Welcome, Google Apps users!

Google Apps recently launched an improvement that made dozens of Google services available to Google Apps users for the first time. As part of this launch, Google SketchUp and 3D Warehouse are now available to our Google Apps users for free with their Apps accounts.

Google Apps is Google’s suite of cloud-based messaging and collaboration apps, including Gmail, calendar, documents, spreadsheets, and more, specifically optimized for use in organizations. These services, which run entirely in the cloud, are used by over 30 million users in small and large businesses, educational institutions, government agencies, and non-profit organizations around the world. You can learn more about how Google Apps can lower IT costs and improve productivity and collaboration at your organization at google.com/apps.

For those users who have a Google Apps account, if your administrator has already transitioned your organization to the new infrastructure, you can get started using SketchUp and 3D Warehouse at sketchup.google.com with your existing Apps account.

For more details, read the complete post on the Google Enterprise blog and follow all the updates on other newly available services for Google Apps users.

Content Rating for Android Market

[This post is by Eric Chu, Android Developer Ecosystem. —Tim Bray]

Providing users with more information about applications on Android Market has been a top request from Android users. Starting in a few weeks, we will be showing content ratings for all applications on Android Market. This new capability will provide users with additional information to help them select the best applications for them.

Android Market’s content policy remains the same as before: applications will be rated according to four content rating levels: All, Pre-teen, Teen, & Mature. Details on the rating levels can be found at Android Market Help Center.

To prepare for this launch, starting next week, developers submitting new or updated applications will be required to include a rating for all applications and games uploaded onto Android Market. In addition, developers will have the next several weeks to add a rating to their existing applications and games. Once content rating is visible to users, any applications or games that do not include a rating will be treated as “Mature”.

We are working hard to rapidly deliver improvements and upgrades to Android Market. Please look for more Android Market upgrades in the coming weeks. Thanks for your continued support and please don’t hesitate to give us feedback on what else we can do to make you more successful with Android and Android Market.

More Channels to Feed On

The YouTube API’s standard feeds are a great way to expose your users to the best of what YouTube has to offer. To compliment the existing standard video feeds, which contain lists of individual videos that meet certain criteria (the top rated videos in the United States for the current day, for instance), we’re happy to introduce a new set of standard channel feeds.

While standard video feeds contain lists of videos, standard channel feeds contain lists of channels, or user accounts. The two types of standard channel feeds are most_viewed and most_subscribed, and just like with video feeds you can narrow down your results even further with time, region, and category or user type parameters. For example, the URL for requesting the most viewed channels with videos related to music in Great Britain for the past week is http://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/api/channelstandardfeeds/GB/most_viewed/-/Music?v=2&time=this_week. Each entry in a standard channel feed provides detailed information about a specific YouTube channel, including a element with info on how many comments, videos, and views that channel has received.

Once you have these lists of channels, a natural next step would be to allow your logged-in users to subscribe to a given channel or view a list of videos uploaded in that channel.

Standard channel feeds are only available in version 2 of the YouTube API, which will soon be the default version in the production environment. In the meantime, be sure to explicitly specify that you want to use version 2 when making your YouTube API requests.

Jeff Posnick, YouTube API Team