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9 awesome features of G Suite that Google wishes more people knew about



Back in the days when I was a product designer, there were always a few features that I was particularly proud of that customers, resellers, and reviewers tended not to notice. Usually, this was because bigger features provided competitive advantage or garnered more attention. Even so, I always felt that some of the lesser-known carefully-crafted features deserved more love.

That’s why I’m launching this article series. For each product spotlighted, I’m reaching out to the product designers and internal champions, and asking them what features they wish were more well-known. Then, I’m sharing those features with you.

I first reached out to the G Suite team at Google. They gave me enough information to create two G Suite articles. This article focuses mostly on the G Suite productivity apps. Following this will be a column focusing on some snazzy things you can do with the G Suite version of Hangouts, Voice, and Drive.

Some of these features are available in the consumer version of the various Google apps, but this list is specifically for the G Suite paid app offerings. In fact, some of these features are still in beta only, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them. We’ll include beta signup links where applicable.

And, with that, let’s dive in.


This can be a huge time saver. If you want to edit a Microsoft Office doc as a Microsoft Office doc, but want to do it from within G Suite, now you can. 

Note the extension shown next to the file name.

In addition, you can use the collaborative features of G Suite because this capability allows you to edit, comment, and collaborate on Microsoft Office files using Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides without having to worry about converting file types. Read all about it in this Google blog post.


What if you could get back an hour a day? One way to do that is stop doing something that’s taking an hour a day to accomplish. According to Google’s Make It Work study, 69% of workers waste up to an hour each day switching apps. Cut down the time switching apps and you’ll gain back some time to get actual work done.

Here’s the Copper CRM integrated right inside Gmail. 

G Suite now has an add-ons beta that allows you to access third-party apps like Box, Evernote, Asana, DocuSign, Copper, and QuickBooks directly from Gmail with G Suite add-ons. Google believes that add-ons reduce time spent jumping from app to app, which could have a direct benefit to how much work you get done. Sign up for the beta here. Learn more in this Google blog post.


My Dad always wanted to create really big spreadsheets. For him, in the days of Multiplanand 1-2-3, that meant 50 or 100 rows and columns, all crammed into a single spreadsheet. But today, the amount of data available to analyze is vastly larger. What if you wanted to analyze a billion rows? Or even 10 billion rows? Normally, you’d be setting up some sort of big data project with convoluted and difficult-to-use big data tools. But no more.

G Suite’s Connected Sheets is a new kind of spreadsheet that activates when using the Sheets data connector, allowing users to analyze up to 10 billion rows of BigQuery data without the need for SQL scripts. Yeah, I said it. 10 billion rows. That, ladies and gentlemen, is why we’re using the cloud. Productivity apps no longer have to be limited to what can run on a computer. This is not my Dad’s spreadsheet app. Sign up for the beta here. Learn more in this Google blog post.


Many of us using the consumer versions of Gmail and Calendar are used to how helpful Google Assistant can be. But if you’re maintaining your calendar in G Suite, you’ve been left out in the cold. Shiver no longer. Currently available in beta, Google Assistant now integrates with G Suite, specifically Calendar. Now, you can ask Assistant when and where your next meeting is or to reschedule that 8AM call. Learn more in this Google blog post.


[Note to editor: Don’t change the following text, it’s meant as an example of bad grammar.] Its very hard for one to imagine me making grammar errors in my documents. When writing, their are always great tools to help spelling and even. Composition of sentences. Thats why when I turn in my articles to my editors they always seem so calm and never ever. They don’t frustrate about my writing. 

The new Grammar feature will help correct many grammatical errors.

The point is, grammar is more than just spelling. Building on the existing spell check functionality, Docs now highlights possible grammar errors and help users correct them. Grammar in Docs also includes a new interface for reviewing all spelling and grammar suggestions. This can be accessed through the “Tools” menu or right-click on a suggestion and select “Review more suggestions”  to see each suggestion and actions to correct any errors. Learn more in this Google blog post. And yes, I have some very patient editors.


