iPod Touch Review: “January Upgrade” Applications

Apple released a firmware update (v1.1.3) providing some system tweaks and bug fixes, but it also came with a controversial upgrade that included 5 additional applications and some enhanced system functionality. What made it so controversial was that Apple charged $20 for the applications and enhanced functions. Some of the applications are simple, and some are full-featured, but they all add excellent functionality. I think they give us a great taste of what is to come. Read on to see the details of these new applications…. Here is a brief rundown and commentary on the new applications and enhancements: Mail This is a surprisingly feature-rich and very useful POP/IMAP/Exchange multi-account email client. I use Gmail, and it auto-configures, connects, and syncs to my Gmail account very well. What's most useful is that it maintains a (user-selectable) number of messages offline, so you can read, reply to, and manage these messages […]

Gmail Tip #65: Colored Labels!

Gmail now lets you define colrs for specific labels. In the message list, any label that has a color assigned will display in that color. Labels with no color assigned will display as they always did. Here is an example: To assign colors to a Label, click the Label selector on the left of any Gmail page to display the Labels. Hover your mouse to the right of the Label, and a small triangle will appear. Click it, and a color selector will appear. Select a color, and all messages with that Label will display the Label in that color.    As an added bonus, you can quickly and easily rename the Label using the new "Edit name" menu selection. Just be careful to double-check  

Gmail Tip #64: Gmail Rolls Out IMAP!

Gmail has finally rolled out its long-awaited IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) compatibility enabling users of such email clients as Outlook, Lotus Notes, Thunderbird, a host of others, and even Apple’s iPhone to now take advantage of IMAP instead of the more limited POP connection. Google is rolling it out, and it needs to migrate to many accounts, so it may not be available on your account yet. To enable IMAP, click on the Settings link on any Gmail page, and look for the “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” tab. Click that, and follow the instructions in the IMAP Access section. For some general Gmail help information on IMAP, click here. This help section contains configuration information, FAQ’s, and troubleshooting links–very useful. You can also find a list of supported IMAP client applications here. Also, here is a link to Google’s official blog announcing and explaining IMAP. This really raises the bar […]

Gmail Tip #63: Gmail And Your Blackberry

Stephen Swire, a visitor, sent me some information on how he uses Gmail with his Blackberry. Though I do not use a Blackberry, I thought I’d pass this along as Blackberries are becoming more and more popular. If you have similar experiences, or other suggestions, let me know, and I’ll post ’em! (Note: Stephen uses his blackberry with a personal email account, not an enterprise server. -Jim) "Here are two ways I’ve just started using Gmail to enhance my Blackberry: (1) in order to have a running record of all sent messages, (a good business practice for me) I set up a BCC of all sent messages to a Gmail address. (2) I find that there are some attachments which can’t be opened on the blackberry (for example, some .PDF files download but fail to open.) Also, if I want to forward an attachment, it usually arrives "corrupted" in […]

Gmail Tip #62: Enhancement: “Univeral Navigation Bar”

Google has recently enhanced some navigational features across most of its offerings by providing a recognizable and (somewhat) consistent "Universal Navigation Bar" at the top left of every page:       This feature lets you quickly move to other Google applications with ease (and without having to remember the URL!) Read on for a brief description of the new interface… A source at Google explains that the Universal Navigation Bar will show its "nearest neighbors". This means that, depending on what Google page you are on, the choice of links will differ, presenting you with "related" Google offerings. For example, on a Google search results page, you’d see links to "Images" and "News", because those are related search offerings. On the other hand, if you are in Gmail, you’ll see links to Google’s "Calendar" and "Documents" applications instead.   Here is an example of the Universal Navigator Bar as […]

Gmail Tip #61: Enhancement: Attachment Size Doubled to 20MB!

  Gmail announced today that it has doubled the allowable size for attachments from 10MB to 20MB. Now you can start sharing more of your home videos, large presentations, and files! Note that  because of the way email attachments are encoded, the maximum size of the file you send (which can vary from file to file) may be actually less than 20MB.   Congrats to Gmail for continuing to improve its offerings!

Gmail Tip #60: Deleting A Message And Moving To The Next

This tip comes from a question asked by a site visitor, Daree: "I was wondering how you can delete an email and advance to the next email in your folder. Currently when I delete an email I am reading, it takes me back to the inbox. Yahoo has this option but it seems that Gmail doesn’t offer it from the Settings link at the top." The function that Daree asks for is not specifically available, but there is a partial solution–more of a workaround, actually. Read on to learn how to at least get close to this functionality…. First, you need to have "Keyboard shortcuts" turned on. To do this, click the "Settings" link in the upper right of your Gmail screen, and look for the "Keyboard shortcuts:" section. Select "Keyboard shortcuts on", and than click the "Save Changes" button. Now, while viewing a message, simply press the "#" key […]

Gmail Tip #59: New Feature! Gmail adds POP “Mail Fetcher”

Gmail now lets you to fetch mail from up to 5 of your other, POP-enabled non-Gmail accounts! And once the messages are pulled into Gmail, you can leverage all of Gmail’s great features. (Note that nor all email services support POP access.) As of this writing, Gmail states that this feature is currently only enabled for a limited number of users. They’re working on making it more available soon. Read on to see if you have access to Mail Fetcher, and how to set it up…. First off, let’s see if you have access to Mail Fetcher. Click on the Settings link and click the Accounts tab. If you see a section titled "Get mail from other accounts:" then you should have access. Click the "Add another mail account" link, and a window will open. Enter your email address, and click "Next". Fill in the required information about your POP […]

Gmail Tip #58: Gmail Now Opened to Everyone!

Gmail, Google’s free Web-based email service, has swept the world, and has become very, very popular. Unfortunately, access to Gmail (and Google Mail in the UK) has always been by by invitation only. But no more! Anyone can now get a Gmail account. Just go to and click the "Sign up for Gmail" link. It’s that simple! But having a Gmail account means more than just Web-based email. A Gmail account opens the door to many other excellent  Google-related applications and services. By creating a Gmail account, you will gain access to personalize other Google-based applications including Google Maps, Google News, Picasa 2, Google Pages, Google Reader, Google Docs & Spreadsheets, and lots of other goodies. Admittedly, getting a Gmail invitation has not been a problem for most, but this should open up Gmail to a much larger audience. Oh, and as always, come here for your Gmail tips!

Gmail Tip #57: Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

Here’s a quick tip inspired by "garfalk" for you Mac users out there…. Gmail’s Mac key combinations are almost the same for the Mac as for the PC with a couple exceptions. "Shift" clicking on the beginning and at the end will "select all". "Command" or "Apple" (same key) clicking will select items one at a time, allowing you to skip some. Also, "Command" + s will Save a draft. Those who tend to be "keyboard-centric" may find this helpful in reducing mouse grabs and clicks.