Work is going Google.
How Mako Invent discovered lean growth with the help of Google Chrome Browser
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Posted by Kevin Mako, Founder, Mako Invent and Mako Design
Today we hear from Kevin Mako, founder of both
, a product development firm that provides design, prototyping, manufacturing, distribution and patenting services to inventors and
, a firm that provides industrial design, engineering and electronic hardware development services to consumer electronics manufacturers. Read why Mako Invent and Mako Design employees work in Chrome browser and Google Apps to help clients bring new products from idea to market.
I’m an entrepreneur at heart: in high school, I sold golf shirts out of the trunk of my car, and in university I began sourcing products overseas. These experiences taught me that many inventors need help turning their ideas into full-fledged businesses. In 2006, before I graduated from university, I started
to do just that. In the past year alone, we launched more than 150
from keyboards to stoves to razors and screwdrivers. We’re now a 25-employee company with offices in Toronto, Austin and London.
We rely on
Google Chrome browser
to operate as a nimble and growing team. We spend much of our time working in web-based apps, so we’re almost always using Chrome browser. I can pre-install bookmarks for new employees using Chrome browser, so my team can instantly access design prototyping, CRM and engineering tools from within the browser in one click. I also bookmark design publications
to encourage them to keep up with industry news. This means the team can easily and reliably access information as they’re designing a new product.
Chrome browser also helps us stay organized. It provides the same experience on any device, so employees see the exact same bookmarks and extensions when they switch from desktop to smartphone, and can instantly pick up where they left off from wherever they may be working. Chrome integrates with
, which is a huge advantage since we use Apps for everything.
Managing Chrome browser is simple and easy. I’m Mako’s head of IT as well as its founder, so I’m always looking for ways to save time on maintaining our technology. Chrome automatically updates every six weeks, so I know we’re using the latest, most secure version without installing anything. I use
Google Admin console
to easily keep track of and manage users, groups and browser settings.
As a small business owner, I’m energized by helping entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life. Google’s fast, reliable tools allow me to run a lean business — I can keep IT costs low without sacrificing the quality of the technology we use. With Chrome, I can be a more productive business-owner, and my company can help more early-stage entrepreneurs.
Android 7.0 Nougat brings more sweetness and security to work
Monday, August 22, 2016
Posted by James Kelly, Senior Product Manager, Android
Android 7.0 is officially here
with plenty of Nougat goodness. Following five developer previews since March, Nougat improves on prior versions of Android with strengthened security features, improved management capabilities and increased user control that can boost productivity for your employees.
Security that doesn’t get in the way of getting things done
With the release of Nougat, Android’s security features can now be applied to work apps instead of the device itself, making it easier to use an Android phone or tablet while still maintaining a secure device. This also saves on the time and hassle of continuously entering lengthy, complex passcodes to access devices.
With Android Nougat, if your company uses VPN, your work network traffic data is better protected from the time a device boots up, thanks to the new always on VPN feature. Data won’t be traveling from a work phone or tablet over unsecured connections with this function, and there’s nothing that your employees have to do to enable this extra security feature if your VPN client supports it.
An improved work experience
In addition to new security features, Android Nougat brings a number of features that your workforce will appreciate. The ability to open and resize two Android apps on the same screen gives employees more information to make smarter business decisions while multitasking. And they don’t have to leave an app to communicate, thanks to Direct Reply, which lets them respond to notifications without ever leaving the app they’re working in.
It’s easier to collaborate with team members too. Searching for work contacts can be done in both the personal dialer and messenger app. Plus employees have access to corporate directory contacts for incoming calls.
Devices can run longer on a single charge with Android Nougat too as we’ve built on the Doze battery optimizations introduced in Android Marshmallow. Along with more power efficiency on mobile devices from Doze, the Data Saver function lets employees monitor and limit data use in apps to minimize mobile broadband charges.
And since we can’t work all the time, your employees can improve their work-life balance with the new work mode setting in Android Nougat. For devices with a work profile, turning off work mode allows the phone or tablet to be used for personal apps without work interruptions during down time.
Easier, more transparent device management
With Android Nougat, we’re expanding and simplifying device management for the workplace:
IT Admins can suspend access to apps that aren’t compliant with work policies
QR code provisioning helps deploy managed devices faster and easier
Device policy and support messages in settings can be customized so employees better understand them
To learn more about these and many other strengthened security features available in Android Nougat, check out our informational page on
what’s new in Android N
for work and tune in to the
recording of our latest Hangout on Air
covering the latest Android improvements for businesses, both large and small.