You’ve just seen how Grammar suggestions can help out your Doc compositions. It functions like a helpful friend, looking over your shoulder and making suggestions. Now, what if you could have a helpful friend making suggestions not just about the words you write, but about the content and concepts you’re working on? What if you had an assistant who could help you uncover trends, identify interesting research, and even show you design options?

G Suite helps you dive deep into your topic, but helping you analyze, research, and design with the help of AI tech.

That’s the new Explore feature and it’s pretty slick. Powered by AI, the Explore feature in Docs, Sheets and Slides is like having a professional researcher, data analyst, or graphic designer by your side with the click of a button. The tool helps you decipher data more easily and uncover design tools and research recommendations so you can create meaningful work faster. Learn more in this Google blog post.


A few months ago, I spotlighted a hardware solution for managing meeting rooms and shared locations. For those who need room availability updated dynamically right at the room itself, it was a valid (if expensive) solution. 

Being able to find a meeting room can help make meetings just a little more bearable.

Now, however, G Suite has added improved scheduling to Calendar. This handy scheduling tool automatically suggests meeting times and available rooms based on your preferences to help you save time. Learn more in this Google blog post. No special hardware required.


If you’ve noticed any theme in our list of features, it’s that Google is surfacing more information through AI technology. 

Do you have other documents or files that might relate to what you’re working on? Quick Access may be able to find and suggest them automatically.

That trend continues into Docs, where Quick Access uses AI to suggest relevant files based on signals like Drive activity and information in your documents, so you have easy access to the most relevant and up-to-date material. Learn more in this Google blog post.


Back in June, I wrote extensively about how to de-muck a document after too many collaborators went to town on it. I used the version control feature, along with named versions.

If you’re not familiar with version control, it works like this. Rather than sifting through the 20+ edits of a doc to find your original draft, stay organized by naming specific versions of a doc. Simply go to version history and click on the three dots on the right of the version you want to name. From here, you can also make a copy of that version, which is helpful for sharing the “before” and “after” of your work. A neat feature the Google blog post discusses is that you can also create notifications to be alerted when changes are made.


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Android 10: 8 of the best features and how to use them




Android 10 is rolling out to Google’s Pixel phones right now, with more devices to gain the latest version of Android in the near future. Google recently announced Android 10 as the official name, replacing Android Q and the dessert naming scheme Google has always used. Operating system updates like Android 10 add new features and capabilities and can be refreshing if you’re growing tired of your phone. Google released the first beta of Android Q in March, and we’ve been testing it all along. 

From a new Bubbles notification feature, full-on gesture navigation, improved privacy settings and a slick Live Caption feature — there’s a lot to like about Android 10. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights. 

Android 10’s Bubbles feature should feel familiar to users of Facebook Chat Heads. Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET


Do you still use Facebook Messenger’s Chat Heads feature? If so, then you’re going to love Android 10’s new Bubbles feature. Bubbles work just like Chat Heads, with a circular notification floating above whatever is on your screen. Google wants developers to be mindful of what types of apps use Bubbles simply because a stream of notifications showing up on your screen, regardless of what you’re doing, would get real annoying real fast.

As you can see in the screenshots above, Bubbles is working with the Google Phone app. I triggered Bubbles by leaving an active call, after which a small circle showed up with the contact’s picture. While dragging the Bubble around, two options showed up at the bottom of the screen: Hide and End Call. Dragging the icon to either option caused that action. A single tap on the Bubble revealed a few more options, such as enabling the speaker or muting the call. 

Android 10 makes it a breeze to share Wi-Fi networks with a QR code. Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Wi-Fi and QR codes

Sharing your Wi-Fi network password with friends or asking for theirs can be awkward. Android 10 has a new feature that lets you create a QR code for your Wi-Fi network or scan a QR code to join a Wi-Fi network, directly in the device’s Wi-Fi settings. To use this new feature, go to Wi-Fi settings and then select your home network, followed by the Share button with a small QR code just above it. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Undo app removal

Ever accidentally remove an app from your home screen, and then realize you can’t remember which app was there? I have.

