G Suite

G Suite (formerly Google Apps for Work and Google Apps for Your Domain) is a brand of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools, software and products developed by Google, first launched on August 28, 2006 as "Google Apps for Your Domain".[1] G Suite comprises Gmail, Hangouts, Calendar, and Google+ for communication; Drive for storage; Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Sites for collaboration; and, depending on the plan, an Admin panel and Vault for managing users and the services.[2][3] It also includes the digital interactive whiteboard Jamboard [4] and the app development platform App Maker.

While these services are free to use for consumers, G Suite adds enterprise features such as custom email addresses at a domain (@yourcompany.com), option for unlimited cloud storage (depending on plan and number of members), additional administrative tools and advanced settings, as well as 24/7 phone and email support.[3]

Being based in Google's data centers, data and information is saved instantly and then synchronized to other data centers for backup purposes. Unlike the free, consumer-facing services, G Suite users do not see advertisements while using the services, and information and data in G Suite accounts do not get used for advertisement purposes. Furthermore, G Suite administrators can fine-tune security and privacy settings.

As of January 2017, G Suite has 4 million paying businesses, and 70 million G Suite for Education users.

G Suite
gsuite logo
Developer(s)Google
Initial releaseAugust 28, 2006 (as Google Apps for Your Domain)
PlatformGmail, Calendar, Hangouts, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites, Jamboard, App Maker and Vault.
TypeBusiness Productivity, Brand and Software Suite
LicenseTrialware (Retail, volume licensing, Software as a service)
Websitegsuite.google.com gsuiteupdates.googleblog.com

History

From February 10, 2006, Google started testing "Gmail for Your Domain" at San Jose City College, hosting Gmail accounts with SJCC domain addresses and admin tools for account management.[5] On August 28, 2006, Google launched Google Apps for Your Domain, a set of apps for organizations. Available for free as a beta service, it included Gmail, Google Talk, Google Calendar, and the Google Page Creator, which was later replaced with Google Sites. Dave Girouard, then Google's vice president and general manager for enterprise, outlined its benefits for business customers: "Organizations can let Google be the experts in delivering high quality email, messaging, and other web-based services while they focus on the needs of their users and their day-to-day business".[1] Google announced an edition for schools, then known as Google Apps for Education, on October 10, 2006.[6]

On February 22, 2007, Google introduced Google Apps Premier Edition, which differed from the free version by offering more storage (10 GB per user), APIs for business integration, 99.9% uptime for Gmail, and 24/7 phone support. It cost $50 per user account per year. According to Google, early adopters of Google Apps Premier Edition included Procter & Gamble, San Francisco Bay Pediatrics, and Salesforce.com. Additionally, all editions of Google Apps were then able to use Google Documents and Spreadsheets, users could access Gmail on BlackBerry mobile devices, and administrators gained more application control.[7] Further enhancements came, on June 25, 2007, when Google added a number of features to Google Apps, including mail migration from external IMAP servers, shared address books, a visual overhaul of Google Docs and Google Sheets, and increased Gmail attachment size.[8] A ZDNet article noted that Google Apps now offered a tool for switching from the popular Exchange Server and Lotus Notes, positioning Google as an alternative to Microsoft and IBM.[9] On October 3, 2007, a month after acquiring Postini, Google announced that the startup's email security and compliance options had been added to Google Apps Premier Edition. Customers now had the ability to better configure their spam and virus filtering, implement retention policies, restore deleted messages, and give administrators access to all emails.[10]

Google introduced Google Sites on February 28, 2008. Google Sites provided a simple new Google Apps tool for creating intranets and team websites.[11]

On June 9, 2009, Google launched Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook, a plugin that allows customers to synchronize their email, calendar, and contacts data between Outlook and Google Apps.[12] Less than a month later, on July 7, 2009, Google announced that the services included in Google Apps—Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and Google Talk—were out of beta.[13]

Google opened the Google Apps Marketplace, on March 9, 2010, which is an online store for third-party business applications that integrate with Google Apps, to make it easier for users and software to do business in the cloud. Participating vendors included Intuit, Appirio, and Atlassian.[14] On July 26, 2010, Google introduced an edition for governments, then-known as Google Apps for Government, which was designed to meet the public sector's unique policy and security needs. It was also announced that Google Apps had become the first suite of cloud applications to receive Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certification and accreditation.[15]

Nearly five years after the launch of Google Apps, on April 26, 2011, Google announced that organizations with more than 10 users were no longer eligible for the free edition of Google Apps. They would have to sign up for the paid version, now known as Google Apps for Business. A flexible billing plan was also introduced, giving customers the option of paying $5 per user per month with no contractual commitment.[16]

