Date registered: August 22, 2011
Last year, we launched a new mobile Gmail experience for iPhone and Android-powered devices. Since then, those of us who use Gmail in English could go to gmail.com from our mobile browsers and get most of the same features we’re used to in the desktop version of Gmail — including search, stars, labels, and threaded conversations.
Starting today, this updated version of Gmail for mobile is now available in 44 new languages. Check out the mobile blog for the complete list of languages and more info.
Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/gmail-web-app-for-iphone-and-android-in-44-more-languages
My parents have a history of bringing work with them when we go on family vacations. At first it was just a few paper documents to review at the beach…years later, a laptop…now a smartphone. They couldn’t let go for fear that a colleague might need to get a hold of them.
My folks aren’t the only ones frightened by the prospect of missing an important message when they’re away from their inbox — there must be millions of people with the same concern. Not everyone knows that Gmail can help you relax when you’re on vacation by automatically notifying colleagues, friends, and family that you’re away (handy for the holidays).
To enlighten parents and families around the world about how basic technology can improve their lives, a handful of us at Google decided to create a website — TeachParentsTech.org — where “kids” of any age can send basic how-to videos to their moms, dads, uncles — whomever. Here’s a video I made that walks you through how to set up an email auto-responder message:
To see more videos or to send someone a tech support “care package” of your own, visit TeachParentsTech.org.
Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/how-to-create-a-vacation-responder-and-50-other-things-you-might-want-to-teach-your-parents
(Cross posted from the Mobile blog)
When we first released Gmail in Android Market back in September, we said that you’d be getting new stuff faster, and we meant it. After getting thousands of comments on that release, we made a bunch of updates based on your feedback and today we’re launching Gmail for Android 2.3.2.
First of all, you told us that you love Priority Inbox and expect much better support for it on your phone. Now you can see important messages in a new Priority Inbox view.
This view includes all important messages in your inbox, regardless of whether you’ve read them or not. You can archive and delete conversations or mark them unimportant from there. You’ll notice the importance markers you’re used to seeing in the desktop version of Gmail, and you can also change a conversation’s importance using the menu. To switch between inboxes or labels, try tapping on the current label.
Ever wanted to know that you got an important message without taking your phone out of your pocket? Now you can set up your phone to notify, vibrate, or ring on just your new important mail (check out Menu > Settings > Priority Inbox).
While Priority Inbox on your Android phone doesn’t have all the features offered in the desktop version of Gmail, we think this is a good start and plan to add even more functionality moving forward.
Since our last Market update, we adopted a few features related to composing messages from the desktop version of Gmail. Many of you asked for a better way to switch between replying to the sender to replying to all. Now, you can easily switch between reply, reply all, and forward while composing your response.
If you moved to Gmail from another webmail provider and want to continue to send email from that address, now you can send from any address you’ve configured in the desktop version of Gmail.
In addition, you can now respond to messages in-line.
You won’t need to wait for Gingerbread to get these updates. This version of the Gmail app works for Android 2.2 (Froyo) and newer releases in most countries. (Not sure if your device is running the right version? Check here.) Get the update from Android Market (just scan the QR code below, or click here if you’re on a phone) and check out the new Gmail. And don’t forget to send us your feedback from within the new version of the app (from your Inbox: Menu > More > About > Feedback).
Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/gmail-for-android-better-priority-inbox-support-and-improved-compose
Dealing with time zones can be a headache. Whether you’re a regular traveler or trying to plan ahead for your weekend in Paris, it’s often difficult to keep track of time differences. We’ve heard your feedback and are pleased to announce a new addition to Google Calendar: event time zones.
With event time zones, you can specify the time zone for a given event. So when you’re home in Florida, you can more easily set up dinner with your friend in Paris for the following week. Events will appear on your calendar according to the current time zone you’re in, and when you change to your destination time zone they’ll be in the right place. Just click the “Time zone” link to the right of the date and time fields on the event page. You can even set up events which start in one time zone and end in another, ideal for those of you who fly often.
Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/event-time-zones-in-google-calendar
It’s been a couple of months since we first launched Priority Inbox. Since then, we’ve heard from a number of you who’ve found it helpful in combating information overload, and we’ve seen evidence of this in aggregate too. Looking at median time in conversation view, we noticed that typical Priority Inbox users spend 43% more time reading important mail compared to unimportant, and 15% less time reading email overall as compared to Gmail users who don’t use Priority Inbox. We’re excited about the impact Priority Inbox can have, and we’re listening to your feedback in order to make it even better.
For example, one thing we heard is that you wanted to know why Gmail classifies certain messages as important. So starting today, when you hover over an importance marker () you’ll see a short explanation (e.g. “Important because you marked it as important” or “Important mainly because of the people in the conversation.”).
If you have more ideas for improvements, please share them with us on our new Priority Inbox product ideas page — or just vote on ideas that others suggest. Your feedback will help us make Priority Inbox work for even more Gmail users.
Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/a-priority-inbox-update-time-savings-new-features-and-your-feedback
(Cross-posted from the Google Voice blog)
Keeping in touch with family during the holiday season can be challenging for anyone, but it’s especially difficult for military families with loved ones serving around the country or overseas.
Gmail’s built in video chat and free calls to the U.S. and Canada can help keep friends and family in contact regardless of how far apart they may be. To make staying in touch this holiday season even easier for military families, we’re offering a $10 calling credit to help them reach their loved ones serving abroad.
These international call credits can be used to make calls with Google Voice or from right inside Gmail, and will provide families with roughly 30 minutes of call time to Afghanistan, 60 minutes to Iraq, or hundreds of minutes to many countries in Europe and around the world.
To be eligible for $10 calling credits, military family members must:
We recognize the sacrifices military family members make when loved ones serve abroad, and we’re proud to help make it a little bit easier for families to stay connected over the holidays.
At this time, Google Voice and calling in Gmail are available in the U.S. only.
Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/call-credits-for-military-families-this-holiday-season
If you subscribe to a lot of mailing lists and like to keep an empty inbox, muting (or preventing a conversation from re-entering your inbox) is an essential feature. We just made a few changes that should make muting even better.
First up is “Smart Mute,” a new Gmail Labs feature that helps solve the problem of conversations that just won’t die. You know the ones I’m talking about: those emails with 10+ people cc’d where everyone replies all, but you lost interest five emails ago. The current mute behavior doesn’t do well in these situations since the messages are addressed to you. You end up with muted messages in your inbox, and the only way to prevent these emails from coming back to your inbox has been to create a custom filter for a specific conversation.
If you enable “Smart Mute” from the Labs tab in Gmail Settings, muted conversations will only appear in your inbox if a new message in the conversation is addressed to you and no one else, or a new email in the conversation adds you to the “To” or “Cc” line. Once you enable Smart Mute, mute behavior will change across all versions of Gmail: web, mobile, Android, etc. Try it out and let us know what you think.
Since you’ll likely be muting more than ever, we also added easier ways to unmute muted conversations. Previously, the only way to unmute a conversation was to move it to your inbox — not super intuitive and useless if the conversation was already in your inbox. Now there are two new ways to unmute a conversation. The first is through an “Unmute” option in the “More actions” menu. You’ll see this when you view or select a muted conversation.
If you’re viewing a muted conversation, you’ll see the second new way to unmute: the “Muted” label next to the subject line now behaves just like all other labels. Clicking on the “X” will remove the Muted label and unmute the conversation.
Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/new-in-labs-smart-mute-and-easier-ways-to-unmute
When we added emoticons in Gmail, you responded with a nice big smile , but then you asked for more. So we added hundreds more emoticons through Gmail Labs. “But alas!” you cried. “How can I ever keep up with so many different choices? I am overwhelmed by the sheer immensity of emotion , amusement , and cute animals that Gmail has to offer.” Well, don’t despair, fine purveyor of emoticons. There is now a solution: “Recently Used Emoji” in Gmail Labs, which keeps track of the ten most recent emoticons you’ve used, and saves them for easy access. To turn it on, just visit the Labs tab of Gmail Settings.
No more searching through dozens of cat faces for the one that says, “I miss you, but I’m still ambivalent about our weekend plans.” You can now triumph over the plethora of emoticons, and easily add a pile of emotion to any email that you choose — let us know how it goes.
Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/new-in-labs-recently-used-emoji
Time is one of our most precious resources. Despite their necessity, meetings tend to vary in importance for different attendees. John might be really interested in his team’s weekly meeting, whereas Jane, who is working on a unrelated project, may want to skip it.
Guests’ roles in meetings tend to vary as well. Some people have to be there to lead the meeting or help make decisions, whereas others are gathering information they may be able to digest just as well via the notes. Without knowing which attendees are crucial and which are optional, it can be difficult to know which meetings you really need to attend.
That’s where Google Calendar’s new “Optional attendees” feature comes in. With a couple clicks, you can openly communicate the importance of a meeting for each attendee. Click on the “Make some attendees optional link” above the guest list and then toggle the role of each attendee by clicking the icon next to his or her name. So far, this feature has helped us more effectively manage our own time on the Calendar team — we hope it does the same for you.
Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/optional-attendees-in-google-calendar
If you visited the Gmail log-in page recently, you may have noticed that things looked a wee bit different. We decided to give this page a bit of a facelift and updated a few of Gmail’s other pages while we were at it. Our goal was to keep a familiar look while freshening up the graphics and trimming down the text (we cut out over 250 words in the process).
Here’s a before & after of the log-in page:
We also updated the Gmail logo, brightening the colors and making it more in line with the latest Google logo:
Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/gmail-homepage-makeover