There's a lot of product announcements every week -- and sooner or later, something gets announced that you'll want to know. Every Friday, we'll connect some of these newsy little dots and draw a picture as to what's going on with tech vendors and industry trends.
After giving early access to a new interface for Gmail back in April, Google is formalizing plans for the rollout of the new UI.
Now, Gmail customers can opt-in as part of the Early Adopter Plan (EAP) to start working within the new UI and try new features such as offline mode and response reminders, which Google calls "nudging."
In July this new update will become generally available and G Suite admins can migrate all of their users immediately, give them a choice to opt-in on their own schedule, or wait and users will be offered the opt-in choice about four weeks after the update goes live. The last option will be the default unless an administrator changes it.
Eight weeks after the July GA date, users who have not yet made the move to the new Gmail will be migrated automatically. However, they will be offered one opportunity to delay that move for four additional weeks, meaning that at 12 weeks post GA everyone gets the new Gmail.
Apple hosted its annual developer conference earlier this week and shared news about new features and capabilities that are coming for iOS and macOS.
At the same time, Microsoft wants Apple developers to know that they can easily build Objective-C and Swift based apps using its Visual Studio tools so its shared some tips about building these apps in the cloud, testing each time new code is committed, distributing test builds to beta testers automatically, and other development and testing capabilities.
Microsoft also used this post to share details about a project-based course that will help iOS developers learn more about Continuous Integration and Delivery for their app projects.
If you work with Microsoft Azure in any capacity you will want to grab the Azure Mobile app. The app just became generally available this week after a preview period for testing.
Once you are logged into the app, you can receive key notifications and other alerts about your Azure resources. It will tell you if you need to address an issue immediately, which you can take action on from the app in most cases. You can also use the Bash or PowerShell command line interfaces right from your phone.
The app takes advantage of security features on your mobile device such as Face ID, fingerprint scanning, and Two-Factor Authentication.
There is a lot of competition happening in the teams-based collaboration market with Microsoft and Google being two of the biggest players. They both regularly introduce new features and enhancements to improve the overall ability of distributed teams to connect and collaborate.
This week's announcements are all related to Google's efforts to be more capable of interfacing with other companies' services and capabilities so that users can connect no matter what technology they use.
Among the improved areas for collaboration shared this week:
- Hangouts Meet compatibility with Polycom and Cisco conferencing hardware thanks to a partnership with Pexip. In the near future Skype for Business users will be able to join Hangouts Meet calls from the Skype App.
- Google Calendar add-ons from Cisco Webex will allow meeting scheduling. Future interoperability will include add-ons from services like Arkadin, GoToMeeting, LogmeIn, Dialpad, RingCentral, Vidyo, and Vonage.
- Guests will soon be able to join in hangouts Chat sessions even though they are not part of your company.
- SAP integration with Google Sheets so that data can be easily imported for analysis.
All of these new enhancements are expected in the coming months.
On June 26, Microsoft will host a virtual summit to discuss Windows Server. The goal of the one-day event is to provide information that will help administrators learn how to modernize their current infrastructure and applications for both on-premises and cloud based configurations.
Areas of focus include hybrid configurations, security, hyper-converged infrastructure, and application platforms.
This week, shortly after announcing its acquisition of GitHub, Microsoft began the discussion around its next major release of its Visual Studio developer software, which will arrive in 2019 and be called Visual Studio 2019. It is also beginning work on a Visual Studio for Mac update at the same time.
Of course, much of this work will happen in GitHub as that is the software development platform Microsoft uses for this and other software such as Windows.
Focus areas for Visual Studio 2019 will include:
- Faster and more reliable
- Increased productivity for individuals and teams
- Improved refactoring
- Better navigation
- More capabilities in the debugger
- Faster solution loading times and a faster build process
A preview program will be available at some point however, you can go ahead and see the Visual Studio Roadmap for more about the plans for the 2019 version of Visual Studio.