On March 28, 2012, Google launched Google Vault, an optional electronic discovery and archiving service for Google Apps for Business customers.[17] And then, on April 24, 2012, Google introduced Google Drive, a platform for storing and sharing files. Each Google Apps for Business user was given 5GB of Drive storage, with the option to purchase more.[18] Later that year, Google announced that the free version of Google Apps would no longer be available to new customers.[19]

Google unified the storage between Drive and Gmail, on May 13, 2013, giving Google Apps customers 30GB total that are shared across the apps.[20]

On March 10, 2014, Google launched the Google Apps Referral Program, which offers participating individuals a $15 referral bonus for each new Google Apps user they refer.[21] Google, on June 25, 2014, announced Drive for Work, a new Google Apps offering featuring unlimited file storage, advanced audit reporting, and new security controls for $10 per user per month.[22]

Google Enterprise, the company's business product division, was officially renamed Google for Work on September 2, 2014. Eric Schmidt, then Google's executive chairman said, "we never set out to create a traditional 'enterprise' business—we wanted to create a new way of doing work (...) so the time has come for our name to catch up with our ambition".[23]

Google announced that Google Apps would be rebranded as G Suite on September 29, 2016.[24] Then, on October 25, 2016, Google launched the first hardware product for G Suite, the Jamboard; a 55-inch digital whiteboard connected to the cloud.[4]

Products

G Suite comprises Gmail, Hangouts, Calendar, and Google+ for communication; Drive for storage; Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Sites for collaboration; and an Admin panel and Vault for managing users and the services.[2]

The Basic plan includes email addresses with custom domains (@yourcompany.com), video and voice calls, calendars, 30GB storage, collaborative documents, spreadsheets, presentations and sites, controls for security and privacy, and 24/7 phone and email support. The Business plan adds Vault for eDiscovery and enables many additional custom features, including advanced admin controls for Drive, unlimited storage (or 1TB per user if fewer than 5 users) on Drive, audit and reporting insights for Drive content and sharing, custom message retention policies, and more.[3]

Gmail

Gmail is a web-based email service, launched in a limited beta release in April 2004.[25] With over 1 billion active consumer users worldwide in February 2016,[26] it has become popular for giving users large amounts of storage space,[27] and for having threaded conversations and robust search capabilities.[28][29]

As part of G Suite, Gmail comes with additional features designed for business use, including:[30]

  • Email addresses with the customer's domain name (@yourcompany.com)
  • 99.9% guaranteed uptime with zero scheduled downtime for maintenance[31]
  • 30GB of storage space
  • 24/7 phone and email support
  • Synchronization compatibility with Microsoft Outlook and other email providers
  • Support for add-ons that integrate third-party apps purchased from the G Suite Marketplace with Gmail[32][33][34]

Google Drive

Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service, launched on April 24, 2012. The official announcement described Drive as "a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff".[35]

With Google Drive, users can upload any type of file to the cloud, share them with others, and access them from any computer, tablet, or smartphone. Users can sync files between their device and the cloud with apps for Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS computers, and Android and iOS smartphones and tablets.

As part of G Suite, Google Drive comes with additional features designed for business use, including:[36][3]

  • Either 30GB, 1TB per user, or unlimited storage, depending on the plan
  • Advanced admin controls, depending on the plan
  • Audit and reporting insights for Drive content and sharing, depending on the plan

Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms

Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides are respectively a word processor, a spreadsheet and a presentation program. The three programs originate from company acquisitions in 2006,[37][38][39] and are today integrated into Google Drive. They all serve as collaborative software that allow users to view and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations together in real-time through a web browser or mobile device. Changes are saved automatically, with a revision history keeping track of changes. There is also the capability to set user permission levels to designate who can view, comment or edit the document as well as permissions to download the specific document. Google Forms, meanwhile, is a tool that allows collecting information from users via a personalized survey or quiz. The information is then collected and automatically connected to a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet is populated with the survey and quiz responses.[40]

In June 2014, Google introduced Office support in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides without the need for file conversion.[41] Writing for TechCrunch, Frederic Lardinois wrote that "Google is clearly positioning its apps as a more affordable solutions for companies that need to occasionally edit Office files".[42]

As part of G Suite, Google Docs and Slides come with additional features designed for business use, including unlimited revision history.[43][44]

Google Sites

Google Sites is a creation tool that allows multiple people to create and edit websites, without requiring coding knowledge or other web design skills. It was introduced in February 2008 in an effort to help customers "quickly gather a variety of information in one place – including videos, calendars, presentations, attachments, and text – and easily share it for viewing or editing with a small group, their entire organization, or the world."[11]

