Dec 01

New in Labs: Default text styling

In the early days of email, messages were simple text meant to be read on a terminal. But with the growth of the web came the advent of HTML email, and overnight people began expressing themselves through bold and italics, colors and images, and whatever else their creativity inspired.

If you like to use a specific text style for your messages, you’ve had to change the font every time you’re about to start typing out an email. Now, you can turn on default text styling from the Labs tab, then go to Settings and set your preferences just once.


Try it out and tell us what you think. If you live and breathe code, now you can set your default text style to a monospace font. If your life is purple, your email can be, too. But remember: whatever you see is what your recipients will see, so be nice to them and try not to clog the intertubes with ginormous bold italicized red script. ;)

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/new-in-labs-default-text-styling-4

Nov 24

Send attachments while offline

One of the most requested features for Offline Gmail has been the ability to include attachments in messages composed while offline. Starting today, attachments work just the way you would expect them to whether you are online or offline (with the exception that when you’re offline you won’t be able to include inline images). Just add the attachment and send your message.

If you have Offline Gmail enabled, you’ll notice that all your mail now goes through the outbox, regardless of whether you’re online or offline. This allows Gmail to capture all attachments, even if you suddenly get disconnected from network. If you’re online, your mail will quickly be sent along to its destination.

If you haven’t tried offline access yet, visit the Labs tab and follow these instructions to get started:

  1. Select Enable next to Offline Gmail.
  2. Click Save Changes.
  3. After your browser reloads, you’ll see a new “Offline” link in the upper righthand corner of the Gmail page, next to your username. Click this link to start the offline set up process and download Gears if you don’t already have it.

Now that you can send attachments while offline, we’d love to see pictures of you using Gmail in unusual places while you’re disconnected from the web. Pictures of you using Gmail in an airplane, igloo, or submarine are all welcome. Email your photo to hikingfan@gmail.com and we’ll post the most interesting ones here.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/send-attachments-while-offline-2

Nov 18

New in Labs: Green robot icon

The following is is a posting from the Official Gmail News Blog:

Posted by Chad Yoshikawa, Software Engineer

Gmail chat status (those green, orange, and red bubbles) indicates if your friends are online or not. But sometimes my buddies appear green when they’re not really “online online” — they just have chat open on their Android phones.

Turn on Green Robot, a new experiment in Gmail Labs, and you’ll see a robot icon next to people who are currently using Android phones. In the case below, Shirley is online with Android, Nicolle R. is using regular Gmail chat, and Chris I. is currently away but also on Android. Slatka is not an angry robot — she’s online with Android but currently busy.


These icons can help you decide whether to tailor your conversation to the type of device that your chat buddy is using. For example, when you know the guy on the other end is using his Android phone, you may decide to send shorter, more concise chat messages.

When your chat buddies log into Gmail, their presence icons will revert to the traditional red, green, and orange status bubbles. In addition, if your chat buddy happens to be logged into both Gmail and Android chat then the traditional Gmail status icons will be shown. Try it out and let us know what you think.

More here:
New in Labs: Green robot icon

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/new-in-labs-green-robot-icon

Nov 10

More extra storage for less

The following is is a posting from the Official Gmail News Blog:

Posted by Elvin Lee, Software Engineer

When Gmail launched five years ago, it came with a gigabyte of storage space. A gigabyte doesn’t seem like very much any more, and now every Gmail account comes with more than seven gigs of space (and growing). Still, some people manage to use up all of this (that’s a lot of email…), so for over two years we’ve offered the option to purchase even more storage. This extra storage acts as an overflow that you only start using when you reach the limit of your free storage, and is shared for use between Gmail and Picasa Web Albums. Picasa has always come with a gigabyte of free storage to share photos, but people need even more storage as they start taking more pictures and moving full resolution backups of their photo collection into the cloud.

While storage costs have been dropping naturally, we’ve also been working hard to improve our infrastructure to reduce costs even further. Today, we’re dramatically lowering our prices to make extra storage more affordable. You can now buy 20 GB for only $5 a year, twice as much storage for a quarter of the old price, and enough space for more than 10,000 full resolution pictures taken with a five megapixel camera. And if you need more than 20 GB, you can purchase up to 16 terabytes!

So if you’re running out of space in your overflowing inbox, or want to keep full resolution copies of thousands of photos, visit www.google.com/accounts/PurchaseStorage to see all the plans and to buy more storage.

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More extra storage for less

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/more-extra-storage-for-less

Nov 04

Choose which messages get downloaded for offline use

The following is is a posting from the Official Gmail News Blog:

Posted by Maria Khomenko, Software Engineer

Like an increasing number of people these days, I like to stay productive during my flights (even those without wifi access). A long flight is a perfect opportunity to go through everything in my inbox and catch up on older mail. I use Offline Gmail in Gmail Labs to access my mail while disconnected. However, up until now, Offline Gmail heuristically picked which messages get downloaded for offline use. This meant that sometimes not enough mail from my Inbox would be available, but the Chat logs that I certainly didn’t need on the flight would be there.

From now on, once you enable Offline Gmail from the Labs tab under Settings, you can choose which messages get downloaded. On the Offline tab under Settings, you’ll see your current settings and be able to set how much mail you want to download from each of your labels. I chose to download everything in my Inbox and important labels, as well as recent messages from the last month from other labels.


When you hit save, Gmail will synchronize new messages you didn’t have downloaded before and remove the ones you’re not planning to read from your hard drive. You can always change your settings back to keep fewer or more messages later on — fewer messages means Offline Gmail runs faster. Questions or comments? Let us know!

