Email & Collaboration Industry Fortnightly: September 11, 2019

Gmail for Android updated with ‘swipe-to-switch’ account gesture (9to5google.com)

Google continues making improvements to the Gmail app. Many people have multiple Gmail accounts, for work, personal purposes, etc. Gmail for iOS already has a very convenient gesture for switching accounts and this is now available for Android as well.

Google wants to kill text messages and the networks aren’t happy (wired.co.uk)

“RCS is an SMS upgrade” says Nick Lane of Mobilesquared, a mobile market research company, which estimates that there’ll be more than a billion monthly active users of RCS messaging by the end of the year. Up from 311 million users at the end of June 2019, and 3.2bn by 2023.

Google Calendar makes ‘Working Hours’ more prominent, enables by default (9to5google.com)

More and more tech companies are encouraging work-life balance and Google Calendar is now making its “Working Hours” feature more prominent and enabled by default. I personally find that a bit passive-agressive 😀

Yahoo Mail down: Huge outage leaves users across the world unable to sign in, with AOL also suffering problems (inews.co.uk)

Yahoo Mail, which is still very popular with hundreds of millions of people, suffered a major outage last week.

50 U.S. states and territories announce broad antitrust investigation of Google (washingtonpost.com)

Will this be anything like the big Microsoft antitrust case of the late 90s? We’ll keep you posted.

Microsoft’s MyAnalytics work assistant now encourages you to slow down and focus (www.pcworld.com)

Microsoft is improving their personal productivity software with data from Office 365 and other sources.

Email & Collaboration Industry Fortnightly: August 28, 2019

Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo team up to make cross-device file transfers easier (www.xda-developers.com)

“AirDrop is a very popular way to easily transfer files and other data between Apple devices. There is no equivalent in the Android world, although there have been many attempts such as the recently deprecated Android Beam. Other interesting projects include OpenDrop, Google Files and Firefox Send. Now several Chinese companies are teaming up to create a potential new standard. Since Google Services are not usually present on the phones sold there, this could be popular in China and perhaps then worldwide.”

Microsoft Teams wins Enterprise Connect Best in Show award and delivers new experiences for the intelligent workplace (www.microsoft.com)

“This post from earlier this year has interesting stats regarding Microsoft Teams. It looks like many big companies have already adopted it, with over 150 organizations having more than 10,000 active users on Teams.”

In case you missed it: New tools for announcements, search, calls and more (slackhq.com)

“Microsoft Teams’ nemesis, Slack, is introducing many cool and useful features such as Google Calendar integration, call improvements, etc. Slack has a strong position in the internal chat space and they want to expand to cover more and more collaboration and communication workflows in the enterprise.”

Google Doesn’t Want Staff Debating Politics at Work Anymore (www.bloomberg.com)

“Google was well-known for allowing any kind of discussion in their employee forums, including politics. These new guidelines don’t forbid discussing politics at work but require managers to address conversations that become disruptive.”

Sunsetting Hire by Google (www.support.google.com)

“I remember seeing ads for Google Hire and salespeople have been reaching out to me till recently. Now Google has decided to retire the product a year from now. But being a paid product, it will honor existing SLAs and contracts.”

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.”