Google Calendar

Google Calendar is an online calendar intended to help keep track of time and schedules. It was launched in April 2006, and integrates with Gmail for users to easily add events from email messages directly to the calendar.[45]

As part of G Suite, Google Calendar comes with additional features designed for business use, including:[46]

  • Smart scheduling of meetings, where the service finds available times and appropriate locations based on coworkers' schedules
  • Public calendars for consumers to see a business' upcoming events
  • Calendar integration with Google Sites
  • Easy migration from Exchange, Outlook or iCal, or from .ics and .csv files
  • Ability to see what meeting rooms and shared resources are available

Google Hangouts

When Google Apps for Your Domain was launched in 2006, Google Talk was used for communication.[1] This was later replaced in May 2013 by Google Hangouts, a messaging service that incorporates technology from different communication services Google had developed.[47]

Hangouts supports text, voice and video conversations (video up to 25 participants), and is cross-platform on the web, Android and iOS.[48]

In July 2014, Google announced that Hangouts would be covered under the same 99.9% uptime guarauntee that Gmail and Google Drive have, as well as 24/7 phone and email support.[49]

As part of G Suite, Google Hangouts comes with additional features designed for business use, including:[48]

  • Participants can share their screens.
  • The screen automatically focuses on the person who is speaking, and "intelligent muting" prevents background noise.
  • Businesses can host Hangouts on Air; public livestreams that are automatically saved to the business' YouTube account
  • Integration with Google Calendar for one-click start of a Hangouts conversation at the beginning of a meeting
  • Custom controls for admins, including limiting access, turning chat history off, and the ability to eject participants for privacy
  • Custom status messages[50]

Hangouts Meet

After being invite-only and quietly releasing an iOS app[51] in February 2017, Google formally launched Hangouts Meet in March 2017.[52] The service was unveiled as a video conferencing app for up to 30 participants, described as an enterprise-friendly version of Hangouts. At launch, it featured a web app, an Android app, and an iOS app. Features for G Suite users include:

  • Up to 25 members per call (30 for G Suite Enterprise users)
  • Ability to join meetings from the web or through the Android or iOS app
  • Ability to call into meetings with a dial-in number
  • Password-protected dial-in numbers for G Suite Enterprise edition users
  • Integration with Google Calendar for one-click meeting calls
  • Screen-sharing to present documents, spreadsheets, or presentations
  • Encrypted calls between all users[53]

Google Hangouts Meet is a standards-based Video Conferencing application, using proprietary protocols for video, audio and data transcoding. Google have partnered with Pexip to provide interoperability between the Google protocol and standards-based SIP/H.323 protocols to enable communications between Hangouts Meet and other Video Conferencing equipment and software.[54]

Google+

Google+, Google's social networking service, was launched in invitation-only basis in June 2011,[55] before becoming officially available in October.[56]

It is used to let team members "engage and communicate" at "a deeper level", with a stream featuring posts, comments and Communities based on common goals. It "makes it easy for anyone to discuss and share ideas, no matter their team, level or location". It features Collections that make it easy to group posts by topic, in order for users to "show what they know and follow what matters most".[57]

As part of G Suite, Google+ comes with additional features designed for business use, including:[57]

  • Enhanced privacy controls
  • Restricted communities[58]

On October 8, 2018, Google announced that Google+ was being shut down by August 2019.[59]

The plan of August 2019 was expedited to April 1, 2019, due to "low usage and challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations." [60]

Google Keep

Google Keep is a note-taking service with a variety of tools for notes, including text, lists, voice, and images.[61]

Google Keep became part of G Suite in February 2017, and as part of G Suite, Google Keep comes with additional features designed for business use, including:[62][63]

  • Integration with Google Docs to easily access Keep notes while on Docs on the web

Google Vault

Google Vault, an archiving and electronic discovery service exclusively available to G Suite customers, was announced on March 28, 2012.[17]

Vault gives users "an easy-to-use and cost-effective solution for managing information critical to your business and preserving important data", with Google stating that it can "reduce the costs of litigation, regulatory investigation and compliance actions" by saving and managing Gmail messages and chat logs with the ability to search and manage data based on filters, such as terms, dates, senders, recipients, and labels.[17][64][65]

An update in June 2014 let Vault customers search, preview, copy, and export files in Google Drive.[66]

