself included, but wherever we are, we're able to stay connected using Google Apps. That's helped us release two flavors of our nutrition shot that are being sold at stores and shipped to soldiers abroad.

Google Apps is the technological backbone to RuckPack — it’s what keeps our 12-person, multi-million dollar virtual operation running without an office. Hangouts keep us connected, whether it’s a conversation about a website change or a celebration of a big sale with a retail distributor. After spending day and night with these guys in the military, seeing their faces on a Hangout makes it feel like we’ve still got the gang together.

Google Docs and Drive help us keep track of and centralize our business plans and documents. Any time we get on a call with an investor, think of a topic for a blog post, or request content changes to the website, we open a Doc and share it with the appropriate people. That way, we can all keep tabs on our work, whether we’re checking in from Japan, where one of our teammates is stationed, or from Annapolis, where I live and teach at the Naval Academy.

Today, we launched our Veteran Distributor Program (VDP), which allows any U.S. veteran to join our sales force and receive a commission on any RuckPack product they sell. Our team knew from the start that we wanted to help fellow veterans; this was our way of expanding it beyond the core team. The concept of the VDP was launched and refined in a Google Doc, with each person on the team contributing with additions and comments along the way. We don’t have to be in a room together to get a great idea off the ground. We just needed a shared Google doc.

There's nothing like the bond I felt with the guys I was deployed with. There was a sense of team and trust among us that we all missed when we got back home. What's great about RuckPack is that we’ve been able to revive that same bond and camaraderie. Google Apps has helped us keep that sense of working towards a common goal — only now that goal is building a great business that helps the guys still out there serving our country.

Editor's note: Colorado has enticed all sorts of pioneers since its Wild West beginnings. We’re excited to highlight a handful of these trailblazers - the intrepid entrepreneurs, aspiring micro-brewers and ambitious thought leaders - who have helped create the adventurous and innovative culture the Centennial State is known for. Today, we hear from Brad Feld, Managing Partner at Foundry Group, a venture capital firm based in Boulder, Colorado. Join us next Wednesday for a Hangout on Air with Brad and fellow Techstars co-founder David Cohen to learn more about technology in the startup world.

What prompted you to start Foundry Group?
My partners and I started Foundry Group in 2007. We had previously worked together at Mobius Venture Capital and learned an enormous amount, both good and bad, from that experience. We built Foundry Group on a very clear strategy which included a set of deeply held beliefs centered around the power of networks and what we call “business love.” We treat each other with the utmost respect and truly like each other, and that attitude spills over to how we treat entrepreneurs and other investors. The firm is based in Boulder, Colorado but we’re national investors: 33% of our investments are in Colorado, 33% are in California, and the rest are made to organizations across the U.S.

When and why did Foundry Group decide to use Google Apps?
We switched to Google Apps in 2010 after spending the three years prior with a traditional environment grounded in Microsoft Outlook, Office and Exchange, with dedicated in-office servers. We had a heterogeneous computing environment -- some Macs and some PCs -- and the Mac users were definitely second class citizens with the Microsoft apps, while everyone suffered from disruptive email or server issues at least once a month. Meanwhile, we were using Gmail at home, and as most of our computing activities shifted to being Web-based, it was a natural evolution for us to go Google. As more Macs infiltrated our small 12-person office and the vast majority of the companies we invested in were on Google Apps, we felt incredibly anachronistic using a non-Google Apps environment. Switching was the obvious and smart decision.

How does Foundry Group use Google Apps?
Google Apps allows us to have truly continuous communication. We are incredibly aggressive Gmail users and are comfortable with the endless flow of internal email given the way conversation views work. In 2010, this was transformative for us, since we travel a lot and the ability to jump on any device from anywhere was infinitely more satisfying than the “sync my Microsoft email, connect to a VPN to access to files and wait as things grind away” experience we had gotten used to.

Does Google Apps cultivate a certain company culture?
We have an open culture and Google Apps plays a big role in maintaining transparency. Rather than meeting daily, for example, we run our entire business over one lunch on Mondays, and we use a single page on Google Sites to keep track of all the topics we discuss.

