Google publishes short story written by three authors using Docs

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In honor of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), Google brought together three authors to write a short story. The twist is that they collaborated across the country using Docs. Edan Lepucki, Mike Curato, and Tope Folarin simultaenously wrote the short story featuring 1600 words and three illustrations in one hour. The opening line, which the authors had to work the story around, was submitted by Lauren Lopez of Malaysia. Google is celebrating the power and creativity of collaboration while showcasing what is possible with its productivity suite.

You can click here to read the short story and hit the break for a recap of how it came together.


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Google Drive offers tips to simplify the holiday craziness

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The holidays are hectic for everyone because there is so much do to in a short amount of time. Luckily, Google shows that everything can be simplified with the range of products underneath the Drive umbrella. Sending out those holiday cards is organized with Forms because of the text fields for information. With the Avery Label Merge add-on, you can take addresses from Sheets and port them into a template in Docs to create holiday cards. For those very personal holiday letters, use Docs so that every member of the family can collaborate simultaneously. And take advantage of Slides so that everyone can make a wishlist presentation with unique styles.

Google Drive can do a lot professionally, and now it can do a lot for the holidays.

Source: Google Drive Blog

You can now automatically convert Office attachments in Gmail into Google Drive files

google_drive_app_iconGoogle has added a great function to Drive and Gmail that should speed up moving files between the two services. Now whenever you have an Office file in Gmail that you want to edit in Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides, a single click will automatically convert the file into the appropriate Drive app for you to begin editing immediately. Plus, you get all the extra useful features of Google’s office suite, including having a full file history to fall back on.

If you frequently get sent Office attachments in your email, this change should help speed up your work immediately.

source: Google

Google giving 1TB of free Drive storage to new Chromebook owners

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We expect Chromebooks to be a very hot item for holiday shoppers this year. The devices running Chrome OS are cheap and the hardware is vastly different than what it once was. The value of a Chromebook just keeps getting and better. And it gets even better now because Google is giving new Chromebook owners free Drive storage. How much? An astounding 1TB for two years. That is nearly $240 that you do not have to spend. It is more than enough space for the average user, that’s for sure.

The offer expires on January 1, 2015. Don’t leave it sitting underneath the Christmas tree for too long!

Source: Google Drive Blog

Google updates Chrome OS stable channel

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Google has announced the stable channel for Chrome OS devices will be getting an update over the course of the next couple weeks. Unfortunately, the update will not be hitting all devices as the Dell Chromebook 11, the HP Chromebook 14, the Acer C720 and the Toshiba Chromebook are all excluded. Those who get the update though will enjoy the following new features:

The Google Chrome team indicates the update will take some extra time to get to users as team members enjoy a holiday break next week.

source: Chrome Releases

Hangouts video calls get Google Drive file sharing support

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Today, you can share a file from Google Drive while taking part in a Hangouts video call. It seems like this feature should have existed for quite some time already, but only now is it available. You will never have to leave the conversation. Hangouts video calls will have a dedicated button within the chat window for file sharing. When the file is attached and shared, a preview appears in the chat window.

Here are the directions provided by Google:

  1. In the video call window’s left side, click the chat icon.
  2. Click the Drive picker icon, and choose the file you want to share with other people in the video call. Or you can paste the link to the file directly in the chat. Keep in mind that if they don’t have permissions to the file, you’ll need to ive the people access to the file.
  3. People in the video call can open the file from the video call’s chat in a new browser tab if they have permission to access it.

The update is rolling out over the next few days; therefore, do not be surprised if it has not appeared just yet. Have patience and, before you know it, the Google Drive file sharing button will be there.

Source: +Google for Work

Google Play Services version 6.5 updates Maps, Drive, Wallet, and Fit [Updated with APK Download]

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An update is rolling out now to Google Play Services, bringing new features to a slew of the company’s products. Maps, Drive, Wallet, and Fit are all involved in the version 6.5 update. On top of all of this, developers are being handed more control over the APIs utilized by an app.


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Google Drive can launch desktop programs from Chrome

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It can be tedious to work with cloud files as soon as possible because you have to first download the file and then select the program to open it with. A small change to Google Drive nixes that extra step. Now, when choosing a file in Drive, users can choose to “Open with” compatible desktop programs.

The only browser to use this function with is Chrome as there is a required extension available in the Chrome Web Store to get started.

Hit the break to see the function in action.


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