Taking learning beyond classroom walls with new features for Back to School
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Posted by Dina Kachintseva, Classroom Software Engineer and Felix Wang, User Experience Designer
(Cross-posted on the Google for Education
As any teacher would tell you, the classroom isn’t the only place where learning happens — it’s just the tip of the iceberg. From parents who help students with homework, to extracurriculars, field trips and more, there are so many ways students can learn beyond the walls of the classroom. This is why today we’re announcing new features to help teachers inspire learning for students, regardless of place or time.
Parents and guardians stay informed with Google Classroom email summaries
Parent participation has a major impact on student learning. Today, we’re launching a new feature in
that will automatically share
summaries of student work with parents
. Once invited by a teacher, parents and guardians can receive automated daily or weekly email summaries of student work and class announcements, making it easier to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the classroom.
“I enjoy helping my children prepare for assignments that they have coming up – and the earlier I know about them, the better,” says Michelle Barrette, a mother of five Medfield, Massachusetts students and pilot user of the new Classroom feature. “This way I can prevent them from missing deadlines and see if they need help brainstorming topics or solutions.”
Annotations help students color outside the lines — and the classroom
When teachers want to help students understand complex math or science concepts, visuals — like drawings on a whiteboard — can help. But how does this work when students and teachers aren’t in the classroom together? Today, we’re announcing the ability to
in the Google Classroom mobile app.
Using annotations, students can complete assignments, sketch out math problems or even create visuals of creative ideas directly on their devices. This gives students a portable classroom whiteboard on which they can easily draw and sketch. Now, thinking through complex homework challenges from home, school or on the bus is even easier.
Teachers can use annotations to quickly grade assignments by writing directly on the student’s work, or highlighting the most important passages in a text or novel. Anne Farrahar, an English teacher in the Medfield Public Schools district, explains how her lessons benefitted from her high school students annotating a critique of Shakespeare’s "The Merchant of Venice." “They highlighted all the ideas they thought were convincing arguments in one color, and all the ideas they disagreed with in another color,” says Farrahar. “This gave me the chance to assess students' individual understanding and, based on their responses, gather ideas for future lessons.”
More Expeditions thousands of miles away or inside the human body
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to visit the White House Kitchen Garden or what it would be like to travel inside the human body? Today we’re announcing new
that bring students far beyond the usual places they can travel. With these adventures, like a visit to Bhutan or an exploration of the human vascular systems, teachers are able to deeply immerse students in lessons, creating vivid and memorable learning experiences.
In addition, the Expeditions app is coming soon to iOS. More teachers, including those who use iPads, will be able to share Expeditions with their students by using
on the devices in place of a VR viewer. With over 200 Expeditions available, we’re excited for them to experience these virtual field trips on more devices.
More Google for Education features for busy teachers and curious minds
In celebration of the new school year, we’re excited to share more new tools for teachers and students to break down traditional barriers within the classroom:
A more organized Classroom. To make Classroom even easier to use, teachers can organize the class stream by
adding topics to posts
, and teachers and students can filter the stream for specific topics. Plus, users can now preview documents, PDFs, images and videos, all without leaving Classroom.
Share your screens wirelessly at school. With the latest Chrome update,
Cast for Education
is now available to all teachers and students. This
free Chrome app
carries video and audio across complex school networks and has built-in controls for teachers — no new hardware required. Look out for updates including support for secondary domains coming soon.
Google Forms get an upgrade with images. In Forms, teachers can now
to questions or as multiple choice answers. This is perfect for subjects like math when students need to show their understanding of diagrams and graphs.
Inbox by Gmail for the classroom.
Inbox by Gmail
is rolling out to Google for Education users. Coming soon, email notifications from Classroom will be intelligently grouped in Inbox, making it easy for teachers and students to find important updates and highlights.
Whether students are at home or in the classroom, teachers can continue to inspire and support their curiosity with Expeditions, Classroom, Apps and Chromebooks. Stay tuned this week on
for more details on these exciting new tools.
Google for Education
Inbox by Gmail
How BioDot’s global team works better together using Android and Chrome
Monday, August 8, 2016
Posted by Dan Tisone, VP of Global IT, BioDot
Today we hear from Dan Tisone, VP of Global IT at
, a low volume dispensing manufacturer specializing in biotech applications. Learn how BioDot’s 60 employees use Android and Chrome devices to work closely together and build better products.
