This is part of a regular series of Google Apps updates that we post every couple of weeks. Look for the label "Google Apps highlights" and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

Today’s update includes a big batch of new functionality in Google Docs and several new capabilities in Gmail. So the next time you’re in Google Apps, give these new features a spin.

Google Docs reloaded
On Monday we released a preview of the new Google Docs, which brings added features, higher fidelity for imported documents, more speed and faster collaboration to our browser-based productivity tools. Documents sport features that weren’t feasible with older browser technology, like a new ruler for margins and tab stops, better bullets and numbered lists, easier image placement and character-by-character real-time collaboration in the browser. Spreadsheets now have a formula editing bar, drag-and-drop columns and cell auto-fill. They support up to 50 simultaneous collaborators, and are much faster and more responsive overall. We added Google drawings to the mix as well, so you can work with others to create flow-charts, schematics and other kinds of diagrams together in real-time.

Calendar integration in Gmail
To make it easier to schedule time with people without leaving your inbox, now you can see people’s availability (if you have permission) and send event invitations from Gmail. As you’re composing a message, click the “Insert: Invitation” link to choose a time that works for the recipients on your email and add details about your event. When you’re done, the email message will display details about your event.

Drag-and-drop attachments in Gmail
Yesterday we introduced a simpler way to add attachments in Gmail: just drag files onto Gmail from your desktop or from a folder as you compose a message. You can drag multiple files at once, and on a Mac, you can even drag files from folders in the Dock. This feature works in Chrome or Firefox 3.6+ right now, and other browsers may support this feature in the future.

Nested Labels and Message Sneak Peek in Gmail Labs
Last week we launched two new Labs features in Gmail. Nested Labels lets you create hierarchies of labels, giving you more flexibility how you organize your saved email. Message Sneak Peek lets you preview messages without having to open them. Just right-click a message in your inbox to sneak a quick peek.

Gmail on the Apple iPad
We released a new version of the Gmail web interface specially designed for the larger screen of the iPad. Gmail on the iPad has a convenient two-pane display with a list of your conversations on the left, and full messages on the right.

Who’s gone Google?
More and more colleges and universities are moving to the cloud with Google Apps. This week we’re pleased to welcome the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, UNLV, Meredith College and Belmont Abbey College. The State Library of Kansas, the Mind Research Network and more than 50,000 other businesses and organizations have also gone Google in the last few weeks.

I hope you're making the most of these new features, whether you're using Google Apps with friends, family, coworkers or classmates. For more details and updates from the Apps team, head on over to the Google Apps Blog.