Three new Google Features

Google is this month rolling out three new features in our Google Apps domain.

Hangouts Chat:
A new a separate application from their previous text based messaging tool.
This new app adds improvements to text based messaging by adding the ability to create “rooms” with groups of users that can chat on a more long term basis. People can update/edit their messages, add documents, calendar invites, video conferencing requests. Google is also adding “bots” and triggers to make it possible to add future and additional functionality to chats. Ie, it would hypotethically be possible to create a bot that could respond to dataqueries. For example, sending a text message “@287bot what is michael stangas email address” and the bot could respond.

So, the workflow is more geared towards collaboration than traditional text messaging.

The app is a standalone component and can be accessed through:
or by downloading the Hangouts Chat app for Android, iOS.

More information here:

Activity Dashboard:
This is a new feature added to Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. In which people with edit rights on a document will be able to see who has viewed a document.

Currently, it is possible to see who has modified a document. Moving forward it will be possible to also see who has viewed a document.

This new dashboard will show up under the “tools” menu for individual documents.

More information here:

Google App Maker:
A new tool that allows for easier ability to programatically modify data in Google. Not as complex as creating text based scripts using APIs, but not quite as simple as fully GUI based dragging and dropping. But something in between.

I suspect this tool would be of high interest for developers, technology classes and Google power users.

More information here:

Of these three features, currently only Hangouts Chat is available right now, the other two will become available the next week or two.


For the App Maker can we request early access?

I have had several attempts with app making with students and I’m excited about this!

Thanks Jonas, for all the information.

I’m excited about the abysmally named Hangouts Chat and the App Maker.

The district has applied for early access for App Maker at least 3 times and each time got turned down because we were not a business or specifically do not run Google Apps Business license. We use Google Apps Education license.

A week ago though, we finally got confirmation from Google that it will be an enabled service for us in our domain.

The exact wording: “In the coming weeks, we’ll make App Maker generally available to G Suite Business, Enterprise, and Education customers.”

As soon as they make it available, we’ll enable it so we can test it out.


One quick note,

I just noticed that I had posted the wrong link for the Activity Dashboard information. I edited the post and updated with the new link, which is this one:

1 Like

Thanks for the information!

Has anyone tried the Hangouts Chat tool? I am intrigued by it but don’t know exactly what it does! More research is needed!

Yes, it seems aimed at Slack-type communication. I’ve been using it with a few Innovation Coaches off and on. I like the app, from what I can see so far. I think it’s much like a new habit, but could potentially start to catch more of our communication that fits between email and texting.

We could try it with the PBL group perhaps? I know Andrea has used it, and the others in our group would probably be willing to set up a group communication.

I did wish they had named it something else.