I’ve led IT at
since my father, a former research and development engineer at Nokia Bell Labs, founded the company in 1994. Since then, I’ve seen workplace technology evolve from clunky desktops and servers to the fast, cloud-based devices we use today.
Our transition to Google started with
in 2009. Through Gmail we discovered
. Google Apps are affordable and easy to use, so when we needed to purchase computers and smartphones for our employees the following year, we chose Google Chrome and Android products. Today, we have 42
smartphones, as well as a few dozen
As an international business headquartered in Southern California with satellite offices in Asia and Europe, our sales team travels a great deal, and tends to use their smartphones more than laptops, whether they’re at the airport, in between meetings or in a taxi. They use Google Docs to review contracts and
to create new business presentations from their Android phones while traveling. They can even update
, our CRM platform, through the mobile app.
I install work apps on each device using
Google Mobile Device Management
so employees can access required work apps and install any other pre-approved apps from the Play for Work Store. I can securely manage all devices with this central console, too. If an employee accidentally installs an app or downloads malware, I receive an alert and can fix the problem immediately.
Setting up Chromebooks is simple, too. It used to take me hours to deploy our old laptops. Each Chromebook takes minutes to set up — no time-consuming installations required. As BioDot’s sole IT staff member, it can be difficult to quickly deploy new devices while ensuring the security of every company device around the world. Chrome makes this easier.
Cloud-based Android devices also foster a collaborative work environment. For example, when the manufacturing team is assembling a new medical dispenser in the factory, they mark up the schematic diagram in red pen to show which parts don’t work. They used to snail-mail this marked up diagram to our engineers, who are hundreds or thousands of miles away in an office. Now, the manufacturing team snaps a picture of the schematic with their Android phone and uploads it to Google Drive, so engineers can see their revisions immediately. This saves our teams a few days’ delay, so they can iterate faster, and ultimately build better products in a shorter timeframe.
Google Apps also allows us to be more productive and efficient. Instead of taking a one-day trip to meet with a prospect for the first time, sales executives are starting to use Google Hangouts. This saves our company around $1,000 for each trip. When you think about the hundreds of trips salespeople take throughout the year, these savings go a long way — especially for a small company.
Switching to Google Apps, and subsequently Chrome and Android devices helps BioDot run faster and more smoothly. Employees, from tech-savvy millennials to employees who were new to smartphones, now rely on Android and Chrome devices to work together and complete tasks, whether they’re in the office, on the road or at one of our manufacturing facilities.
Android for Work
Chromebooks for Work
Charles Schwab uses Chromebooks to launch innovative, secure investment advisory service
Monday, August 1, 2016
Posted by Ed Obuchowski, Senior VP, Advisor Technology Solutions
Today we hear from Ed Obuchowski, Senior VP of Advisor Technology Solutions at
, one of the largest public brokerage and banking companies in the U.S. Learn how Charles Schwab launched Schwab Intelligent Portfolios in 250 branches nationwide using Google Chromebooks. If you’d like to learn more about how Chrome devices can be used as kiosks, register
for our August 17th Hangout on Air. To find out how Chromebooks can be used as shared devices, register for our August 18th segment
At Charles Schwab, we believe in the power of investing to transform people’s lives. Last year, we launched
Schwab Intelligent Portfolios
, an online investment advisory service that uses sophisticated computer algorithms to help clients invest smarter.
It was a huge opportunity for us to innovate and offer our clients more options when it comes to investing.
In order to launch successfully, we needed an intuitive interface that not only educated potential clients about our product but also made it easy to sign up. We tested several laptops and tablets that weren’t the right fit, before I reached out to Google. That was on a Friday and the following Monday, Google engineers came into our Phoenix engineering facility. By lunchtime, we landed on a solution that was quick to deploy, very easy to manage and use, and offered the high level of security that we demanded:
With help from
, a Google reseller, we rolled out 1,000 Chromebooks in 250 Charles Schwab branches in less than two months. Everything worked right out of the box — our IT team didn’t have to install any software or manually customize settings directly on the devices. Instead, they used
Chrome device management
to put each device in
public session mode
, so multiple clients could use the same Chrome device securely, without signing in.
Our IT staff can implement specific settings, such as session length, which saves time on device management. Today, our IT team spends fewer than 10 hours each week managing 1,700 devices in our branches across the country.
