Posts in "Blog"

Email & Collaboration Industry Fortnightly: August 14, 2019

Google’s Advanced Protection Program coming to G Suite enterprise users (www.9to5google.com)

“Gmail and Google Drive access by third-party apps that haven’t been been explicitly marked as trusted by your company’s IT admins are blocked. This includes email clients that aren’t Google’s web or first-party clients”. So it’s going to get harder for developers to access G Suite data. CIOs at big companies will probably be happy, though.

Work Ruined Email – It’s not too late to fix it. (www.theatlantic.com)

A close look into Yahoo’s plan to fix email.

Official: Microsoft will take an axe to Skype for Business Online. Teams is your new normal (www.theregister.co.uk)

“We can almost hear the small army of consultants smacking their lips with glee as companies face up to the challenges and potential expense of migration.”

You can now sign in to Google websites using your fingerprint on Android (www.9to5google.com)

Some Google websites will make signing in easier on Android by replacing the password with your fingerprint or other phone screen lock methods such as pins and face unlock. Google is leveraging FIDO2 and the WebAuthn standards, and the actual fingerprint stays on-device and is never sent to its servers.

Email & Collaboration Industry Fortnightly: July 31, 2019

The Hottest Phones for the Next Billion Users Aren’t Smartphones (www.wsj.com)

Feature phones are back, but they’re much more capable than a decade ago. Millions of people can’t afford a smartphone and are flocking to cheap phones running KaiOS, a fork of B2G, which was an open source community-driven successor of Firefox OS.

Google Posts Strong Profits as Hazards Mount (www.wsj.com)

Google Cloud, specifically, now has an $8 billion annual revenue run rate, up from $4 billion in early 2018.

Google’s docs․new shortcut can now create files in other signed-in accounts (9to5google.com)

I personally didn’t know about this convenient way to quickly open a blank Google Doc. Entering docs.new into your browser will open a blank Google Doc, while sheets.new, slides.new. sites.new, forms.new, and website.new will also open the corresponding G Suite apps. And now you can append /1, /2 etc to switch between various G Suite or Gmail accounts. Very useful!

Google for Education adding free ‘transformation reports’ to track G Suite usage (9to5google.com)

These reports will help IT admins track adoption and work patterns for G Suite for Education.

Email & Collaboration Industry Fortnightly: July 17, 2019

Open Source Slack Alternative Mattermost Gets $50M Funding (itsfoss.com)

Mattermost is an open source Slack alternative. This is slightly old news but I did find this article interesting because of its emphasis on the open source angle, which I find relevant with the influential open source community.

Microsoft Teams overtakes Slack with 13 million daily users (www.theverge.com)

The battle for team chat in the workplace is heating up just as Slack gets ready for its IPO. Few people thought Microsoft could build a great alternative to Slack 2.5 years ago. Google is also improving Hangouts Chat with a Gmail integration. For another perspective, make sure to also read “Why has Microsoft Teams overtaken Slack with 13 million daily users?” by Jason Lemkin.

Office 365 banned from some German schools, Google Docs and iWork also ruled out (9to5mac.com)

Email & Collaboration Industry Fortnightly: July 3, 2019

Putting A Price On Chat: Slack Stock Jumps On First Day Of Trading

Slack’s IPO has definitely made the rounds in the collaboration world. This post contains some interesting metrics:
– Slack has 10 million users with 3 million being paid users.
– 88,000 customers, with 575 customers paying $100,000 or more in ARR and accounting for approximately 40% of total revenue.
– $400 million in revenue

With Slack’s Buzzy IPO, Email Takes Another Hit

I think the headline is designed to attract clicks, but the article does contain some super interesting usage stats for Microsoft for Teams, Facebook’s WorkPlace, Webex, etc.

Microsoft bans Slack and discourages AWS and Google Docs use internally

On the one hand, I understand that all companies, especially big ones like Microsoft, need to control where their important data goes. However, it seems a little extreme to ban most versions of Slack and require a “business justification” for any use of Google Docs. Even Microsoft-owned GitHub is discouraged for “Highly Confidential types of information, specs or code.”