Jamboard

In October 2016, Google announced Jamboard, the first hardware product designed for G Suite. Jamboard is a digital interactive whiteboard that enables collaborative meetings and brainstorming. The Jamboard is connected to the cloud, and enables people in different locations to work together in real-time through multiple Jamboards or connected remotely through a smartphone companion app. The Jamboard recognizes different touch inputs, such as using a stylus to sketch or eraser to start over, and does not require batteries or pairing. The Jamboard is a 55-inch 4K display with a built-in HD camera, speakers and Wi-Fi.[4][67]

G Suite Marketplace

The G Suite Marketplace (formerly Google Apps Marketplace), launched in 2010,[68][69] is an online store with business-oriented cloud applications that augment G Suite functionality. The Marketplace lets administrators browse for, purchase, and deploy integrated cloud applications.[70] It comprises the Business Tools, Productivity, Education, Communication, and Utilities categories.[71]

In September 2014, Google released a blog post saying that employees would be able to install third-party apps from the Marketplace without involving administrators.[72]

Other functionality

Introduced in February 2017, Google Cloud Search enables a "unified search experience" in G Suite. Cloud Search lets users search for information across the entire G Suite product lineup. Users can also search for contacts, with results including the person's contact details, as well as events and files in common. The Cloud Search mobile app features "assist cards", described by Google as "a new way to help you find the right information at the right time. Using Google's machine intelligence technology, these cards can help you prepare for an upcoming meeting or even suggest files that need your attention". Google states that Cloud Search respects file-sharing permissions, meaning that users will only see results for files they have access to. The initial global rollout of Cloud Search introduced the functionality for G Suite Business and Enterprise customers, with Google stating that more functionality will be added over time, including support for third-party applications.[73][74]

Introduced in July 2017, "Hire" is a job applications and management tool developed by Google to be used in combination with G Suite. The tool lets employers track job candidates' contact information, as well as résumés, calendar invitations, and allows for business partners to share feedback on candidates. Job applicants can choose what information to share with potential employers. The tool is designed for businesses based in the United States with fewer than 1,000 employees,[75] and integrates with Google services, such as Gmail for sending messages, Google Calendar for tracking schedules, Google Sheets for overview of all candidates, and Google Hangouts for initial conversations.[76] Google introduced Work Insights in September 2018 for administrators to see how departments are using Google products.[77]

Security and privacy

Google states that "we do not collect, scan or use your G Suite data for advertising purposes and do not display ads in G Suite, Education, or Government core services". Furthermore, it states that "the data that companies, schools and government agencies put into our G Suite services does not belong to Google. Whether it's corporate intellectual property, personal information or a homework assignment, Google does not own that data and Google does not sell that data to third parties".[78]

Data is stored in Google's data centers, which are "built with custom-designed servers, that run our own operating system for security and performance", with "more than 550 full-time security and privacy professionals".[78] In a blog post, Google stated that benefits of using G Suite included "disaster recovery", with data and information "simultaneously replicated in two data centers at once, so that if one data center fails, we nearly instantly transfer your data over to the other one that's also been reflecting your actions." Though acknowledging that "no backup solution from us or anyone else is absolutely perfect", Google states that it has "invested a lot of effort to help make it second to none".[79]

Encryption, specifically AES 128-bit or stronger, is applied to data while stored at data centers, under transit between data centers and users, and between data centers.[78]

At its introduction in June 2014, TechCrunch reported that Google Drive, as part of G Suite, offers "enterprise-grade security and compliance", including SSAE 16 / ISAE 3402 Type II, SOC 2-audit, ISO 27001 certification, adherence to the Safe Harbor Privacy Principles, and can support industry-specific requirements like Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).[80]

Customers

As of January 2017, Google has 3 million businesses paying for G Suite,[81][82] while it has 70 million G Suite for Education users.[83][84]

In September 2014, Amit Singh, then-President of then-named Google for Work, stated that "60 percent of the Fortune 500" companies were paying for the service, with "more than 1,800 customers" signing up each week.[85]

Notable companies using G Suite include Uber,[86] AllSaints,[87] BuzzFeed,[88] Design Within Reach,[89] and PwC.[90]

Referral and partner programs

In March 2014, Google announced the Google Apps Referral Program in the United States and Canada. The program lets users receive money, coupons and other incentives by referring customers to G Suite.[91][92]

In December 2014, Google introduced the Google for Work and Education Partner Program. The program combined existing, individual programs from Apps, Chrome, Cloud Platform, Maps, and Search into one overall program, and "allows partners to better sell, service and innovate across the Google for Work and Education suite of products and platforms".[93][94]