With Android 10, you have a few seconds after an app has been removed to undo the change. You’ll find the undo button along the bottom of the screen. Press it and bam, the app is back where it belongs.

You have new options when it comes to approving location access in Android 10.Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Location control

Android is finally getting more granular control over how an app can use location information. Currently, you can give an app access to your location either all the time or not all. With Android 10, you will gain the option of letting an app access your location information only while you’re actively using the app. Not only is this a privacy matter, but it’s sure to help save on battery life.

The new privacy settings in Android 10 are long overdue. Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Privacy settings

With Android 10, there’s now a dedicated Privacy section in the settings app. Opening it will reveal the various permissions apps can request for things like calendar, location, camera, contacts and microphone.

Android has lacked a clear-cut way to view what apps have access to what data on your device. The new section makes it easy to discover and revoke permissions for specific apps. Take a few minutes to learn exactly what can be done in the new Android 10 Privacy settings page. Trust us, it’s worth it. 

Android 10’s new notification settings will help you limit the dings and beeps coming from your phone. Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Better notification controls

When you long-press an alert, you’re now given two different options: Alerting and Silent. Selecting Alerting will allow the app to make sound with each new alert. Silent will not make a sound or cause your phone to vibrate. You can further tailor how notifications behave by going into Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications.

This is a small but important feature because you no longer have to dig into the Settings app to figure out how to customize an app’s alerts. You simply long-press, pick an option and you’re done

Live Caption

As a way to make Android more accessible, Google developed Live Caption. The feature will live-caption any video that’s being played, without a data connection. To activate Live Caption, play a video and then press a volume button. The volume slider that shows up will have a caption button at the bottom — tap it. You can then move around the caption by dragging it around the screen. 

You can install Android 10 if you have a Pixel phone, then be sure to familiarize yourself with gesture navigations and dig into the new privacy settings. 


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iPhone 11? Phone XI? Exactly What Will Apple Name Its 2019 Phones?




Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 10, Apple will introduce its latest iPhones, plus a new Apple Watch and perhaps more stuff.

Apple invite
The invite to tomorrow’s Apple keynote.APPLE

But while we think we know what we’re getting, we still don’t know for sure what the new iPhones are going to be called.

Regular Forbes readers will know that this guessing game is something I do each year. And my track record in 2018 and 2017 is quite remarkable. Well, what I mean is, as you’ll have seen if you clicked on those links, I’m usually wrong.

In 2017 I did think iPhone X was a good name but plumped for another name in the end. Last year, I was completely wrong.

So, at least I’m consistent, right?

Let’s see if I can score a hat trick with a look at the contenders…Today In: Innovation

iPhone 11

Could this be the name? I’m hoping so, mostly because I honestly can’t wait for Tim Cook to say, at last, “these iPhones go to 11”. Though whether a Spinal Tap reference really will make the keynote is another matter.

Well, there’s something straightforward about this, and since we’re all already talking about the iPhone 11, it would make a lot of sense to go with this name. I think it’s pretty likely. But, never forget, Apple doesn’t like to be predictable.

Also, there are three iPhones in the 2018 range, likely to be mimicked this time around. So, which iPhone would be the iPhone 11? When the iPhone X launched, it was the flagship, so does that mean the iPhone 11 will be the replacement for the iPhone XS? I don’t think so.

The current range of iPhone XR colors.APPLE

The entry-level iPhone XR, arguably the most successful phone Apple released last year, is now very much a member of the family. Just as XR indicates an ‘X’-type phone, so this year I think the XR replacement will have 11 in its name.

In fact, as it’s the popular and most affordable iPhone, perhaps it should have the iPhone 11 name all to itself.

What does that mean for the replacements for iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max?

iPhone XS Max – a new Max is about to be announced, we think.APPLE

Max makes a return

The one thing I’m sure of is that the word Max will be in the name of the largest iPhone, the presumed 6.5in screener to replace the iPhone XS Max. Before the XS Max, that sized phone was called a Plus size by Apple. To remind you that the display went edge to edge, Apple called it Max. As the next phone will have the same all-screen effect, I am sure Max will be in the mix.