If Slack is so good, why are so many companies trying to fix it?

Another “clickbait-y” headline, but still an interesting read about the pros and cons of internal chat in the workplace.

Gmail’s API lockdown will kill some third-party app access, starting July 15

We’ve been working hard the last few months preparing for this.

Trump officials weigh encryption crackdown

The Trump administration is said to be considering a ban to end-to-end encryption, which would affect services like WhatsApp, Apple’s Messages etc

Google working on ‘Fast Share,’ Android Beam replacement and AirDrop competitor

AirDrop is a very useful tool, and it’s interesting to see Google develop yet another competitor. The ubiquitousness of Android makes this feature very interesting, but it’s not clear whether it’ll work on non-Nexus devices.

Email & Collaboration Industry Weekly: June 19, 2019

We’ve decided it would be better to post this blog every two weeks so we can pack more news in to one sitting! The next issue will be on July 3.

Facebook Unveils Libra Cryptocurrency, Targeting 1.7 Billion Unbanked

Facebook is going all in with crypto and launching a new token: Libra. It’s interesting that you won’t need a Facebook account to use Libra. The Libra Association will be the governing body and Facebook will be just one equal member of the Association, along with others like Union Square Ventures.

Gmail is not a telecommunications service

The German government has lost in court against Google. They were trying to apply a law meant for telcos to Gmail. The European Court of Justice has rejected this argument.

Some day 😅

See you in two weeks! 🙂

Email & Collaboration Industry Weekly: June 12, 2019

Internet Trends 2019 (www.bondcap.com)

Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Reports are a classic in the industry. I found the 2019 web version hard to navigate so I’m posting a link to the PDF.

Salesforce is Acquiring Tableau for $15.7B (meltano.com)

Another week, another big acquisition in the analytics and business intelligence space. But I’m not sure it’ll be such a great fit, with Tableau mostly being an on-premises tool while Salesforce is the standard-bearer for all things cloud and SaaS.

Google To Buy Data Firm Looker For $2.6 Billion To Boost Cloud Offerings (www.forbes.com)

“The combination of Google Cloud and Looker will enable customers to harness data in new ways to drive their digital transformation,” Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian, said in a statement.

Identity is dead (www.constellationr.com)

What’s the difference between ‘digital identity’ and ‘real life identity’?

Email & Collaboration Industry Weekly: June 5, 2019

Get G Suite adoption and collaboration insights with Work Insights, now generally available (gsuiteupdates.googleblog.com)

Work Insights, Google’s collaboration analytics tool for G Suite Enterprise customers, just left beta. Interestingly, it also shows data about Microsoft Office usage.

Apple introduces ‘Sign in with Apple’ to help protect your privacy (techcrunch.com)

More sign in options are always welcome, but will Apple Sign In work for people without iPhones? Also, according to the App Store review guidelines update, Sign In with Apple will be required for any iOS app with a single-sign in button.

G Suite Migrate beta now supports migrations from Box (gsuiteupdates.googleblog.com)

Google is improving G Suite Migrate, a tool launched a few months ago to help admins plan migration projects. It is built on technology from Google Cloud’s AppBridge acquisition in 2017.

Open Up Vs Break Up (avc.com)

Some politicians, like Senator Warren, advocate breaking up Google and other large tech companies (“big tech”). Personally, I agree with Fred Wilson when he says that that “feels like a very 19th/20th century move”. However, I’m not sure the best solution is to force Twitter to keep their API open and free. Ideally, it should be very easy to start a company and compete with Twitter.

BBM is shutting down today, here’s five solid alternatives (9to5google.com)

“BBM, or Blackberry Messenger, (…) was massive in the mid-2000s.” “It finally made the jump from Blackberry devices to iOS and Android way back in 2013 but has struggled to gain any real traction.”

Google Drive limiting third-party access to user data as part of Project Strobe (9to5google.com)

“Similar to Gmail last October, Google is locking down what apps can access user data and verifying the authenticity of those that do.”