Reception

In an August 2011 review, PC World's Tony Bradley wrote that "the value of a rival platform such as Google Apps hinges on how compatible it is with Microsoft Office formatting conventions and file types", praising Google for having "gone to great lengths to improve fidelity with Microsoft Office, but it hasn't gone far enough", criticizing "many features" for being reformatted, including "tables of contents, footnotes, or inserted images". Bradley praised Google's collaborative apps, writing that it was "besting what Microsoft offers in Office 365". Regarding the price, he wrote that "Google's package is the best value. The annual pricing of $50 per user per year makes it about a third less per user per year than Office 365, yet it boasts equivalent functionality sufficient for most small and medium organizations".[95]

Gary Marshall of TechRadar commented in 2016 that "Where Office tries to do everything imaginable, Google's suite is much more basic. That said, it's much more powerful than it was when the package debuted in 2006, but the emphasis on simplicity and speed remains." Marshall wrote that "We wouldn't want to craft a massive, complicated manuscript in Docs, but then that isn't what Docs is designed to do. It's a fast and user-friendly way to create everyday documents and to share them with colleagues and clients", and that fellow service Google Sheets "covers the most common Excel functions [...] but doesn't have the power of Microsoft's offering". Marshall praised collaboration for being "effortless", and praised importing of external file formats and making those editable and collaborative for being a "big selling point".[96]

PC Magazine's Eric Grevstad wrote that "what's online is what you get", adding that "configuring them to [work offline] is a rigmarole". He stated that the package was "an illustration of software's version of the 80/20 rule [...] 80 percent of users will never need more than 20 percent of the features". He stated that "comparing [G Suite] to Office 2016 is like bringing a handgun to a cannon fight [...] Microsoft's PC-based suite is designed to have almost every feature anyone might ever need; Google's online suite is designed to have most features most people use daily."[97]

Tom's Hardware's James Gaskin wrote that "like most Google products, it can claim the cleanest and most minimal interface in the market", and "No other suite except Office 365 can get close to the ease of collaboration Google provides. And even Microsoft's product trails by a wide margin as changes only appear in real-time in Word 2016, not the other apps". Conclusively, he wrote: "The progress made between the first Google App release and now has been considerable. As the world moves to more and more mobile computing, Google has a distinct advantage. But tradition dies hard, and those who build more than basic documents, spreadsheets, and presentations will remain tied to their desktops and laptops for the time being."[98]

After Google+ was launched, many articles were published that emphasized that having a presence on Google+ helped with the business' Google search result rankings. Particularly public-facing Pages and +1 buttons were pushed as effective marketing strategies.[99][100][101][102]

However, writing for The New York Times, Quentin Hardy said that "the sour grapes version is that Google Plus isn’t getting anything like the buzz or traffic of Facebook, so Google is figuring out other ways to make the service relevant". However, Hardy did note that the integration between Google+ and other, more popular Google services, including Hangouts, meant "it’s still early on, but it’s easy to see how this could be an efficient way to bring workers to a virtual meeting, collaborate during it and embed in a calendar the future work commitments and follow-up that result".[103]

Competitors

The key competitor to the Google suite is Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft's cloud-based offering for businesses that includes similar products. The key differences are in the pricing plans, storage space and number of features.

As noted by TechRepublic in 2013, pricing plans differ in that "Google Apps has a quick and easy pricing plan for their standard Google Apps for Business package: $5 per user per month or $50 per user per year ... In contrast, Office 365 has a multitude of plans (six as of September, 2013) which can be both good and bad since it provides flexibility but also involves some complexity to figure out the best choice". Storage space varies because "Office 365 gives users 50 GB of space in Outlook and 1 TB in OneDrive. Google Apps provides 30 GB of space which is spread among Gmail, Drive and Picasa". And regarding features, it states that "Office 365 has the advantage for plenty of users who have been familiar with Word, Excel and the rest of the gang for years; there is less of a learning curve than with Google Apps if the latter represents a brand new experience ... However, it's also true that Office is notorious for being loaded with complex, unused features which can cause confusion, so the familiarity many will embrace also comes with something of a price, especially if companies are paying for advanced packages not all employees will use. By contrast, Google Apps programs are fairly easy to learn and intuitive, but may feel too awkward for those who are hard-coded to work in Office."[104] Stephen Shankland of CNET wrote in 2014 that "It's hard to compare Google Apps' success to that of Microsoft Office since Google doesn't release revenue or user figures".[105]

As of March 2016, Microsoft has 60 million commercial customers signed up for its Office 365 product offering, with "50,000 small business customers added to Office 365 each month".[106]

