Google today announced that it has started rolling out Training for Google Apps, a Chrome browser extension that provides optional training videos featuring captions and voiceovers. It’s available initially in Chinese, English, French, German, and Japanese, among other languages.
Once you’ve installed the extension, you’ll see a question mark in a circle in the top left corner of browser windows on desktop when you’re using Google Apps like Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Forms, Google Sites, Google Hangouts, Google Calendar, and, yes, Google+.
Click the circle, and you’ll see a panel slide out from the right side of the window, with videos grouped under categories. When you click on a video, it will start playing in the middle of the window. You can hit the “skip to next” button or click out of the viewer, in which case Google will keep track of where you left off. In fact, the panel will show your progress in all the videos for a given Google App.
Training for Google Apps can work if you’re a Google Apps for Work end user — so long as your admin has enabled it — or if you’re just a Gmail account holder. But it’s likely more focused on business use.
“Based on our customer studies, we’ve seen that organizations that deploy Training for Google Apps see an average of 35 percent higher adoption across Apps products,” Google said today in a blog post.
The technology is based on the Chrome extension provided by Synergyse, which Google acquired earlier this year. It’s the type of thing that could make many people feel more comfortable regularly using the applications. That can, in turn, help Google more effectively challenge Microsoft, whose Office apps are popular for personal and work use.
The Training for Google Apps technology should be available for all Google Apps users in the next three days, the company said.