Google Apps to Get More Control and Enterprise Services over Android Devices

We have always know that Google has a certain level of remote control over Android devices and now, Google wants to pass on some of this control to Google apps as well. Google has decided to add IT administration tools to Google Apps and Google Product Manager Mayur Kamat has announced this by saying,

Today we are announcing three more updates to our Android for business portfolio around security and connecting with colleagues. These products will be available to all Google Apps for Business and Google Apps for Education customers.

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Google has announced that enterprise employees using Google Apps can quickly locate a lost device on a map and can either ring the device or reset the PIN on the device. To perform this operation, they need to go to this page. Google has also introduced a new feature that allows us to encrypt all the data on Android 3.0 based tablets. To take corporate support to the next level, Google has introduced a Corporate Contacts app that allows users to effectively manage all communications within the organization.

You can setup Google Apps device policy and  Google Apps lookup at the given links.Though, Google Apps device supports are available only for Google Apps Business and Education customers. Finally, Google is taking some steps to monetize the Android ecosystem and might be the first of many steps in integrating enterprise Google services with Android.

US Government Sued By Google For Using Microsoft Products

Google has sued the US government for using only Microsoft products. According to Google, the Department of Interior is restricting competition by not considering alternatives like Google Apps. The complaint in this case is regarding a quotation by the department for its messaging needs. The DOI (Department of Interior) said that the solution should be a part of Microsoft’s BPOS suite since it offers unified and consolidated email along with better security.

Google contested these claims but were ignored by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) since they did not have a GSA contract. The GSA (General Services Administration) is an independent organization that helps with the functioning of the federal agencies.

The complaint filed by Google can be read on Scribd.

Source: TechDirt

Google Apps for Government, with Improved Security and Enterprise Features

Google has released new and improved Google apps for use by the government. It has a better security features and is built on the enterprise flavor of Google apps. Google has recently received the FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act) certification, which lets it store sensitive government data.

FISMA as  described by Wikipedia:

The act recognized the importance of  information security to the economic and national security interests of the United States.[1] The act requires each  federal agency to develop, document, and implement an agency-wide program to provide  information security for the information and  information systems that support the operations and assets of the agency, including those provided or managed by another agency,  contractor, or other source.[1]

The servers used to store this data are separate from the servers used to store other data and are geographically located inside the United States. Google has been a strong contender for FISMA and only has Microsoft as a potential competitor. Google aims to provide cost effective and safe solutions to putting data in the cloud with this latest offering.

The government has been  skeptic  about having a third party control sensitive data. However, it is showing more acceptances for this now. FISMA goes a long way in developing this level of trust and will opened a new war-zone for enterprise solutions to provide services to the Government.

(Via: ZDNet)

Multi-Domain Support Now on Google Apps

Google Apps for domains adds a new layer of productivity, features and an extra charm to its service. Google Apps already gives professional email IDs, feed URLs, docs support, QR Code support, groups and so much more to add an extra level of functionality to one’s website. Adding to that, Google announced the support for multiple domains, a few hours ago.

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Google today announced the availability of a multi-domain support for Google Apps. This would mean that we could access multiple domains from the same Google Apps account right from within our control panel. The availability of this much-anticipated feature  has made managing multiple websites spread across the same network, a lot easier.

From now onwards, we can manage groups and contact lists spread over different domains, under a single master account. This would allow moving, sharing and adding accounts in a more flexible manner. This would also allow setting up different levels of access. As an example, a certain group of contacts can have chat permissions while others can have the privileges of editing documents.

This feature gives Google Apps for Domain a professional touch and a multitude of features it has been lacking. However, the feature is currently available for Educational and Premium users free of charge.

It is good to see Google introduce this feature as Microsoft Exchange has had it from long ago. One difference here is that Microsoft Exchange has a limit on the number of domains. ReadWriteWeb gives a better understanding of the new features in this post.

Google Voice 1.4 million users. LA spends MS Money on Google. Android 2.0 running on HTC Dream. Nokia shutting down N-Gage. [WUITW]

Google Voice has 1.4 Million Users, 40% use it Everyday – Business Insider reports that Google Voice has 1.4 million users and around 40% of them actively use it. Free calls anyone?

Los Angeles Spends Microsoft Money on Google Contract – The Los Angeles government has signed a 5 year deal worth $7.25 million to overhaul email for 30,000 users by using Google Apps. The bigger surprise is that, they are using Microsoft Money to pay for this deal.

Android 2.0 Running on T-Mobile G1 aka HTC Dream – Google officially announced Android 2.0 aka Eclair, and it looks like people have already been able to install it on T-mobile G1 aka HTC Dream. Check the video above to see Android 2.0 in action on a G1 HTC Dream.

Nokia N-Gage Shutting Down – Nokia is going to shutdown their failed gaming service N-Gage. Nokia intends to stop publishing games and will eventually shutdown the service by end of next year.

Microsoft Shutting Down Office Accounting on November 16th – Microsoft will be shutting down their Office Accounting suite on November 16th. Users will continue to receive support for the product for the next five years.

Google Reader Secret Feature – Ninja Mode

Even though there are many feed readers, like Feed Demon and the rest, for reading feeds, I use Google Reader always as I love its simple interface. Recently, when I was browsing, I found a cool feature in Google Reader. I tried this out in the reader and enjoyed it a lot. So, I thought of sharing this with you people, in case you do not know.

Go to the Google Reader. Hit the following keys in the below given order only.

UP, UP, DOWN, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT,   LEFT, RIGHT, B, A

You will get a ninja feature in the sidebar of the Google Reader. There is one more interesting and cool feature in this Ninja mode. Check out in this video.

To reverse this to normal, again use the same code given above. Do share your feelings about this cool feature through comments below.

Create Your Own Tiny URL Redirection Service

For quite sometime we have been using a custom redirection service for tracking few of the outgoing links from the site, however this redirection service runs on a different server and it if goes down, all those links will stop working.

Using a URL Shortening service is also not feasible since it would not give us the stats we require for tracking the outgoing links.

Continue reading Create Your Own Tiny URL Redirection Service