See also

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Further reading

  • Beswick, James (2009). Getting Productive With Google Apps. San Francisco, CA: 415 Systems. ISBN 978-1-4404-8676-0.
  • Conner, Nancy (2008). Google Apps: The Missing Manual. Sebastopol: Pogue Press. ISBN 978-0-596-51579-9.
  • Granneman, Scott (2008). Google Apps Deciphered: Compute in the Cloud to Streamline Your Desktop. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. ISBN 978-0-13-700470-6.
  • Meet the father of Google Apps (who used to work at Microsoft)

External links

Feng Office Community Edition

Feng Office Community Edition (formerly OpenGoo) is an open-source collaboration platform developed and supported by Feng Office and the OpenGoo community. It is a fully featured online office suite with a similar set of features as other online office suites, like G Suite, Microsoft Office Live, Zimbra, LibreOffice Online and Zoho Office Suite. The application can be downloaded and installed on a server.

Feng Office could also be categorized as collaborative software and as personal information manager software.

G Suite Marketplace

G Suite Marketplace (formerly Google Apps Marketplace) is a product of Google Inc. It is an online store for web applications that work with Google Apps (Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sites, Google Calendar, Google Contacts, etc.) and with third party software. Some Apps are free. Apps are based on Google APIs or on Google Apps Script.

Gmail

Gmail is a free email service developed by Google. Users can access Gmail on the web and using third-party programs that synchronize email content through POP or IMAP protocols. Gmail started as a limited beta release on April 1, 2004 and ended its testing phase on July 7, 2009.

At launch, Gmail had an initial storage capacity offer of one gigabyte per user, a significantly higher amount than competitors offered at the time. Today, the service comes with 15 gigabytes of storage. Users can receive emails up to 50 megabytes in size, including attachments, while they can send emails up to 25 megabytes. In order to send larger files, users can insert files from Google Drive into the message. Gmail has a search-oriented interface and a "conversation view" similar to an Internet forum. The service is notable among website developers for its early adoption of Ajax.

Google's mail servers automatically scan emails for multiple purposes, including to filter spam and malware, and to add context-sensitive advertisements next to emails. This advertising practice has been significantly criticized by privacy advocates due to concerns over unlimited data retention, ease of monitoring by third parties, users of other email providers not having agreed to the policy upon sending emails to Gmail addresses, and the potential for Google to change its policies to further decrease privacy by combining information with other Google data usage. The company has been the subject of lawsuits concerning the issues. Google has stated that email users must "necessarily expect" their emails to be subject to automated processing and claims that the service refrains from displaying ads next to potentially sensitive messages, such as those mentioning race, religion, sexual orientation, health, or financial statements. In June 2017, Google announced the upcoming end to the use of contextual Gmail content for advertising purposes, relying instead on data gathered from the use of its other services.By February 2016, Gmail had one billion active users worldwide.

Google Apps Script

Apps Script is a scripting language for light-weight application development in the G Suite platform. It is based on JavaScript 1.6 with some portions of 1.7 and 1.8 and provides subset of ECMAScript 5 API, however instead of running on the client, it gets executed in the Google Cloud. According to Google, Apps Script "provides easy ways to automate tasks across Google products and third party services." Apps Script is also the tool that powers the add-ons for Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.

Google Calendar

Google Calendar is a time-management and scheduling calendar service developed by Google. It became available in beta release April 13, 2006, and in general release in July 2009, on the web and as mobile apps for the Android and iOS platforms.

Google Calendar allows users to create and edit events. Reminders can be enabled for events, with options available for type and time. Event locations can also be added, and other users can be invited to events. Users can enable or disable the visibility of special calendars, including Birthdays, where the app retrieves dates of births from Google contacts and displays birthday cards on a yearly basis, and Holidays, a country-specific calendar that displays dates of special occasions. Over time, Google has added functionality that makes use of machine learning, including "Events from Gmail", where event information from a user's Gmail messages are automatically added to Google Calendar; "Reminders", where users add to-do activities that can be automatically updated with new information; "Smart Suggestions", where the app recommends titles, contacts, and locations when creating events; and "Goals", where users enter information on a specified personal goal, and the app automatically schedules the activity at optimal times.

Google Calendar's mobile apps have received polarized reviews. 2015 reviews of the Android and iOS apps both praised and criticized the design. While some critics praised the design for being "cleaner", "bold" and making use of "colorful graphics", other reviewers asserted that the graphics took up too much space. The Smart Suggestions feature was also liked and disliked, with varying levels of success in the app actually managing to suggest relevant information upon event creation. The integration between Google Calendar and Gmail was praised, however, with critics writing that "all of the relevant details are there".

