If you're using a Google Apps account with your own domain (which we recommend doing rather than, for example, using a straight-up @gmail account), you know that sometimes new feature releases are delayed. Unfortunately Google hasn't changed anything on that front, but they have added a new feature release process for Google Apps, and depending on your account, it may be set to the slower release cycle — which you probably don't want.
Here's how it works:
From the Google Enterprise blog:
Our new process has two release tracks that Google Apps administrators can choose from:
- Rapid Release: Customers on the Rapid Release track have access to new features as soon as the features have completed testing and quality assurance, and are ready to roll out.
- Scheduled Release: Customers on the Scheduled Release track gain access to new features on a regular, weekly release schedule following the initial release of those features. This delay allows time for administrators to familiarize themselves with new features using a test domain, educate support staff, and communicate any changes to their users. New features will be released on the Scheduled Release track each Tuesday, with at least a one-week notice following the initial feature launch.
By default Google sets your release track to Scheduled releases (the slow one) unless you'd previously had Pre-release features enabled, in which case you're placed on the Rapid release track. Most individual users like you and me don't need to worry about training users, so the delayed weekly schedule really isn't necessary. To switch to the Rapid release cycle (or verify that you're already on it), point your browser to
https://www.google.com/a/cpanel/ example.com/DomainSettings (replacing example.com with your domain name), untick the checkbox next to Enable scheduled releases, and click Save Changes. (While you're there, you should also make sure you've enabled SSL right above the release settings.)
Google has also created a page detailing the current Rapid release features to give you an idea of the kind of features that would be affected.
New Google Apps feature release process [Google Enterprise Blog]