Google Apps (www.google.com/apps) is made up of five fully-functioning online applications: Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Talk, and Sites. Communicating with other people on the Internet is a snap with Gmail and Talk, and collaboration is simple with Calendar, Docs, and Sites. Each of these apps are fully functioning programs that allow you to do your work, such as e-mail and word processing, from any Web browser, instead of relying on your computer’s other installed software. Additionally, you can quickly access information you store online by using mini versions of the apps called gadgets. There are different editions of the whole Google Apps package, depending on your organization and needs. These include:
- Team Edition: If you already have a school or work e-mail address, this edition adds Calendar, Docs, Talk, and Sites to the mix. Plus, you can instantly start connecting with other users in your organization that have already signed up. (Click the link for Coworkers or Classmates.)
- Standard Edition: If your group or business is just starting out or is switching from another service, such as Outlook, this free edition of Google Apps lets you use all five services with your existing domain name with minimal e-mail advertisements. (Click the Business IT Managers link, click the See Details and Sign Up button, and then click Compare to Standard Edition)
- Premier Edition: This edition costs $50 per user per year, but adds more functionality and security than Standard Edition, more storage space, provides 24/7 support, and gets rid of the ads. (Click the Business IT Managers link.)
- Education Edition. This is just like Premier Edition, but free for universities, schools, and other nonprofit organizations. (Click the School IT Managers link.) These apps just so happen to play nice with each other, too, by allowing you to easily share information from one app with another. Some of the features we talk about in this book include alerts, which are sent to your e-mail account, and embedded calendars, which help your team members know what’s coming up. In the next few sections, we give you a taste of what each of the other apps does and provide examples of how you can include them in your sites by using gadgets.
Google Calendar (http://calendar.google.com) keeps track of your events. You can easily add new calendar items and access them from anywhere, including your BlackBerry or iPhone. In Calendar, you can create separate calendars for your personal and team-related events and share them with other members of your team. Displaying your team calendar is easy in Google Sites, thanks to the Calendar gadget. From your site, everyone can quickly find upcoming events or follow up on meetings that happened.
Create, edit, and store documents, spreadsheets, and presentations online with Google Docs (http://docs.google.com). Google Docs features a surprisingly powerful word processor, spreadsheet editor, and presentations app that provide most of the tools you need. One of the cool things about Docs is that you can share your documents with other team members and work on them at the same time. This way, any changes you make are automatically updated and everyone else can see them right away.
It should be no surprise, then, that you can include your docs on GoogleSites, too. Beyond simply creating links to your individual docs, Google Sites uses gadgets to place the content of your docs directly on your pages. For example, use the Spreadsheet gadget to include a list you have stored in a spreadsheet or the Presentation gadget to play an animated slideshow of a quarterly report.
Gmail (www.gmail.com) is Google’s solution to e-mail. It features a simple interface and a lot of cool innovations, such as conversations and labels. You can also use Gmail with your favorite e-mail program, such as Outlook or Thunderbird. Unlike other free e-mail services, which feature annoying graphical ads, Gmail uses text ads that are less bothersome.
With Google Apps, Gmail works with your group’s domain name. This means that your e-mail can still be email@example.com, but you can use Gmail’s intuitive interface and have your e-mail hosted by Google. Google Sites uses e-mail notifications to let your group or team members know when something changes on your site. When a change is made to a page, Google Sites sends subscribers an e-mail showing exactly what changes were made and gives you a link to open that page directly.
When e-mail simply isn’t fast enough, use Google Talk (http://talk.google.com). Talk is a really cool instant messaging app that you can either download to your computer or run directly from your site. If you’re using Google Apps Team Edition, your co-workers or fellow students are automatically added to your contact list. When one of your contacts is online (they’ll have a green dot next to their name), simply click their name and start telling them why they’re the best member of your team. When you chat with more that one person, each conversation shows as a tab along the top of the Talk gadget. Add the Talk gadget to any page on your site, and you and your team members are signed in automatically each time you visit.
Source of Information : Google Sites and Chrome
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