Here is the original:
Choose which messages get downloaded for offline use

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/choose-which-messages-get-downloaded-for-offline-use

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/gmail-account-security-tips

Oct 26

What’s new with Gmail on iPhone and Android

The following is is a posting from the Official Gmail News Blog:

Posted by Heaven Kim, Product Marketing Manager, Google Mobile

Back in April, we released a new version of Gmail for mobile, re-designed to be faster, more usable, and offer basic offline support on iPhone and Android devices. The improvements we made to its underlying architecture have made it possible for us to rapidly release new features and further improve performance since then.

Over the last six months, we’ve added a lot: mute, label management, keyboard shortcuts, smart links, an outbox, and the ability to move messages (label and archive in one step). Some new features, like swipe-to-archive and auto-expanding compose boxes, take advantage of these mobile phones’ unique properties. We also made address auto-complete faster, enhanced refresh capabilities, and sped up loading so Gmail for mobile starts in under three seconds on newer smartphones.


We’ll continue to add more functionality —and there’s no need to download or update anything as long as you have iPhone/iPod touch OS 2.2.1 or above or are using an Android-powered device. Just go to gmail.com from your mobile browser as you do on your PC. To make it easy to access your Gmail account, try creating a home screen link.

Read more:
What’s new with Gmail on iPhone and Android

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/whats-new-with-gmail-on-iphone-and-android

Oct 15

New in Labs: Google Docs previews

The following is is a posting from the Official Gmail News Blog:

Posted by Steven Saviano, Software Engineer

Being an avid Google Docs user, I receive a ton of emails with links to documents that my co-workers and friends share with me. From technical design documents at work to my roommate’s expenses spreadsheet, my inbox is full of document links that I need to view as I reply to my mail.

Opening these links in another tab or window is kind of annoying, plus it can be tough to keep the context of the email in mind while viewing the document.

Starting today, you can preview the contents of a Google document, spreadsheet, or presentation right in your Gmail inbox — just like you’ve already been able to do with YouTube videos, Yelp reviews, and Picasa and Flickr albums. Gmail will automatically detect when you receive a document link and display the name and type of doc below the email.


Just click “Show preview” and the contents of the document will display right there — no need to switch back and forth between email response and document.

To enable Google Docs previews, go to the Labs tab under Settings. Let us know what you think and what else you’d like to see while viewing docs in Gmail.

Original post: 
New in Labs: Google Docs previews

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/gmail-tips/new-in-labs-google-docs-previews

Oct 13

New in Labs: Got the wrong Bob?

The following is is a posting from the Official Gmail News Blog:

Posted by Ari Leichtberg, Software Engineer and Yossi Matias, Head of Israel Engineering Center

When’s the last time you got an email from a stranger asking, “Are you sure you meant to send this to me?” and promptly realized that you didn’t? Sometimes these little mistakes are actually quite painful. Hate mail about your boss to your boss? Personal info to some random guy named Bob instead of Bob the HR rep? Doh!

“Got the wrong Bob?” is a new Labs feature aimed at sparing you this kind of embarrassment. Turn it on from the Labs tab under Gmail Settings, and based on the groups of people you email most often, Gmail will try to identify when you’ve accidentally included the wrong person — before it’s too late.


If you normally email Bob Smith together with Tim and Angela, but this time you added Bob Jones instead, we’ll warn you that it might be a mistake. Note that this only works if you’re emailing more than two people at once.

While we were at it, we also changed the name of “Suggest more recipients” to “Don’t forget Bob” — the two related Labs features just kind of went together better this way.

If you want to test “Got the wrong Bob?” out, try faking a mistake like this:
1) Think of three people you often email together.
2) Compose a message to two of them.
3) Start typing the third member of the group (for help you can use one of the people we suggest in “Don’t forget Bob”), but then auto-complete on the wrong name.

If you have suggestions please let us know. And if “Got the wrong Bob?” happens to save you from making a really bad mistake, we want to hear about that too.

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New in Labs: Got the wrong Bob?

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/gmail-tips/new-in-labs-got-the-wrong-bob

Oct 12

Getting Gmail on your phone

The following is is a posting from the Official Gmail News Blog:

Posted by Shyam Seth, Product Manager, Google Mobile

Checking Gmail on your phone isn’t reserved for those of us with extra fancy mobile devices — sure, it’s easier to use Gmail when your iPhone has a touchscreen or there’s a downloadable app built especially for your BlackBerry, but Gmail is available on almost all mobile devices today. If your phone has a data plan, it can get Gmail. There are two main ways to check your messages on the go:

(1) Go to gmail.com in your mobile browser

The easiest way to check Gmail from your phone is to go to gmail.com in your device’s mobile browser. That opens a version of Gmail built especially for small screens, where you can see messages grouped into conversations, search through your mail, or flag important messages with stars. On some devices (iPhone and Android), Gmail offers some additional features like the ability to add and remove labels and basic offline support. Text the link to your phone to get started.

(2) Use your phone’s built in email application

Many mobile devices come with native mail applications pre-installed. Setting up Gmail to work with them is usually pretty straight-forward and there is often a wizard to help. If you have an iPhone or Windows Mobile device, you can get push Gmail using Google Sync. Otherwise, you can set things up using IMAP with these step-by-step directions for specific devices. Depending on your particular phone, you may notice features such as search, conversations, and stars missing. On the plus side, these applications tend to start up quickly and work even when you’re not connected to the internet.

For more information, check out this new beginner’s guide.

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Getting Gmail on your phone

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/gmail-tips/getting-gmail-on-your-phone-2

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