What are the most surprising benefits you've seen with Google Apps?
The continuous improvement of the actual products has been a great magic trick. We regularly discover a new Google Apps feature that quickly gets incorporated into everything we do. We each use various add-ins -- both to Chrome and specific apps -- and have found the third-party extension around the Google Apps infrastructure to be incredible. Several of the companies we’ve invested in, including Yesware and Spanning, are direct participants in this ecosystem, and it’s pretty awesome to see how it evolves.

Editor's note: Colorado has enticed all sorts of pioneers since its Wild West beginnings. We’re excited to highlight a handful of these trailblazers - the intrepid entrepreneurs, aspiring micro-brewers and ambitious thought leaders - who have helped create the adventurous and innovative culture the Centennial State is known for. Today, we hear from David Cohen, Co-founder and CEO of Techstars, a mentorship driven startup accelerator based in Boulder, Colorado. Join us next Wednesday for a Hangout on Air with David and fellow Techstars co-founder Brad Feld to learn more about technology in the startup world.

Can you tell us about Techstars?
Techstars is a startup accelerator program that pairs promising entrepreneurs and their companies with seed funding and mentorship from the top venture capital firms and angel investors. We started in Boulder in 2006, and over the last seven years, we’ve opened six new offices, graduated 234 companies, and helped create nearly 1,900 jobs.

Why do you think Boulder has become such a hot spot for entrepreneurs and startups?
Boulder has a very "give first" culture. Investors, inventors, CEOs and engineers open their doors and ears to aspiring entrepreneurs, and they do it without expecting anything in return. People here genuinely want to help others, and it has really turned the area into a hotbed of innovation and entrepreneurship.

How has Google Apps helped Techstars?
Google Apps is a boon to our operation efficiency. We've saved a ton of money, which is huge in itself, but more importantly, we're far more productive than we could be with other solutions. The collaboration features in Docs and Drive alone have saved us hours we would’ve wasted emailing attachments back and forth, trying to reconcile changes.

Do you see many of the Techstars startups using Google Apps?
More than 80 percent of Techstars startups use tools from the Google Apps platform to run their business. Most of them began using tools like Gmail, Hangouts and Docs in their personal lives, so using the business version of the platform comes naturally for them. Google Apps is heavily ingrained in our startup culture.

What’s one of the major cultural benefits you’re seeing with Google Apps?
Hangouts have revolutionized the way our company, startups, mentors and investors connect and collaborate. Our program relies heavily on successful partnerships between co-founders, startups, mentors, venture firms and employees, so having the right tools to help everyone work is vital. We have dedicated Hangout monitors in each of our offices for ad hoc discussions, staff meetings, and mentorship sessions. We vet and interview Techstars applicants over Hangouts, since our applicants come from all over the world and conference calls don’t quite capture their personality or company vision. And since our mentors are just as spread out as our applicants, we use Hangouts to connect them with the startups they’re advising.

What Google Apps product could you not live without?
I could not live without Google Docs. I literally have 15 Google Docs open at any given time, so I know I’ve got everything I need in front of me and can switch back and forth easily between them to get my work done.

(Cross-posted on the Google Cloud Platform blog)

Editor's note: Today we hear from Daniel Hasselberg, co-founder and chief executive officer of mobile game development company, MAG Interactive, based in Stockholm, Sweden. MAG Interactive produces some of the most popular games in the world, including Ruzzle, which has more than 45 million players in 142 different countries.

When we launched our word game Ruzzle in 2012, we had no idea it would become an international sensation almost overnight. We initially promoted the game only to our family and friends, but within two weeks of our launch, Ruzzle was the No.1 game on the Swedish App Store.

I believe if we hadn’t used Google App Engine to build the backend of Ruzzle, we wouldn’t have been able to scale fast enough with our own servers, which would have killed the app in the marketplace. There were about a million downloads of Ruzzle per month in the Nordic region, Holland, Spain and Italy through 2012. As we refined the game’s social integration through channels like Facebook and Twitter, we grew rapidly in Italy and the United States. In 2013, Ruzzle became the No. 1 game download on Google Play and the App Store in Italy, Sweden, the United States and many other countries.

Things were especially crazy at the end of last year. We were seeing about 700,000 new players each day from December 2012 through January 2013. We added 20 million users in a single month! It was incredible to see App Engine scale – and just keep on working – as we grew from about 5 million players to 25 million players in just a few weeks.