How about Pro?

Pro came up as a possible name choice in 2017 for what turned out to be iPhone X. If the XR replacement is just called iPhone 11, then what do you call the XS replacement? One rumor doing the rounds in iPhone 11 Pro, or just iPhone Pro.

This is not a bad idea, but there’s one sticking point for me: the Lightning connector. While it’s true the first iPad Pro had a Lightning socket, the move to USB-C on the more recent models indicated the importance of the versatile, universally used connector, and now the whole iPad Pro range has USB-C.

I don’t think any iPhone will have a USB-C connector this year.

Of course, Apple can say that one of the reasons the iPad Pro has USB-C is to make it easier to connect the tablet to external devices such as monitors, and that won’t be the purpose with the iPhone, so Lightning is fine, thank you very much.

If it is Pro, then what?

Then there’s the question of whether it should be iPhone Pro or iPhone 11 Pro. Once that’s decided, where do you put the Max? iPhone Pro Max or iPhone 11 Pro both sound like a health supplement, so maybe it could be iPhone 11 Max Pro.

But that’s quite a mouthful.

How about iPhone XI?

Although Apple has favored roman numerals, I don’t think they’ll be used this year. After all, almost everyone talks about the iPhone X, sounding the X as a letter not as ten.

Although Apple is proud of the iPhone X, I think it will move on to regular numbers this time around. Not least so everyone says it right.

What’s the answer then?

I’m betting on iPhone 11 for the XR replacement. Then iPhone 11 with a suffix for the XS successor and the same including the word Max for the largest model. On balance, I think the most likely names for these two are iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max or, just possibly, iPhone 11 Max Pro.

But you never can tell with Apple. Only hours until we know.


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Employees who are treated rudely get their revenge with the silent treatment, research shows




Employees who are treated rudely at work get their revenge by withholding important information from colleagues and managers, new research shows.

The British Academy of Management’s annual conference in Birmingham heard today [Thursday 5 September] that employees who experience workplace incivility are more likely to engage in “deviant behaviors” directed toward both colleagues and the organization.

Researchers asked almost 300 employees in US firms to rate how rude colleagues had been to them, and how much they kept silent in order to get even or to harm their employers.

Three academics at the Universite de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour in France conducted online surveys with 297 employees working in various industries in the United States, a representative sample of the workforce.

Professor Jean Pierre Neveu, Dr. Ghulam Murtaza and Rahman Khan asked the employees to rate on a scale of 1 (never) to 5 (every day) how often a colleague or boss had been rude to them during the previous two months. They also asked them to rate from 1 to 5 how much they had remained silent about an important matter when they should have spoken up, in order to get even with a colleague or hurt their employer.

The researchers found that the average score for the rudeness experienced was 2.12, and that for every 1 unit increase, the likelihood that workers would remain silent increased by about a third. An employee who experience rudeness every day would be around twice as likely to remain silent as the average.

Employee silence, an increasingly recognized phenomenon, can be costly for organizations. Examples include staff failing to speak up when workplace plans and procedures are riddled with inaccuracies or faulty thinking.

“Experiencing incivility at work leads to deviant silence in which an individual withholds useful information to harm someone,” Mr Khan told the conference.

Staying silent was “a response to experiencing incivility because the individual thinks that it’s fair to retaliate against the perpetrator,” he said.

“Employees intentionally remain silent about important issues because they perceive their work environment is not conducive for it, which can posit serious harm to the organizations.

“Experiencing workplace incivility may not only be harmful to a victim’s mental health but can also motivate him or her to make unethical choices. In turn, such deviant behaviors can hurt an organization’s culture as well as its financial condition.”

Mr Khan said that staying silent could backfire and created a vicious cycle. “Deviant behavior like hiding valuable information can lead colleagues or superiors to make wrong decisions and may cause negative emotions in them thus further leading to subsequent mistreatment targeted towards the perpetrator as they want to pay him back.”


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