The end of mobile (www.ben-evans.com)

“That’s where we are now – we try to work out what it means that almost everyone has a phone or a smartphone”

Many more insightful tweets in the thread. This makes me think that our own experience using Slack at ShuttleCloud is maybe so good because we’re small. I’ve heard that it gets chaotic in bigger companies. Also, short voice messages apps and Discord seem to be winning more business users.

Email & Collaboration Industry Weekly: May 29, 2019

Google’s Messages app surpasses 500 million Play Store installs

From the article: “This number is significant because Google doesn’t require phone makers to pre-install this app”.

Google’s Duplex Uses A.I. to Mimic Humans (Sometimes)

15% of all Google Duplex calls require human intervention and 25% actually start with a human caller, so I find it amazing that Google is offering this service for free. Maybe this is Google’s way to train their AI?

WhatsApp users will start seeing in-app ads within ‘Status’ feature from 2020

Latest WhatsApp beta adds Share to Facebook, QR code contact adding features

WhatsApp QR code ‘add contact’ functionality could be a real timesaver for adding new contacts.

Decentralized Domain Registry Raises $4 Million From Draper, Boost VC

In my opinion, the domain name system is an important part of the identity problem online. Unstoppable Domains could be a solution, a “safe haven for toxic content or illegal use cases” or… both 🙂

Managing communication tools in distributed companies

This is a very interesting practical example of how a mid size company has designed its internal collaboration/communication infrastructure. (Full disclosure: ShuttleCloud is a proud TechStars grad and they remain one of our top clients ☺️)

First stable Tor Browser build now available on Android

It’s great to see that this important privacy tool is now officially available in Android.

The Most Expensive Lesson Of My Life: Details of SIM port hack

This type of hack is becoming more frequent. Telecom companies need to strengthen their security protocols against social engineering, but it also shows the importance of identity management online.

The Tech My Toddler Will Never Know: Six Gadgets Headed for the Graveyard

From the article: “Sorry, email still exists in the future.”

Email & Collaboration Industry Weekly: May 15 2019

Android Pie hits 10% adoption ahead of schedule, 2.5 billion Android devices now in the wild

5 billion Android devices… that’s a lot!

Slack is adding email conversations and calendar integrations.

Email is not going away anytime soon and it looks like Slack wants to play nice with it.

The 8-Figure Email Newsletter — Morning Brew

We’ve heard great things about Morning Brew for advertisement purposes and it’s interesting to see that an email newsletter can still be a great business in 2019.

Microsoft Launches Decentralized Identity Tool on Bitcoin Blockchain

Identity online is a hard problem both for businesses and consumers and it’s interesting to see Microsoft try to tackle it with a bitcoin-based solution.

Google Pay adds Gmail importing for automatically adding tickets, loyalty cards from your inbox

Google keeps working hard on making Gmail be the future of email.

Latest WhatsApp beta adds Vacation Mode that allows you to ignore, fully mute archived chats

WhatsApp can be intrusive and these are probably going to be welcome features.

Email & Collaboration Industry Weekly: May 22, 2019

Why WhatsApp Will Never Be Secure

Does WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption guarantee privacy and security? This is an interesting post by the founder of Telegram, who might be biased of course.

Google opens Safety Engineering Center in Munich to lead global privacy initiatives

German engineers are very privacy-focused, so this makes a lot of sense and we hope it means that Google will get very strong privacy controls.

Report: Google to cease business w/ Huawei, pull Play Store, Google apps, Android updates

According to the report, future Huawei devices won’t have access to any Google services, including Play Store.


Google’s former Global Lead of Privacy Technology says there was no backdoor for the NSA.

Inside Google’s Civil War

“Activists inside Google are relying on traditional labor organizing tactics but their demands are not just the typical wage or benefits ask”. “It’s about much more than a paycheck… they want a say in and control over the products they build.”

Google Nest announces they will stop supporting Works with Nest