This week in Google saw the launch of Chrome 11, new Docs features, and a significant cutback in Apps.
Chrome 11 Fixes Bugs, Lands a New Logo and HTML Speech
Go go gadget Chrome 11! The latest stable release brings bug fixes, speech-to-text features and a brand new look.
Speech-to-text support, a feature developers can add to their website or app, will enable users to click an icon, speak into the computer’s microphone, and have that speech transcribed into text.
This perk is made possible by the HTML5 speech input API. You can see it in action (if you've updated to Chrome 11) on Google's own Translate site, which now features a little microphone icon indicating the feature. Currently, only English is accepted.
Meanwhile, a total of 27 security vulnerabilities are fixed in this release. Google shelled out individual rewards to the bug catchers, which ranged anywhere from US$ 500 to US$ 3,000. The nastiest bug discovered allowed a possible URL bar spoof, leading to navigation errors and interrupted page loads.
Google Docs Gets Easier with Full Folder Upload
If you thought Google's addition of the drag and drop upload feature to Docs was convenient, you'll love the additional perks that were announced this week, including the ability to upload entire folders.
The existing folder structure is preserved on upload which means that folders within folders will also upload and become collections within collections. Next, Big G has merged the upload page’s functionality into the documents list. When you upload files via the new drop down menu, a new window will display upload progress. Finally, if you are using Chrome, Safari or Firefox, you can now drag and drop files directly into your documents list to initiate an upload. You can also drop files directly into a collection (sadly, this functionality doesn't support entire folders).
Google Apps Standard Edition Cuts Back
As of May 10th, Google's definition of "small business" is getting much smaller.
Here's a recently sent out e-mail from the Google Apps Team, which notes that in the future, Google Apps will be limited to 10 users:
We recently announced upcoming changes to the maximum number of users for Google Apps. We want to let you know that, as a current customer, the changes will not affect you.
As of May 10, any organization that signs up for a new account will be required to use the paid Google Apps for Business product in order to create more than 10 users. We honor our commitment to all existing customers and will allow you to add more than 10 users to your account for 6geeks.net at no additional charge, based on the limit in place when you joined us.
The Google Apps Team
Currently, all of the Google Apps pages still show the limit at 50 free users, so if you've been tinkering with the idea of signing up, now would be the time.