Our decision to use App Engine as the platform for Ruzzle and our new game, QuizCross, was strategic. Some of us at MAG Interactive helped develop the server platform for one of the most popular music download services in the Nordic region, so we knew about the challenges of having to scale quickly. While we didn’t anticipate Ruzzle’s popularity, we did recognize even before creating the game that we could face scaling problems if we were successful. So we decided from day one to use a cloud solution.

We looked at Amazon’s platform but preferred Google’s approach to cloud solutions. Google’s scalability was an important factor in our decision, but we also appreciated the company’s transparent pricing. The more efficient we became with App Engine, the less we paid.

The Google Cloud Platform team has been great to work with, as well. They are very supportive and appreciate our feedback. The technical support experts at Google are amazing, too – very hands-on. They know the platform extremely well and can help us work through any challenge.

We’re also using Google BigQuery for business intelligence. We track millions of events in the game every day so we know what users are doing – or not doing – and how we should improve the experience. We really like that we can throw enormous amounts of data at BigQuery, and it still performs. It only takes a few seconds to get results, and there are no scaling issues. It’s also easy to use. We have just one data analyst doing all the work with BigQuery but could probably use more people. If there are a few brilliant data mining experts out there who can imagine a future in Stockholm, please give us a call!

One thing we’ve learned from our BigQuery analysis is that the more users play Ruzzle, the more they improve their skills. New players typically find about 18 words in the two-minute time frame they’re given. After they play 100 games, they can find about 50 words, on average. I think that tracking player improvement is what keeps people playing and has helped to make Ruzzle so popular.

BigQuery offers our company a lot of insight into the use of our games and how we can improve them. We’re looking forward to expanding our relationship with Google as App Engine and Cloud Platform evolves.

Posted by Michael Cai, Product Manager, Google+

At most organizations, it's important to make sure that private conversations remain private. Google+ is an ideal tool for groups who want to have social conversations--without broadcasting their thoughts to the world. Today, we're adding an extra layer of security by rolling out restricted communities that only users in your organization can join. Whether it’s designs of your beta product or notes from your team off-site, anything you post will remain restricted to the organization.

You can decide if your restricted community will be open to everyone at your company or private, joinable by invitation only. While administrators can set restricted communities as the default for your organization, you can always choose to create communities open to people outside of your domain, so clients, agencies or business partners can join in the discussion.
Once a community is created, you’ll be able to share files from Google Drive as well as videos, events and photos. Community owners can easily change settings, manage membership or invite other team members to join and jump into the conversation.
You can read more about starting and managing a community in the Help Center.


Life is full of changes, especially at work. As some people retire or move on to new jobs, other people arrive to take their place. Even within a company, people often switch teams and take on new roles, which can dramatically change how they spend their time or who they need to meet with at work.

Google Calendar should make it easy to manage your schedule at work, especially if you're switching teams and trying to attend a new set of meetings. Starting today when Google Calendar invitations are sent to members of a Google Group, the attendee list will automatically update as people join or leave the group.
When you join a Google Group, you will be added to all of its meetings. And if you leave a group, those meetings will be removed from your calendar. Now you don’t have to worry about missing your new team’s meetings or having your calendar overrun by events that no longer matter.

This update will roll out to Rapid Release customers today and to Scheduled Release customers in the coming weeks. It will only apply to new calendar events created after the roll out is complete, but you can apply it to existing meetings by re-inviting the group.


Every year, tens of thousands of runners from around the world descend on the five boroughs to participate in the ING New York City Marathon.

This year’s ESPN coverage of the event changes the way we experience the big race from our living rooms. To track the progress of the race, ESPN and IMG Productions have teamed up with Google Maps to bring fans real-time locations of leading runners. We’re equipping ESPN and IMG Media’s film crew traveling by bike with Nexus smartphones displaying runner locations on a live map.

ESPN’s map broadcast is made possible by Google Maps Coordinate, a tool that gives organizations real-time visibility into the location of mobile teams. To see the map, tune in to ESPN today and follow all 26.2 miles of the race. And good luck to everyone participating in this year’s marathon!