I’ve personally had a lot of issues with Gmail and their contacts management system. Perhaps my issue was rooted in the fact that I had my Mac OS Address Book configured to sync with my Gmail, but I ended up messing up my address book entirely. That said, I’m not sure if I should point the finger at Google or Apple, but perhaps this new feature in Gmail would have resolved the problem. Yet, I’m not taking any chances for now and have disabled the Address Book < -> Gmail sync entirely. (As a side-note, my problem was, in addition to regular duplicate contacts, that I ended up with a lot of duplicate contacts with only an email address — no name or any other data.)
Today is a big day for both Google and the City of Los Angeles, as the city officially pulled the plug on their old email with 34,000 users.
We covered the deal back in October when it was first announced. The reason why the deal is important is primarily because it is likely to lead to many similar deals when cities around the U.S. are looking to cut costs and move to the cloud.
While it is a big day for Google, it’s a major loss for both Microsoft and Novell, as Microsoft was Google’s closest competitor in this deal, and Novell since they powered the city of LA’s old system.
To spread the ‘success story’ even before it started, Google have already produced a video demonstrating the ‘successful switch to Google Apps’. Time will tell if the switch will be a success or failure.
Video after the jump.
Today Google announced that the ‘Offline’ module has graduated from Labs. That means that the offline feature is mature enough to be used by the average users, and not just the early adopters.
For those of you who do not know what offline-mode in Gmail/Google Apps is, it is a feature that allows you to access all your emails even when not connected to the internet. A few weeks ago, Google introduced support for attachments in Offline mode, which makes it a very powerful ‘email client’ even in offline mode.
Addicted to Gmail? Too lazy to remember the keyboard shortcuts? Then today must be your lucky day. Meet the Gboard: A keyboard fully devoted to control Gmail. Overkill? Perhaps. Awesome? You bet!
The Gboard plugs into your computer using USB and works with both Macs and PCs (and probably Linux/Unix, as it’s just a keyboard). It features 19 different keys, including Archive, Forward, Star and Reply.
The Gboard should be available right now, and sells for $19.95, making it a great xmas gift. You can order your Gboard here.
Photo after the jump.
Read the rest of this entry »
Google recently unveiled two new updates. One update affects both Google Apps and Gmail while the other one affects only Google Apps.
The first update is support for attachments in offline-mode and affects both Google Apps and Gmail. The offline-mode in Gmail/Google Apps is using Google Gears, and is a still considered experimental. Therefor it’s located in the ‘Labs’ section.
This is a major improvement to the Offline mode and I was actually surprised when I read this announcement, as I thought it was already supported. At least to me, attachments are as important at the content.
Google Apps is great. Well, it’s great as long as your needs are very simple. Once you start digging into more sophisticated features such as performing bulk administrative tasks you start to see the limitations. Google Apps even lacks a usable shared address book at this point. For a company, this is a major reason to stick to their existing Exchange architecture.
Luckily there are 3rd party add-ons that address some of these shortcoming. Power Panel from LTech is one add-on that makes Google Apps a whole lot more useful. I’ve reached out to Ed Laczynski, founder and CTO of LTech to let him explain what Power Panel is and how it can increase the value of Google Apps.
Unfortunately Power Panel is not available for Google Apps Standard, as it does not support API access or the Google App Engine.
Until recently, a low-cost alternative to Microsoft Exchange Online has been Google Apps. Google charges $50/year per user for its Google Apps access, which has stood in sharp contrast to Microsoft’s price of $120/year per user. Businesses looking to save money have begun the exodus to Google Apps, which offers many of the networked calendar, e-mail and other such features that are used often in the office.
Now, in a clear move against Google, Microsoft has slashed its price in half to $60/year per user.
Is Google Applications going to be an industry mover and shaker, as many people have predicted? Or will it be a mere nuisance for Microsoft?
Read the rest of this entry »
The City Council of Los Angeles today voted unanimously to switch from Novell GroupWise over to Google Apps. This is a $7.25 million dollar contract that will span over 5 years and include 30,000 users. The migration to the new system is planned to start next June with a limited pilot.
While this might not be the biggest contract Google have landed, it is still a major break. If the city of Los Angeles puts their seal of approval on Google Apps, many other cities are likely to follow suit. Another reason why this is important is because it includes branches of the city, such as the law enforcement. If these branches approve the security of the new system, it will significantly boost the credibility of Google Apps.
Imagine this scenario: your boss sends an e-mail, and he needs a “yes” or “no” answer immediately. If you use a Gmail or Google Apps account with your iPhone, the e-mail won’t drop into your iPhone inbox immediately, even if you use IMAP to sync your e-mail. This has caused many users to devise workarounds and “hacks” to set up push-like technology on their iPhones (Push e-mail means that whenever an e-mail is sent to a Gmail account, it is instantly sent to the mobile device. This is in contrast to the usual method of downloading Gmail e-mail messages to iPhones, which is based on a refresh rate.). In late September however, Google heard the cries of Gmail/iPhone users without push e-mail and delivered with Google Sync.
Read the rest of this entry »