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Express yourself in email: hundreds more themes, plus emoji

Category: Gmail | Jun 30, 2015

Posted by Gaurav Vijay, Software Engineer

Your inbox is home to some of your most meaningful and entertaining messages—from that acceptance letter, to those throwback photos—so we think it’s important for Gmail to feel just as personal (and fun!). That’s why we offer lots of ways to customize your experience—from inbox categories, to email formatting, to shareable selfies—and why today we’re expanding your options with additional themes, and emoji.

A wider selection of themes
Themes can help you dress up your inbox, as well as distinguish between your home and work accounts, so they’ve been an important part of Gmail since they first appeared in 2008. Starting today there are hundreds more high-res options available (photographed by some fellow Googlers!). And of course, you can always upload your own.

Once you’ve found the right photo, you can now use editing tools like blur, vignette, and text background to make your image and messages look great together.

Emoji all the things
Sometimes you just can’t find the words to express how you’re feeling over email. But fret no more, because today’s Gmail update includes emoji for just about every occasion.

Excited about this weekend’s barbecue? Finalize the menu, dress code and after-dinner plans with just a few characters:. Running a few minutes late? Let your friend know you’ll be there at. Whatever the situation, sending emoji is now a piece of.

All of today’s web updates are rolling out over the next few days, so check back soon if you don’t see them yet. Once you do, definitely share your favorite themes and emoji with us on Google+, Twitter and Facebook!


Inbox by Gmail: Say adios to “Oops” with Undo Send

Category: Gmail | Jun 24, 2015

Posted by Phil Sharp, Product Manager

That moment when you press send and immediately realize you made a terrible mistake. But it’s too late. We all need to travel back a few seconds every once in a while, so with Inbox you can take back an email right after sending. Undo Send in Inbox launched a few weeks ago, and now it’s available on Android, iOS and the web. So enjoy those second chances!


Google Calendar for iPhone: more ways to stay on top of your schedule

Category: Gmail | Jun 23, 2015

Posted by Stella Schieffer, Product Manager

Since the new Google Calendar app arrived, you’ve given us lots of great feedback that has guided our updates. Starting today, you’ll see improvements to Google Calendar on iPhone that follow the recent improvements to the Android app.

To start, you can now see more events at a glance with 7-day week view and customize your calendar with week numbers on iPhone.

You can now also add Google Drive files, like Docs and Sheets or pictures and PDFs, directly to events on your iPhone and Google Calendar on the web, just like you can on Android. Drive will even check if everyone has access to the files and if not, ask you if you’d like to share with them.

Sometimes, getting notified of an upcoming event isn’t enough—you might need to contact other attendees, or figure out the best way to get there. With interactive notifications on the iPhone, you can now email guests and view maps with one tap.

We have a lot more improvements based on your feedback coming, so stay tuned!

P.S. If you’re a developer, you can now add Drive files, including Docs, Sheets and Slides, to Google Calendar events created through the Calendar API.


New ways to add Reminders in Inbox by Gmail

Category: Gmail | Jun 17, 2015

Posted by Dave Orr, Google Research Product Manager

(Cross-posted from the Google Research Blog)

Last week, Inbox by Gmail opened up and improved many of your favorite features, including two new ways to add Reminders.

First up, when someone emails you a to-do, Inbox can now suggest adding a Reminder so you don’t forget. Here’s how it looks if your spouse emails you and asks you to buy milk on the way home:

To help you add Reminders, the Google Research team used natural language understanding technology to teach Inbox to recognize to-dos in email.

And much like Gmail and Inbox get better when you report spam, your feedback helps improve these suggested Reminders. You can accept or reject them with a single click:

The other new way to add Reminders in Inbox is to create Reminders in Google Keep—they will appear in Inbox with a link back to the full note in Google Keep.

Hopefully, this little extra help gets you back to what matters more quickly and easily. Try the new features out, and as always, let us know what you think using the feedback link in the app.


