Google Bar and Chrome App Launcher offer Streamlined Experience across Devices

Google Apps for Business allow individuals to access their important data when they need it, no matter what kind of device they are using. Accessibility is key for people who sometimes need to get work done beyond a typical 8-5 workday; Device-agnostic data ensures your important information goes where you go - from your work computer at the office, to your laptop at home, and on your mobile devices everywhere in between.

With the ability to access your Google Apps data anywhere, any time and from any device, Google understands that a consistent experience across various types of devices is ideal. When navigating the interface of Google applications is streamlined across devices, users can be more productive as they switch between devices to access their data.

The new version of the Google bar and the Chrome App Launcher offer the consistency that Google Apps users have been missing if they’ve ever found themselves a bit lost adjusting to different navigational features when switching from a Chromebook or Android device to a Windows PC or Mac. In this blog post, we will highlight these two features that offer a more streamlined experience across all your different devices and operating systems. 

New Google Bar

Google Apps users will soon notice a new, simpler version of the Google bar, replacing the skinny, black Universal Navigation Bar (shown below), which was located below your address and/or bookmarks bars.
The new Google bar will appear at the top of all your Google Enterprise products, including Google Mail, Calendar, Groups and Sites. The new version is currently rolling out to Google Apps and Google Apps for Business, Education and Government users, according to this blog post that Google published last week. The updated design may remind you of the Apps grid used to navigate your Google applications on Android devices or Chromebooks.
The new Google bar (shown above) comes fully loaded, providing quick access to all your important Google products and services:

+Your Name

If you are a Google+ user, simply click on your name to navigate to your Google+ account home page in a new tab in Chrome browser.

Apps Launcher icon

Click on the Apps Launcher grid to select an application that will populate into a new tab in Chrome browser. In the screenshot below, you can see all of your Google products that are just a click away: Google+, Gmail, Drive and so forth. Additional apps, including Marketplace apps, are displayed by clicking “More” at the bottom of the list.

Google+ Notifications

With a glance up at the new Google bar, you can immediately notice if you have any unread Google+ notifications. The number of unread messages, if any, will appear in an overlying red square with the bell icon. Click on the icon to view your recent Google+ notifications.

Google+ Share Box

Click on the “Share” box to begin sharing text, photos, links, videos or events on Google+, directly from Gmail.

Your Photo

Previously, you could click on your email address displayed in the top of your screen to access delegated accounts, add an account or sign out of your session. After the update, you can click on your photo displayed in the new Google bar to access these items.

Chrome App Launcher

If you’ve used a Chromebook, you know that after signing in, your Chrome apps are always available from the grid at the bottom of your screen. If you’ve always wished for similar functionality when using Chrome browser on a Windows or Mac computer, you’re in luck! There is a Chrome App Launcher available to install on your desktop or laptop, providing you quick access to your Chrome apps. So, instead of accessing your Chrome apps from a New Tab page in Chrome browser, you can pin the App Launcher to your taskbar and access those same shortcuts from the Chrome App Launcher.

Here are the steps for installing Chrome App Launcher:

1. Navigate to:
2. Click on “Get the launcher

Sign in

Keep in mind, you must sign in to Chrome in order to use the Chrome App Launcher. This ensures you are already signed in to access apps that require a Google Account. Plus, signing in to Chrome allows you to sync your history, settings, apps, extensions, etc. across all your devices. To learn more about how to sign in to Chrome, leverage Chrome sync and create new Chrome profiles, check out our previous post, Getting Started with Google Chrome.

If you have multiple Chrome user profiles, you can switch between users via App Launcher settings. Simply click on the settings icon in the top, right corner of your App Launcher and select “Settings” from the list. In the Settings window that displays, select the profile you want to switch to and click the “Switch user” button.

Pin to Taskbar

After installing, drag the App Launcher shortcut from your Windows computer desktop and drop it into your taskbar at the bottom of your screen. Pinning the App Launcher to your taskbar eliminates the need to navigate to your desktop to open the Chrome App Launcher.

Navigate Apps List

If you have a lot of apps, you can click on the bars at the bottom to navigate to different pages.
To locate apps even faster, use the search bar and enter keywords to find what you’re looking for in the App Launcher.

Manage Apps

If you want to add more apps to your App Launcher, click on the Chrome Web Store app to peruse apps for education, entertainment, news, weather and much more. On the other hand, when you want to do some housekeeping in your app collection, right-click on an app you want to delete and choose the option “Remove from Chrome.” You can reorganize how your apps are displayed by dragging and dropping apps within App Launcher.

To stay up-to-date on the newest features in Google Apps, check out the Google Apps Release Calendar. You can even add the Release Calendar to your personal calendar, or subscribe to the Google Apps update blogs to receive this information via email or RSS feed. 

If you have any questions regarding one of the topics described in this post, please leave a comment below. If you are interested in scheduling Google Apps training for your organization, or just want to learn more about Dito’s change management services, please visit the Change Management & Training section of our website.

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