SiliconFilter

Google Docs for Android Now Lets you Collaborate On the Go

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Google Docs may not be as fully featured as a full-blown productivity suite like Microsoft Office, but its collaboration features are something many of its users can’t live without anymore. Until now, though, you couldn’t edit documents collaboratively when you were on your phone. That’s changing today. Android users can now install the latest version of Google Apps for Android and start using Google Apps’ real-time collaborative editing features on the go.

In addition to this new feature, Google also updated the overall interface of the app a bit. You can now, for example, pinch to zoom and focus on a paragraph (or zoom out, of course, to see the whole document). More importantly, though, Google also added rich-text formatting so you can now bold words, add color or write a bullet list.

As usual, Google also produced a nice little video that shows off the power of being able to edit and collaborate on your documents on your phone.

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If you are a big Google Apps user, by the way, you will also appreciate the fact that Google presentations that now features a new editor and the ability to have discussions about presentations.



11:28 am


Google Docs Presentations Get Real-Time Collaboration, Transitions and Animations

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Just about a year and a half ago, most of Google’s productivity apps in the Google Docs suite received major overhauls that brought real-time collaboration and a number of other new features to Google’s online document, spreadsheet and drawing tools. One tools that was left out of that refresh at the time was Google’s online PowerPoint rival Google Docs presentations. Today, Google is changing this by bringing real-time collaboration, animations, rich tables and about 50 more new features to the presentations application.

While the apps feature set obviously can’t quite compete with Microsoft’s PowerPoint or Apple’s Keynote, making easy collaboration the focal point of the product gives it a competitive edge. As Google notes, “the best presentations are made together, collaborating with others to build a compelling story that captivates your audience.” Now, with Google Wave-like character-by-character real-time collaboration, that should get a bit easier for Google Docs users.

It’s worth noting that Microsoft, with its Office Web Apps is also now making online collaboration a focal point of its web initiatives and that the online PowerPoint app does offer a number of features (and great document fidelity) than Google.

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Here are some of the other new features that Google highlights: [list]

  • Transitions: to move between slides with simple fades or spicier 3D effects
  • Animations: to add emphasis or to make your slides more playful
  • New themes: to create beautiful presentations with distinct visual styles
  • Drawings: to build new designs, layouts, and flowcharts within a presentation
  • Rich tables with merged cells and more options for adding style to your data

[/list]

Getting Started

Google notes that these new features were designed for modern browsers. Anything newer than Firefox 4, Safari 4 and Internet Explorer, as well as Google’s own Chrome browser should work fine, though.

To get started, head to the “Document settings” from your document list and check the box next to “Create new presentations using the latest version of the presentation editor.”

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3:52 pm


Alfresco Brings Its Enterprise-Level Content Management Platform to Small Businesses

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Alfresco is an open source enterprise-ready content management and collaboration platform that is currently being used by major brands like Home Depot and Michelin. Until now, though, the organization mostly focused on these large customers with more than 10,000 users. Now, however, Alfresco is launching Alfresco Team, a new social content management solution for small business that is free for the first 5 users (a subscription to the company’s enterprise solution usually costs around $15,000 per year). Alfresco Team also includes access to the company’s new iOS apps for iPhone and iPad that allow its users to access their documents on the go.
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4:07 pm