Introducing Zoho Docs for iPad

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Zoho Docs, our Online Document Management application is now available on iPad (

iTunes link
). The 2.0 version of the application is now a universal app that works on iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch. Similar to the iPhone version, the iPad app lets you view your documents, spreadsheets, presentations etc within the app.
We have also made a few enhancements to the iPhone version. The look is crisp with added support for Retina display. We have also added options to share files with different permissions within the app.
We do have several more enhancements planned. Keep watching this space!

Play Chess Online With Zoho Writer

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Our users always surprise us when it comes to using Zoho’s services in esoteric ways. We came across this interesting post by Bidhan Adhikary (Bidhan is from Nepal) recently – ‘How to play Chess online with your friend using Zoho Docs‘. Bidhan had actually used the Zoho Writer’s editor within Zoho Docs.

The post describes how to construct a black and white table in Zoho Writer, how to place the chess piece icons in the starting squares, how to make the moves (simply drag and drop the images) and how to play chess with your remote, online friend (share the Zoho Writer document with him/her, start making the moves). Since Zoho Writer offers near real-time document editing, each move gets shown to the remote user almost immediately.

You can choose to follow the steps that Bidhan outlines in his blog post. Or click the ‘Download’ link at the top-right of Bidhan’s public Zoho Writer document, save it as a .doc/.docx file in your desktop and upload it back to your Zoho Writer account. Your online chess board is ready now. Invite your friend (share the document to your friend’s email address) and start playing chess over the web.

Some pointers:

  1. Once you have made your move, you’ll have to take your cursor out of the chess board (since Zoho Writer locks the table down for collaborative editing).
  2. For capturing an opponent’s piece, you can click on a piece and delete it, before moving your piece to that square
  3. You can use the ‘Undo’ icon for wrong capturing, moves etc
  4. You can use the ‘Collaborators’ (text bubble) icon at the bottom-right to chat with your friend while making your moves.
  5. For starting a new game, you can use Zoho Writer’s ‘Version’ feature and revert back to the initial version

Go to Zoho Writer and try making your own online chess board now :)

Have you used any of Zoho’s apps in such interesting ways? Share it with us in the comments.

Zoho Docs: Reviews, Dashboard & Advanced Search

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One of the important aspects of online collaboration is easy peer reviewing of one’s work. Zoho Docs as an online collaboration tool now provides a couple of reviewing features. Your colleagues can add comments to a file uploaded by you. And they can add their ratings to the file too.
Having a snapshot of your Zoho Docs account helps. The newly introduced dashboard view does just that. You can see your storage space details (how much storage have you used), recently added documents, recent reviews and documents with the highest ratings.

Another new option introduced in Zoho Docs is advanced search. Instead of using broad search (search all), you can narrow down your search by properties that you may know. Like document name, author name, documents shared to you, documents shared by you, tags, groups & content. Makes your search faster and more relevant.
Check out these new features in Zoho Docs and let us know your views.

Zoho Mobile Updated with Zoho Docs, new features

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Zoho
Mobile, our web application optimized for smart phones has improved
since its launch with the addition of new apps, features etc. We just
rolled out another important update to Zoho Mobile with more goodies.
Here are the features in this update.

Sign-in with your Google, Google Apps or Yahoo! Accounts

When you visit http://mobile.zoho.com,
you’ll notice that you can now login to Zoho with your Google, Google
Apps and Yahoo! accounts, keeping it consistent with our regular web
applications.



Revamped Home Screen

Once you login, iPhone and Android users will
notice changes to the home screen. The idea behind this new design for
our mobile home page is to create space for additional applications. We
are committed to mobile and many of our apps will start to make their
way to our mobile app. You’ll notice some new elements like contextual
menus for each of the listed apps for quick navigation.


New Zoho Docs Application

We
now added a new application – Zoho Docs – to Zoho Mobile. This app is
available for iPhone and Android devices. Similar to our web
application, Zoho Docs includes our office suite. This means, you can
now view your docs, spreadsheets and presentations from Writer, Sheet
& Show within this app. You’ll notice quick links on the top to
view your documents from these individual apps along with shared
documents. You can also access all files (any format) you previously uploaded to Zoho Docs.

       

As
Zoho Docs supports hierarchical folder structure, we included that in
the mobile app as well. You can now choose a folder to view the list of
files. Selecting a file opens it in the appropriate Zoho application.


