Tag Archive: software

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

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

Sep 25

New in Labs: Hide read labels

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

Posted by David de Kloet, Software Engineer

A lot of people want to see their labels in order to see which ones have unread messages, but they don’t want a long list of label names cluttering up the left hand side of their inboxes. To help out with this, we’ve made a Gmail Labs feature called “Hide read labels.” Turn it on from the Labs tab under Settings and all your labels without unread messages will be hidden under the “More” menu. Labels with unread messages will automatically show up, unless you’ve explicitly chosen to keep them hidden.

This is particularly handy if you use your inbox as a to-do list where unread messages are the outstanding things you need to take care of. If you use that method along with labels like “Home” and “Project X,” it’s easy to see all your to-dos in context. With this Labs feature on, labels with outstanding to-dos will be bold and have a number next to them; everything else will be hidden in the “11 more” section:

We think this is a nice addition to the new labels navigation bar and hope you like it. Tell us what you think in the Gmail Labs forum.

Go here to read the rest:
New in Labs: Hide read labels

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/gmail-tips/new-in-labs-hide-read-labels

Sep 03

Four new themes

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

Posted by Jake Knapp, UI Designer and Manu Cornet, Software Engineer

Manu: Hey Jake, you still using that same old theme?
Jake: Well, yeah. I mean, I like it — but I don’t know… I guess it just doesn’t feel as new as it used to.
Manu: I hear ya. Well, good news! Today four new themes are out there for everybody. Just go to the Themes tab under Settings…and ta da!
Jake: (click, click) There we go!
Manu: Should we tell people about why we created these four themes?
Jake: We should.
Manu: Assuming they’re still reading.
Jake: Right. Okay, well, Gmail themes have been out since November, and I know we were ready for some new ones.
Manu: And we heard some of you asking for new ones too. So we thought about what we wanted to stare at all day long, since we work on Gmail.
Jake: I’ve been living in Zurich for the last year, and I missed Washington State, where I grew up. The Orcas Island theme definitely takes away a little bit of that homesickness with a new image each day of the week.


Manu: Homesickness eh? What about timesickness?
Jake: There’s such a thing?
Manu: Totally. Sometimes I find myself timesick.
Jake: For when?
Manu: For a simpler time. For a time when processors weren’t too fast. When graphics weren’t too realistic.
Jake: Sounds like a real bummer. Too bad there’s no cure for timesickness.
Manu: That’s where you’re dead wrong, my friend. Take a look at High Score. It’s like being in a time machine isn’t it?


Jake: (click, click) Aren’t these colors a little bright?
Manu: Aren’t you supposed to be a designer?
Jake: We’ll have to agree to disagree, my friend. This one just isn’t for me. I need something soothing. Something like laying face down in the grass.
Manu: I suppose you’re talking about Turf now. What’s the story behind that one?


Jake: Well, who doesn’t like the color green?
Manu: And it doesn’t change every day, so it was easier for us to make.
Jake: Are you suggesting we’re lazy?
Manu: Prove that we’re not.
Jake: We just made four new themes. How about that?
Manu: It took us ten months. And the fourth theme (Random) merely cycles through all the others.
Jake: Well, enjoy these themes for now. And, of course, let us know what you think. Maybe we’ll have some more for you in the next ten months ;)

Original post: 
Four new themes

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/gmail-tips/four-new-themes

Sep 02

New in Calendar: Sports schedules and contacts’ birthdays

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

Posted by Ian Whitfield, Software Engineering Intern

People keep track of lots of things in their Google Calendars — meetings, business trips, due dates and conference calls. But when I started my summer internship at Google, I wondered why it wasn’t easier to add calendar events for the fun stuff in life, like birthdays and sports schedules.

Now, when you look under “Other Calendars,” click “Add,” then “Browse Interesting Calendars,” you’ll find calendars for hundreds of teams in dozens of sports leagues — everything from the National Football League to the Korean FA Cup.


When you subscribe to your favorite team’s calendar, you’ll see every game listed, updated in real time with the score as the game progresses.


You can also subscribe to a “Contacts’ Birthdays and Events” calendar, which will add all of your contacts’ birthdays to Google Calendar. Data is pulled from your Gmail contacts and your friends’ Google profiles.

Finally, we also have two new Calendar Labs features for you to check out: “Dim future repeating events” makes recurring meetings more transparent over time, helping more important meetings pop out, and “Add any gadget by URL” gives you the flexibility put any gadget you’d like in your calendar.

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New in Calendar: Sports schedules and contacts’ birthdays

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/gmail-tips/new-in-calendar-sports-schedules-and-contacts-birthdays

Aug 21

Email a task list

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

Posted by Michael Bolin, Software Engineer

Sometimes you need to get your tasks out of Tasks. Although you already know how I feel about paper, we decided to add support for printing with Tasks’s graduation from Gmail Labs. Today we’re offering another export solution which doesn’t kill trees: emailing a task list.

Like most Tasks features, “Email task list” can be found in the Actions menu.


Clicking on it will open a new compose window with the contents of your current task list. This works in all views (my order, sort by date, completed), so to email your mom to explain why you’ve been so busy and haven’t been able to return her calls, just choose “View completed tasks” from the Actions menu, then “Email task list” and send away. (Note: this may not be very convincing if you haven’t actually checked anything off your list recently.)

If you want to let us know how Tasks is working for you, we’re now available on Twitter at http://twitter.com/googletasks. Like most Google accounts on Twitter, we won’t be able to respond to every question or feature request, but sometimes you might get lucky and we’ll have an answer for you. Oh and @sayanghosh, today is your lucky day.

Originally posted here:
Email a task list

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/email-a-task-list

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/mail-and-contact-import-for-everyone

Jul 30

Send mail from another address without “on behalf of”

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

Posted by Emmanuel Pellereau, Software Engineer

Quite a few of you use Gmail’s custom “From:” to send messages with one of your other email addresses listed in place of your Gmail address. Since these messages are sent by Gmail’s servers but “from” a non-Gmail address, we have to include your original Gmail username in the “Sender” field of the message header to comply with mail delivery protocols and help prevent your mail from being marked as spam. Most email programs just display the “From” address and not the “Sender” field, but some (including versions of Microsoft Outlook) show these messages as coming “From username@gmail.com On Behalf Of customaddress@mydomain.com” which really annoyed people.

We heard your request for another option that wouldn’t show the “on behalf of” text loud and clear, and now there’s a new option that does just that. Instead of using Gmail’s servers to send the message, we’ll use the servers where your other email address lives. Since Gmail isn’t the originating domain, we don’t have to include “Sender” info in the header. No more “on behalf of.”

Here’s the difference. All custom “From:” addresses used to work like this:


Now, if your other email provider supports POP and/or IMAP access, you can choose to send your message like this instead:


To switch to this new method, go to the Accounts page under Settings, and click “edit info” from the “Send mail as” section. Then choose the option to “Use your other email provider’s SMTP servers.”

We recognize that your other address might not have a server that you can use to send outbound messages — for example, if you use a forwarding alias rather than an actual mailbox, or if your other email provider doesn’t support authenticated SMTP, or restricts access to specific IP ranges. For this reason, we’ve kept the original method as well. Check out our Help Center for further details on these two “send mail as” configuration options.

If you use Google Apps Premier or Education edition and would like to send mail as another address within your domain or within an aliased domain, no sweat. We do all the work behind the scenes so your original username won’t be listed in the “Sender” header, and your recipients won’t see “on behalf of.”

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Send mail from another address without "on behalf of"

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/send-mail-from-another-address-without-on-behalf-of

May 13

Tasks, now in Calendar too

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

Posted by Garry Boyer, Software Engineer

Ever since we launched Google Calendar, people in our forum have been pretty vocal about a missing piece — an integrated task list. “To-do would be tooo-rific,” “I really, really, really need to use a to-do list,” and my favorite: “I’ll join your team to help you get it done!” The rumble turned into a roar a few months ago when we launched Tasks in Gmail Labs. Now we’ve integrated Tasks into Google Calendar as well.


To get started, open Calendar and click on the “Tasks” link on the left hand side. You’ll see the familiar task list you’re used to using in Gmail, with some Calendar-specific additions:

  • Tasks that have due dates will automatically appear on your calendar. To create a task with a due date in Calendar, click on an empty space in month view or the all-day section of week view, and be sure select the “Task” option.
  • To attach a due date to an existing task, click the right-arrow from within the task list, and then click on the calendar icon.
  • You can modify a task’s due date by dragging it to a different date, just as you would with a regular calendar event.
  • To mark a task completed from within Calendar, just click on the task’s checkbox. (Isn’t that satisfying, overachievers?)
  • To keep track of due dates before they arrive, there’s a nifty new “Sort by due date” feature available in the Actions menu at the bottom of your task list. While sorting by due date, you can reschedule a task by clicking on it in your list, then pressing control and the up or down arrow key.


While working to help bring this feature to you, I used it to keep track of my own tasks. Now I can finally check off the last one in that list: “write blog post.” Phew.

Read the rest here: 
Tasks, now in Calendar too

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/tasks-now-in-calendar-too

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