Google Classroom

Google Classroom is a free web service developed by Google for schools that aim to simplify creating, distributing and grading assignments in a paperless way. The primary purpose of Google Classroom is to streamline the process of sharing files between teachers and students.Google Classroom combines Google Drive for assignment creation and distribution, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides for writing, Gmail for communication, and Google Calendar for scheduling. Students can be invited to join a class through a private code, or automatically imported from a school domain. Each class creates a separate folder in the respective user's Drive, where the student can submit work to be a graded by a teacher. Mobile apps, available for iOS and Android devices, let users take photos and attach to assignments, share files from other apps, and access information offline. Teachers can monitor the progress for each student, and after being graded, teachers can return work along with comments.

Google Cloud Platform

Google Cloud Platform (GCP), offered by Google, is a suite of cloud computing services that runs on the same infrastructure that Google uses internally for its end-user products, such as Google Search and YouTube. Alongside a set of management tools, it provides a series of modular cloud services including computing, data storage, data analytics and machine learning. Registration requires a credit card or bank account details.Google Cloud Platform provides Infrastructure as a service, Platform as a service, and Serverless computing environments.

In April 2008, Google announced App Engine, a platform for developing and hosting web applications in Google-managed data centers, which was the first cloud computing service from the company. The service became generally available in November 2011. Since the announcement of App Engine, Google added multiple cloud services to the platform.

Google Cloud Platform is a part of Google Cloud, which includes the Google Cloud Platform public cloud infrastructure, as well as G Suite, enterprise versions of Android and Chrome OS, and application programming interfaces (APIs) for machine learning and enterprise mapping services.

Google Contacts

Google Contacts is Google's contact management tool that is available in its free email service Gmail, as a standalone service, and as a part of Google's business-oriented suite of web apps Google Apps.

Google Docs

Google Docs is a word processor included as part of a free, web-based software office suite offered by Google within its Google Drive service. This service also includes Google Sheets and Google Slides, a spreadsheet and presentation program respectively. Google Docs is available as a web application, mobile app for Android, iOS, Windows, BlackBerry, and as a desktop application on Google's ChromeOS. The app is compatible with Microsoft Office file formats.

The application allows users to create and edit files online while collaborating with other users in real-time. Edits are tracked by user with a revision history presenting changes. An editor's position is highlighted with an editor-specific color and cursor. A permissions system regulates what users can do. Updates have introduced features using machine learning, including "Explore", offering search results based on the contents of a document, and "Action items", allowing users to assign tasks to other users.

Google Drive

Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service developed by Google. Launched on April 24, 2012, Google Drive allows users to store files on their servers, synchronize files across devices, and share files. In addition to a website, Google Drive offers apps with offline capabilities for Windows and macOS computers, and Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. Google Drive encompasses Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, an office suite that permits collaborative editing of documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, forms, and more. Files created and edited through the office suite are saved in Google Drive.

Google Drive offers users with 15 gigabytes of free storage through Google One. Google One also offers 100 gigabytes, 200 gigabytes, 2 terabytes, 10 terabytes, 20 terabytes, and 30 terabytes offered through optional paid plans. Files uploaded can be up to 5 terabytes in size. Users can change privacy settings for individual files and folders, including enabling sharing with other users or making content public. On the website, users can search for an image by describing its visuals, and use natural language to find specific files, such as "find my budget spreadsheet from last December".

The website and Android app offer a Backups section to see what Android devices have data backed up to the service, and a completely overhauled computer app released in July 2017 allows for backing up specific folders on the user's computer. A Quick Access feature can intelligently predict the files users need.

Google Drive is a key component of G Suite, Google's monthly subscription offering for businesses and organizations. As part of select G Suite plans, Drive offers unlimited storage, advanced file audit reporting, enhanced administration controls, and greater collaboration tools for teams.

Following the launch of the service, Google Drive privacy policy was heavily criticized by some members of the media. Google has one set of Terms of Service and Privacy Policy agreements that cover all of its services, meaning that the language in the agreements grants the company broad rights to reproduce, use, and create derivative works from content stored on Google Drive. While the policies also confirm that users retain intellectual property rights, privacy advocates raised concerns that the licenses grant Google the rights to use the information and data to customize advertising and other services Google provides. In contrast, other members of the media noted that the agreements were no worse than those of competing cloud storage services, but that the competition uses "more artful language" in the agreements, and also stated that Google needs the rights in order to "move files around on its servers, cache your data, or make image thumbnails".

