On Friday Jan 9, 2015, a new version, #1501.1, was released. It’s quite a major release of Business Hangouts, which fixes several issues and improves the user experience in general, but also adds many important new features that we are going to detail below.
I. For Google Apps Customers:
I.1 – The Administrator Role
Until now, BHO administrators in a domain were the same as those admins of the Google Domain. Now, you no longer need to be an Administrator of your Google Domain to be a BHO admin. Any BHO admin can nominate another BHO admin. If there has never been a Google Admin with a BHO account, your support team at Business Hangouts can nominate the first BHO administrator for you.
I.2 – Email Templates for a Domain
To homogenize the branding and standardize the email styles and content both for internal meeting and external Business Hangouts, BHO admins of a Google Apps domain can now modify all default email templates for all the users of the domain. The same capabilities that exist for an individual, have been brought to the admin level, for a more homogeneous and a better branded experience in regards with the email templates. Individual users are still able to modify their email templates individually, a possibility which will override domain defaults. These email templates include:
I.3 – Logos, Graphic Templates and Branding for a Domain
To homogenize the branding and standardize the communication style both for internal meeting and external Business Hangouts, BHO admins of a Google Apps domain can now modify the standard default value for the elements below, which replace the default Business Hangouts values for all the users in the domain:
- Registration Page: Registration Banner, color codes, etc.
- Login Page: Login Banner, color codes, etc.
- Lower third: Standard Default Lower Third design
- Upper right quandrant: Default Initial Shared Content, Default animated or still upper right images
I.4 – Analytics
Improved Analytics allows BHO admins to monitor the use of Business Hangouts by the users of a domain, with more details and deeper granularity.
II. For All Customers (including Google Apps clients):
II.1 – One Click Re-branding of Auto-Responders
Until now, to customize the content of the automatic email templates (BHO auto responders), hosts needed to edit each of them individually, using the BHO full HTML integrated editor tool. This capability is still kept for advanced users, but for users who don’t want to get into changing the whole email template, we offer 2 easy ways to rebrand those emails:
– Logo: upload your own logo and it will replace the standard BHO logo in all your standard emails.
– Color: Select your color, either graphically or by entering the HTML color code, and all in all your standard email templates, the BHO green color will be replaced by yours.
These capabilities are under ACCOUNT, tab PROFILE, then “My Emails” as shown in the picture below:
II.2 – Rebrand the standard Banner for all your Events
In a similar way, you can replace the standard BHO banner by your own standard banner, so that by default, it will be used in all your upcoming Business Hangouts.
II.3 – For your Lower-Thirds, don’t choose between automation and customization: Have them “automatically customized”!
Beside the ability to customize your own personal Lower third, you can now define a generic lower third and make it appear for all your guests.
Before this feature, you either had to let your guests come with their own custom lower thirds (non uniform lower thirds) or to use the automatic BHO lower thirds which gave a nice uniform aspect, but they were carrying Business Hangouts logo and colors. Now you can do the same, but with your custom colors and logos.
For a successful customization, the hosts need to respect the position of the lower third and leave the text space empty. That’s why a link to the default template image file is reminded in handy manner to be used as a starting point for creating your custom templates.
II.4 – Internet Explorer 11 is now supported
This includes the support of IE 11 for hosts, participants and viewers.
II.5 – Link to the 24/7 Tech support from inside the app
A convenient link to the tech support community from inside the app for premium hosts (see in the image above, on the left side)
II.6 – Video Quality Control for viewers
YouTube automatically adjusts the quality of the live video feed for you, but sometimes you want to change it manually. Now this is possible for viewers.
II.7 – Improved chat experience for mobile viewers
II.8 – Explicit selection of the scheduled BHOA at start time
When a host starts a BHOA, until now, Business Hangouts took him/her to the scheduled BHOA when there was only one scheduled. Now the host will explicitly choose which BHOA he/she wants to start, or just enter a standard room.
II.9 – Upper Right Quadrant
The image time is now set by default to 3 seconds instead of 0, to avoid a common mistake of forgetting the time cycles.
II.10 – One time upgrade from BUSINESS to WEBCAST plan
A new subscription option allows to upgrade from BUSINESS to a light WEBCAST (400 attendees) just for one week.
II.11 – Notification to Host
When an event is getting many registrants and approaching the limit, the host will get notified when 85% of the capacity of the plan is passed. Example: On a free plan with a capacity of 20 attendees, as soon as the 17th attendee registers, the host gets notified that they may need to upgrade.
II.12 – Validated Attendees Count shown on the VIEW button
You don’t need to view the full list of the attendees and download it to count the number of registrants. The count is now shown directly on the VIEW button under the MANAGE tab.
We hope we enjoy all this and look forward to having your feedback 🙂
The above new features are also commented during this presentation followed by a long Q&A session: