Tag Archive: googlenew

Feb 03

Two improvements to contact groups

Organizing your Gmail contacts into groups can save you time when you’re writing messages to multiple people at once. For example, if you create a “Family” group, instead of addressing an email to your mom, dad, sister and brother, you can just start typing “Family” and Gmail will complete the rest. Today we’re making two improvements to contact groups which should make them easier to create and control.

First, let’s say you have a list of coworkers you think you’ll want to contact again in the future. Now, you can paste that list into the Add to group menu when viewing your “Coworkers” group to populate or extend it.


Second, we’ve added the ability to specify which one of your contact’s email addresses you want to use in a given group. So, for example, you can now use your friend’s personal address in your “Poker Buddies” group and that same friend’s work address in your “Coworkers” group.


We’re always listening for feedback about what we can do to make Contacts, and all of Gmail, better, so let us know what you think.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/two-improvements-to-contact-groups

Jan 26

Desktop notifications for emails and chat messages

Many of us are guilty of constantly switching back to Gmail to check for new messages. And if you’re like me, you’ve probably missed an important chat message because you weren’t looking at your Gmail window when it came in. If you use Google Chrome, these days can be over since we just launched HTML5 desktop notifications which display pop-ups whenever a chat message or new email arrives.


To turn them on, click on the Settings link in the top right corner of Gmail and scroll down to the “Desktop Notifications” section. If you just want to get notified about chat messages, or if you use Priority Inbox and only want to get notifications for important messages, you can customize your settings from there too.


This functionality is currently only available for people using Google Chrome, but we’re working to make notifications part of the standard Web platform.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/desktop-notifications-for-emails-and-chat-messages

Jan 25

New in Labs: Unread message icon

When you’re visiting sites other than Gmail, it’s easy to find out how many unread messages are in your inbox by glancing at the title of your Gmail tab or window. However, if you have a ton of tabs open, or if you use Chrome’s “Pin Tab” feature that hides everything except the tab’s icon, it can be tricky to figure out without switching tabs.

If you’ve ever found yourself in this situation, you may like the new Unread message icon we just added to Gmail Labs. It embeds the number of unread messages you have right into the Gmail icon itself, like this:


To turn it on, go to the Labs tab in Settings, enable this lab, and click the “Save Changes” button at the very bottom of the page. Note that it’ll only works in Chrome (version 6 and above) and Firefox (version 2 and above).

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

Jan 19

Find Labs with search-as-you-type

Have you ever found it just a little bit tricky to find what you were looking for on the Gmail Labs Settings page? Scrolling was ok when there were a handful of Labs, but now that there are over 50 it’s another story. A lunchtime discussion made us realize that having to rely on the browser’s search function or endless scrolling makes it hard to find the Labs features you want. So another Gmail engineer named Manu and I decided take an afternoon and address this. The result is an addition to the Settings page which filters the visible Labs as you type.


You can also link directly to the search results (e.g. http://mail.google.com/mail#settings/labs/video) if you’d like.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/find-labs-with-search-as-you-type

Dec 20

Free calling in Gmail extended through 2011

When we launched calling in Gmail back in August, we wanted it to be easy and affordable, so we made calls to the U.S. and Canada free for the rest of 2010. In the spirit of holiday giving and to help people keep in touch in the new year, we’re extending free calling for all of 2011.

In case you haven’t tried it yet, dialing a phone number works just like a regular phone. Look for “Call phone” at the top of your Gmail chat list and dial a number or enter a contact’s name.


To learn more, visit gmail.com/call. Calling in Gmail is currently only available to U.S. based Gmail users.

Happy New Year and happy calling!

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/free-calling-in-gmail-extended-through-2011

Dec 14

Email delegation: Granting access to your Gmail account

I use two Gmail accounts: one is my personal account and the other I share with my family (we use it to subscribe to groups like my children’s classroom mailing list). Checking these two different accounts used to mean I had to sign out and back in to Gmail all the time. Not anymore. Instead, I can grant my personal account access to my shared family account and view, organize and send mail on behalf of our shared account.

We’ve offered email delegation for Google Apps accounts for a while — it’s super useful for people who want their assistants to have access to read or respond to mail on their behalf. Now this functionality is available for anyone using Gmail. To grant access to another account, click the Settings link in the top right corner of Gmail. On the “Accounts” tab, you’ll see a new section where you can “Grant access to your account.” For example, below we’ve given hikingfan@gmail.com access to the hikingfanfamily@gmail.com account.


The account you add will get a verification email with links to accept or deny access. Once the account accepts and you’ve refreshed your browser or logged in and out again, you’ll see a small down arrow beside the email address at the top right corner of Gmail which can be used to toggle between accounts — in this case hikingfan@gmail.com and hikingfanfamily@gmail.com.


Each account will open in a different browser tab or window so you can view both accounts simultaneously, all while signed into your primary account. When you send a message from hikingfanfamily@gmail.com while signed in as hikingfan@gmail.com, it will appear as being sent by hikingfan@gmail.com on behalf of hikingfanfamily@gmail.com.


Signing out of any one of the accounts will sign you out of all the accounts you’re currently viewing, and, of course, you can revoke access at any time.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/email-delegation-granting-access-to-your-gmail-account

Dec 14

Restore your contacts

There are many times in life when a do-over can come in handy. Perhaps you clicked “Send” on an email that was better left unsaid, or “Delete” on a contact before realizing you still needed it. Just like Gmail lets you unsend a message, you can now have a second chance with your contacts too.

We’ve added a new feature to Google Contacts that allows you to revert your contact list and undo any mistakes made up to 30 days in the past. Let’s say you accidentally deleted a bunch of contacts or wiped the contact data from your Gmail account by mistake while syncing to another device. Visit Gmail’s Contacts section, select “Restore contacts” in the “More actions” menu, and choose the time you would like to revert to.


Your contacts will be restored to exactly the same state they were in at that time — any contacts that didn’t exist then will be deleted and any that have since been added will be deleted. Don’t worry, you can always undo this change by restoring again if you didn’t get the time right.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/restore-your-contacts

Dec 07

Event time zones in Google Calendar

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

Dec 01

New in Labs: Smart mute and easier ways to unmute

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.


Hopefully these changes will make it easier to mute and unmute conversations.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/new-in-labs-smart-mute-and-easier-ways-to-unmute

Nov 30

New in Labs: Recently used emoji

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

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