Trip Bundles in Inbox by Gmail

Category: Gmail | Jun 8, 2015

Posted by Thijs van As, Product Manager

I frequently travel to Mountain View and Seattle and always have a mess of related emails at the end of my trip. For example, last time the final tally was four about my flight purchase, five about my hotel reservations, one rental car confirmation and five check-in reminders. The challenge is: I often need an important bit of information quickly—a flight confirmation number or hotel address—but the details are buried in email, making them hard to find.

Just a couple weeks ago, Inbox added Trip Bundles to improve this experience—whether you’re traveling up and down the West Coast, or flying across the pond. Now, all of your emails about a trip are bundled together and available the instant you open Inbox.

When it’s time to fly, Inbox will even update your flight status so you’ll know if your trip is on time or if your gate has changed.

You can open the bundle to see all your emails related to that trip, with the most important information (like flight times) right at the top.

Each section in the bundle gives you all the details about your flight, rental car, hotel or restaurant reservation. And when there are multiple emails about the same reservation, Inbox is smart enough to only show you the most up-to-date information.

Finally, if you want to take a look at your upcoming trips or take a trip down memory lane, just tap on Trips in the app menu.

Safe travels!


Thanks to you, Inbox by Gmail is now open to everyone

Category: Gmail | May 28, 2015

Posted by Alex Gawley, Director of Product Management

Back in October we introduced a new type of inbox—one that works for you. Since then you’ve told us what you like best about Inbox by Gmail, as well as how we can make it better. And we want to say thank you.

Because of your feedback, we’re improving many of your favorite features, and launching your most highly-requested ones. So sit back, relax and enjoy all the updates.
More ways to stay organized with Trip Bundles
For starters, you’ve mentioned how much you like seeing key information at a glance, like when your package is arriving. So today Inbox is adding Trip Bundles: All of your emails about a trip will now be bundled together and the most important details (like flight times and hotel reservation numbers) will be available the instant you open Inbox.

More control with Undo Send, Swipe to Delete and Signatures
Being able to control your inbox, like setting your custom Snooze times, is also something you’ve told us matters. So today Inbox is helping you be more productive:

  • With Undo Send—now for the first time on your phone—you can take back an email right after sending in case you spotted a mistake, or have second thoughts
  • If you’d rather get rid of messages, you can make ‘Delete’ the default swiping action
  • If you want to personalize your sent messages, you can now add a custom signature

More ways that Inbox saves you time
You’ve also let us know how much you appreciate a little extra help every now and then—like when Inbox adds phone numbers to Reminders, or finds that flight time in under a second. Today Inbox is adding a few more ways it can be of service:

  • When you create Reminders in Keep, they’ll now appear in Inbox
  • When someone emails you a to-do, Inbox might suggest adding a Reminder so you don’t forget
  • When you get an email from HotelTonight or Eat24, you can now open your reservations and food orders within their app, directly from Inbox
Reminders created in Keep now appear in Inbox
Open your order or booking directly from Inbox

No more invites: Inbox is now open
Finally, you’ve asked for invites. And we’d like to say yes to all of you, all at once. So as of today, Inbox is open to everyone—no invitation required. All your Gmail messages are ready and waiting. So if you haven’t tried Inbox yet, download the app today, and start getting back to what matters.

p.s. While we’re still in the early stages of bringing Inbox to work, today we’re also expanding the Inbox early adopter program so any Google Apps for Work customer who wants to join can do so.


Time is on your side—welcoming Timeful to Google

Category: Gmail | May 4, 2015

Posted by Alex Gawley, Director of Product Management

With the proliferation of mobile phones and greater access to technology, it should be easy to get things done quickly and effortlessly. That’s why with tools like Gmail, Inbox, Calendar and Docs, we’ve built smart features to help you organize your life and take the work out of work—Inbox makes it easy to get started on your to-do list, Calendar automatically adds events from your Gmail, and Search gives you simple, concise answers about information that’s important to you.