Additional improvements

Apart
from these changes, we have made several tweaks on the performance
side. You should find the application more responsive. You’ll also
notice many user interface tweaks which will now be standard across all
Zoho mobile apps.

While these are few improvements to our mobile app, there are lot more in store. We are eager to hear any feedback you may have on these improvements. You’ll find a feedback link on the mobile app too.

Introducing Workspaces in Zoho Docs

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Sharing folders is something we have been asked for repeatedly by Zoho Docs users. And the workaround we’d suggested till now is to choose all files in a folder and share them. Here’s something more easy that solves this need – Workspaces. Zoho Docs users can now create workspaces and share them with colleagues and friends. Let’s see how the workspace option brings in greater flexibility

  1. Whenever you add new files to a workspace, they get shared to all the workspace’s members automatically. No need for you to share each file again to a set of email addresses.
  2. Consider a situation where a new member joins your work team. Whenever you add him/her to your workspace, he/she can see all the files that are there. The workspace acts as a repository.
  3. You can set different permissions (Viewer or Collaborator) for each of the members in your workspace
  4. You can better organize your files within a workspace by creating folders
  5. You can configure whether notification emails (sent each time a files shared) need to be sent to workspace members or not

Some screenshots that explain the new Workspace functionality.





Hope you like the new Workspace functionality in Zoho Docs. Enhancements like allowing members other than the workspace owner to upload files to the workspace are coming soon. Stay tuned!

Zoho Apps Integrate Google Docs

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We have many Google (and Google Apps) users using Zoho applications and integration between Google and Zoho Apps is increasingly becoming one of the most requested features. We previously integrated Zoho and Google at Sign-on level (both Google & Google Apps) and now, we are extending this integration to the application level.

Following a series of updates, Google Docs is now integrated with Zoho Applications – Zoho CRM, Mail, Docs & Projects. Let us look at each of these in detail.

Zoho CRM & Google Docs Integration
Several Google Apps users use Zoho CRM. They use Gmail and Google Docs along with Zoho CRM. We previously provided an option to view Gmail emails in Zoho CRM and now, we are integrating Google Docs into Zoho CRM. This allows users to attach documents from Google Docs to several modules in Zoho CRM like Leads, Contacts, Cases etc.

When you try to attach a document from Google Docs, you’ll be prompted to authenticate using your Google credentials (using oAuth). Once done, your documents from Google Docs are listed in Zoho CRM.

In the Google Docs dialog, we have options to view all files or by type. You can also search for documents in the dialog. This ‘Attach from Google Docs’ dialog is consistent with ‘Attach from Zoho Docs’ dialog we already have in our applications. Attached documents can be viewed using the respective Zoho applications.

Attach Google Docs in Zoho Mail
When you compose an email in Zoho Mail, we previously provided an option to attach documents from Zoho Docs. We are now extending this functionality to Google Docs as well. This means, while composing an email in Zoho Mail, you can attach files directly from Google Docs.

Upload files from Google Docs to Zoho Docs
Zoho Docs is a central document repository for all types of documents. We added an option to upload files directly to Zoho Docs from Google Docs.

We currently have a limit to upload 5 files at a time. We plan to remove this restriction moving forward.

Attach files to your Projects from Google Docs
Zoho Projects is another business application used by Google Apps users. We recently launched Zoho Projects for Google Apps and we provided this option to attach documents from Google Docs to the Documents module in Zoho Projects.

This presentation summarizes all the integrations.

We believe Google Docs integration with several Zoho Apps will provide seamless experience for users who use Zoho and Google Apps. We will continue to integrate Zoho Apps with Google and your inputs will drive our road-map. We are looking forward to hearing your feedback.

Import Google Docs to Zoho Docs

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Amit Agarwal has a nice blog post explaining how to download all your documents from Google Docs as a zip. If you want to have a back up of your Google Docs online, you can do so using Zoho Docs. Zoho Docs allows uploading of zip files and you can upload the zip file downloaded from Google to Zoho Docs. The slide show below shows the steps involved in backing up your Google Docs in Zoho Docs.

Recently we announced the integration between Google Apps and Zoho Projects. That integration allows you to attach a Google Docs file to the Documents module of Zoho Projects. We are coming up with more such exciting integrations soon. Stay tuned.

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