As of March 2017, Google Drive has 800 million active users, and as of September 2015, it has over one million organizational paying users. As of May 2017, there are over two trillion files stored on the service.

Google Forms

Google Forms is a survey administration app that is included in the Google Drive office suite along with Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides.

Forms features all of the collaboration and sharing features found in Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is a communication platform developed by Google which includes messaging, video chat, and VOIP features. It replaces three messaging products that Google had implemented concurrently within its services, including Google Talk, Google+ Messenger (formerly: Huddle), and Hangouts, a video chat system present within Google+. Google has also stated that Hangouts is designed to be "the future" of its telephony product, Google Voice, and has already integrated some of the capabilities of Google Voice into Hangouts. Users can be messaged by their Google+ accounts. In March 2017 Google announced Hangouts would be developed into a product aimed at business users with the Hangouts brand divided into two main products: Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet. Google announced plans in 2019 to shut down Hangouts "Classic" and transition enterprise G Suite customers to Hangouts Chat.

Google Sheets

Google Sheets is a spreadsheet program included as part of a free, web-based software office suite offered by Google within its Google Drive service. The service also includes Google Docs and Google Slides , a word processor and presentation program respectively. Google Sheets is available as a web application, mobile app for Android, iOS, Windows, BlackBerry, and as a desktop application on Google's ChromeOS. The app is compatible with Microsoft Excel file formats.

The app allows users to create and edit files online while collaborating with other users in real-time. Edits are tracked by user with a revision history presenting changes. An editor's position is highlighted with an editor-specific color and cursor and a permissions system regulates what users can do. Updates have introduced features using machine learning, including "Explore", offering answers based on natural language questions in a spreadsheet.

Google Slides

Google Slides is a presentation program included as part of a free, web-based software office suite offered by Google within its Google Drive service. The service also includes Google Docs and Google Sheets, a word processor and spreadsheet respectively. Google Slides is available as a web application, mobile app for Android, iOS, Windows, BlackBerry, and as a desktop application on Google's ChromeOS. The app is compatible with Microsoft PowerPoint file formats.Slides allows users to create and edit presentations online while collaborating with other users in real-time. Edits are tracked by user with a revision history that tracks changes to the presentation. Each editor's position is highlighted with an editor-specific color/cursor and the system regulates what users can do through varying degrees of permissions. Updates have introduced features using machine learning, including "Explore", offering suggested layouts and images for presentations, and "Action items", allowing users to assign tasks to other users.

Google for Work

Google for Work (also referred to as Google Apps for Work) was a service from Google that provides customizable enterprise versions of several Google products using a domain name provided by the customer. It featured several Web applications with similar functionality to traditional office suites, including Gmail, Hangouts, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Groups, News, Play, Sites, and Vault. It was the vision of Rajen Sheth, a Google employee who later developed Chromebooks.

History of Gmail

The public history of Gmail dates back to 2004. Gmail, a free, advertising-supported webmail service with support for Email clients, is a product from Google. Over its history, the Gmail interface has become integrated with many other products and services from the company, with basic integration as part of Google Account and specific integration points with services such as Google+, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Hangouts, YouTube, and Google Buzz. It has also been made available as part of G Suite. The Official Gmail Blog tracks the public history of Gmail from July 2007.

Jamboard

Jamboard is an interactive whiteboard developed by Google, as part of the G Suite family. It was officially announced on 25 October 2016. It has a 55" 4K touchscreen display, and will have compatibility for online collaboration through cross-platform support. The display can also be mounted onto a wall or be configured into a stand.

List of office suites

In computing, an office suite is a collection of productivity software usually containing a word processor, spreadsheet and a presentation program. There are many different brands and types of office suites. Popular office suites include Microsoft Office, G Suite, Apache OpenOffice, and LibreOffice.

Outlook Mobile

Outlook Mobile (formerly Acompli) is a mobile personal information manager for Android and iOS devices.

The app provides unified communication functionality, as opposed to splitting email, calendar, and contact management functionality into multiple, focused apps the way Windows 10 Mobile's apps. Similar to its desktop counterpart, Outlook Mobile offers an aggregation of attachments and files stored on cloud storage platforms; a "focused inbox" highlights messages from frequent contacts, and calendar events, files, and locations can be embedded in messages without switching apps. The app supports a number of email platforms and services, including Outlook.com, Microsoft Exchange and G Suite among others.

First released in April 2014 by the venture capital-backed startup of the same name, Acompli was acquired by Microsoft in December 2014. On January 29, 2015, Acompli was re-branded as Outlook Mobile—sharing its name with the Microsoft Outlook desktop personal information manager and Outlook.com email service.

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