Opening a Schwab Intelligent Portfolios account on a Chromebook is easy. When a client walks into one of our branches to learn more about automated investing, an associate hands the client a Chromebook. Within seconds, the client is guided to a Charles Schwab webpage, where he or she can learn about the product, complete a questionnaire and open an account. The whole process is electronic, so there’s no paperwork — minimizing errors and time spent on administration.
Our clients trust us with their sensitive financial data and their money. Security has to be our biggest priority. Chromebooks’ rigorous security settings ensure our clients’ data is safe. Chromebooks manage software updates automatically, so devices are always running the latest and most secure version.
Our IT staff limits session length and all data is wiped after a client finishes. IT can also block certain websites and limit Chromebooks to the private Schwab network, so data isn’t traversing public networks. If a device is stolen, there's no risk of data loss and the device is rendered virtually useless.
Our partnership with Google has helped us deliver on our promise to provide best in class client experiences with ongoing innovation. We’re also looking into installing
in kiosk mode in our branch lobbies, so clients can easily explore all of our other product offerings. Tens of thousands of clients have opened Intelligent Portfolios accounts using Chromebooks’ secure, client-friendly devices, and we've exceeded our targets nearly every month since the devices were deployed.
more on how Charles Schwab's clients use Chromebooks to sign up for Schwab Intelligent Portfolios.
To find out more on how
helps keep your data and devices safe, view the Atmosphere: Rethinking Security in the Cloud digital event on demand
Chromebooks for Work
Google Cloud Platform
Announcing Android add-ons for Docs and Sheets
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Posted by By
, Product Manager, Google Apps
We know many of you consider your mobile device as your primary tool to consume business information, but what if you could use it to get more work done, from anywhere?
We’re excited to introduce
Android add-ons for Docs and Sheets
, a new way for you to do just that—whether it’s readying a contract you have for e-signature from your phone, or pulling in CRM data on your tablet for some quick analysis while waiting for your morning coffee, Android add-ons can help you accomplish more.
Get more done with your favorite third-party apps, no matter where you are
We’ve worked with eight integration partners who have created seamless integrations for Docs and Sheets. Here’s a preview of just a few of them:
- Trigger or complete a signing process from Docs or Sheets, and save the executed document to Drive. Read more
DocuSign lets you easily create signature envelopes right from Google Docs
- Import your CRM data to create and update advanced dashboards, reports and graphs on Sheets, right from your device. Read more
- Create powerful mobile apps directly from your data in Sheets instantly — no coding required. Read more
- Scan your business documents using built-in OCR, and insert their contents into Docs as editable text. Read more
You can find these add-ons and many more, including
and Classroom in our
Google Play collection
as well as directly from the add-on menus in
Try them out today, and see how much more you can do.
Android mobility best practice advisories
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Posted by Andrew Toy, Product Management Director, Android for Work
Whether it’s ubiquitous access to information or advanced new sensors that can model 3D space, one of the most exciting aspects of mobile devices is their potential to change the way we do business. Often that transformation can be dramatic, bringing new questions and challenges for IT decision makers tasked with building new infrastructure, managing device configurations and working with new partners.
Today we’re publishing the first in a series of best practice advisories that share recommendations for deploying and using Android for Work.
focuses on five best practices for securely deploying and maintaining your Android devices:
Distribute public and internal applications via the Play Store to take advantage of the security benefits and convenience of Play’s updates. Android recommends disallowing installation from “unknown sources,”
as apps installed from outside the Play Store have a higher incidence rate of malware
Research OEM and carrier partner commitments to Android’s monthly security updates when deciding which devices to purchase and support. Consider restricting access to sensitive company information on devices that don’t receive regular updates.
Store company data separately from personal data when using a personal device for work (BYOD). Separate storage ensures personal apps can’t access corporate information, and also ensures that the employee’s personal photos, music and apps remain private.
Use policies to require encryption to protect stored corporate data on devices with access to company information. For additional security, customers should consider using full disk encryption and requiring a PIN or password to start the device.
When managing a range of devices, ensure that your Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution takes a best-available approach to management that uses the latest APIs supported on a given device. This enables newer management capabilities to be used even if there are older, less-capable devices across your fleet.
We recommend using these guidelines and those in future advisories as a reference when configuring your mobility environment to make the most of
Android for Work’s extensive security and productivity benefits
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How Mako Invent discovered lean growth with the he...
Android 7.0 Nougat brings more sweetness and secur...
Taking learning beyond classroom walls with new fe...
How BioDot’s global team works better together usi...
Charles Schwab uses Chromebooks to launch innovati...
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