Google is starting to roll out an enterprise version of its Google Voice service for G Suite users. Google voice has been a long-enjoyed service for everyday consumers, and offers a lot of benefits beyond just having a normal phone number. The enterprise version of Google Voice appears to give companies a way to offer those kinds of tools, including AI-powered parts of it like voicemail transcription, that employees may be already using and potentially skirting the guidelines of a company. Administrators can provision and port phone numbers, get detailed reports and set up call routing functionality. They can also deploy phone numbers to departments or employees, giving them a sort of universal number that isn’t tied to a device — and making it easier to get in touch with someone where necessary. There’s also a spam filtering feature, which will probably be useful in handling waves of robo-calls for various purposes.
Dropbox announced a new add-on to manage Gmail attachments in Dropbox. It displays the attachments in a side panel after which you can save them if you so choose directly into your Dropbox, and the experience is the same in the mobile app or on the web. Being able to access Dropbox without leaving Gmail or other G Suite tool could potentially save users time and effort spent copying and pasting and switching programs. It's a somewhat surprising partnership, as Google and Dropbox compete on the cloud storage front: Google Drive storage has many of the same features as Dropbox.
Cisco is to buy security firm Duo Security for $2.35 billion. The acquisition feels like a good fit for Cisco. Duo’s security apparatus lets employees use their own device for adaptive authentication. Instead of issuing key fobs with security codes, Duo’s solution works securely with any device. And within Cisco’s environment, the technology should feel like a natural fit for CTOs looking for secure two-factor authentication. Over the last few years, Cisco has made several key acquisitions: OpenDNS, Sourcefire, Cloudlock, and now Duo.
WhatsApp has supported video calling since 2016, but calls were, until now, limited to two participants. With the latest change, the app is upping its support to four total participants. That's a fairly modest increase, particularly compared to other services. Facebook Messenger supports group video calls of up to 50, while Skype supports 25 participants. But the feature is likely more challenging for WhatsApp than some of its competitors. Its video calls, like other messages sent within the app, are end-to-end encrypted by default, for one thing. The company also needs to ensure new features are optimized for people with slower connections and older devices.
Microsoft Edge users no longer need passwords to log onto their favorite websites. All they need is Microsoft's new web authenticator to get in, which relies on fingerprints, facial recognition, and special PINs. This new feature accessible via Windows Hello is akin to Google's and Firefox's authenticators, which launched months ago. So while it's revolutionary for Microsoft, the tech company is pretty far behind. No wonder Edge only holds 4.19 percent of the market share as of publishing time. The purely virtual nature of Web Authenticator means if someone gets ahold of your device, the interloper has no way of getting in, since there is no longer a system on the device to hack. Its entire security process is essentially outsourced to Microsoft as a third party.
Zoho unveiled Zoho Office Platform - a brand new way to integrate, connect, and build solutions over Zoho's world class office editors. It provides a set of simple, easy to integrate APIs to give your apps a built-in document editor. Create, open, and edit documents right from your web app. This is especially helpful for businesses that are building a web application but still need fully-featured office editors to handle document management in-app. You can connect your apps to the Zoho Office Suite using our Open APIs. This will let your app users create, open, edit, convert, publish, and manage Zoho Office documents right from your app. Take a look at our detailed Sheet and Writer API docs to get started.
Google announced two new features for Google Assistant: custom routines and schedules — both focusing on automating things you do regularly, but in different ways. The first lets you trigger multiple commands with a single custom phrase — like saying “Hey Google, I’m awake” to unsilence your phone, turn on the lights and read the news. Schedules, meanwhile, could trigger a series of commands at a specific time on specific days, without you needing to say a thing.
Professional networking platform LinkedIn is adding voice messages. The voice recording feature is available via the iOS or Android app. Users can receive messages on both mobile and on the LinkedIn website. The voice messages can be up to one minute long. While LinkedIn has proven itself a powerful tool for professional networking, with particular popularity among recruiters and HR professionals, it can also feel a bit like a second overwhelming email inbox. Voice messages could prove to be a nice break from the text, but could also add a new weight to all the inbound messages users receive on the platform. LinkedIn thinks that sending voice messages on the go is easier than typing them out. Besides the asynchronous nature of LinkedIn, as compared to phone calls and voicemails, is easier for recipients of voice messages. And finally, the company believes that users can better express themselves via voice.
Slack is buying, and shutting down Atlassian's workplace group chats HipChat and Stride (that are Slack's competitors). Both tools will be discontinued and users - migrated to Slack. Hipchat was launched in beta form back in 2009, long before Slack’s debut in 2013. It mostly ruled its space in the time in between, leading Atlassian to acquire it in March of 2012. Slack quickly outgrew it in popularity though for myriad reasons — be it a bigger suite of third-party integrations, a better reputation for uptime, or better marketing. By September of 2017, Atlassian overhauled its chat platform and rebranded it as as “Stride”, but it was never able to quite catch up with Slack’s momentum.
Google is enhancing its videoconferencing system Google Meet with voice commands. This will allow users to say, “Hey Google, start the meeting.” And this is just a starting point. They promise to be adding additional commands over time. They will be adding this functionality later this year. Just last Fall, the company launched the Hangouts Meet hardware program, which provided a way for Meet customers to launch meetings using Google or other hardware such as the traditional Cisco or Polycom hardware found in many conference rooms. Google reports that customers have set up thousands of these Hangouts Meet-enabled meeting rooms. By providing some simple commands to set up the meeting, invite participants, join a meeting and so forth using your voice, it can greatly simplify the sometimes complicated activity of meeting administration, which even after all these years often seems unnecessarily complicated and frustrating for many people.