But even as these tools have simplified our lives, we’re still inundated with too many updates, information and everyday tasks. And we still have to do a lot of logistical work ourselves—like deciding to what time exactly we should snooze that Reminder in order to get it done in time for Mom’s birthday, or figuring out when to work on that presentation so that it’s ready for next week’s sales pitch.

Today we’re excited to announce that Timeful, Inc. is joining the Google family to help make getting things done in your life even easier.

The Timeful team has built an impressive system that helps you organize your life by understanding your schedule, habits and needs. You can tell Timeful you want to exercise three times a week or that you need to call the bank by next Tuesday, and their system will make sure you get it done based on an understanding of both your schedule and your priorities. We’re excited about all the ways Timeful’s technology can be applied across products like Inbox, Calendar and beyond, so we can do more of the work for you and let you focus on being creative, having fun and spending time with the people you care about.

Welcome Timeful!


Smartbox by Inbox: the mailbox of tomorrow, today

Category: Gmail | Apr 1, 2015

Posted by Merrill Anovick, Project Manager

Mail is a wondrous thing. From the early days of the homing pigeon to the herculean efforts of the Pony Express, mail has connected us for generations. The advent of email brought the world even closer together. And yet, despite this leap forward, physical mail still just sits there. In a box. All day.

So today we’re excited to introduce Smartbox—a better, smarter mailbox that fuses physical mail with everything you love about the electronic kind:
Smartbox is currently in field trial—stuck in the ground, in a field—for Inbox by Gmail customers. If you’re not yet using Inbox, simply email anytime before April 2 to be invited, and to reserve your spot on the Smartbox waitlist.


Custom Snooze in Inbox by Gmail: Rise and shine…on your time

Category: Gmail | Mar 31, 2015

Posted by Vijay Umapathy, Product Manager

As our lives change, so do our schedules. “Morning” probably means something different to a college kid than, say, a parent with a newborn baby. Whatever your schedule is, your inbox should adapt to your day (and not the other way around).

So starting later today, you’ll be able to customize your morning, afternoon and evening Snooze times in Inbox. You don’t even have to do any work: Inbox will adapt to your preferences. If you snooze to a custom time of 7:30AM, you’ll see a prompt asking if you’d like to change your morning time to 7:30AM. One tap and you’re all set!

When you update your morning, afternoon, or evening times, the rest of your snooze options will also adapt. ”This evening,” uses your evening time, while “Tomorrow” and “Next week” use your morning time. Of course, if you prefer, you can also manually change your snooze times using the new Snooze settings.

Custom snooze was one of your most highly requested features, but we’ve also been listening to the rest of your feedback. You’ve asked us for quick access to Contacts from Inbox on the web, and now it’s just a click away:

We hope these small improvements help you tackle your email faster and get back to what matters. In the meantime, we’re also working to add easier access to delete as well as signature support in Inbox, two features you’ve told us you want. So stay tuned!


All your mail, together in one place

Category: Gmail | Mar 30, 2015

Posted by Régis Décamps, Software Engineer

These days, many of us have more than one email address. If you’re a student, you may have one account for school, one for a campus group you lead, and one for your blog. If you’re a parent, you might have one for family and one for your business. However many email addresses you have, today’s improvements to the Gmail app for Android make it easy to manage all your mail from all your accounts (yes, even @yahoo and @outlook) while you’re on the go.

All your inboxes in one place
Starting today you’ll be able to view all your mail at once, regardless of which account it’s from, using the new “All Inboxes” option. This way you can read and respond to all your messages without having to hop between accounts.

Conversation view
You’ve told us threaded conversations are one of your favorite Gmail features because they keep your messages organized and give you all the context you need to reply to those long email threads. Now messages from your Yahoo, and other IMAP/POP accounts will get the same special treatment, appearing neatly stacked as one conversation.

Smarter search
Search is the cornerstone of Google, and of Gmail. The new Gmail app for Android has better auto-complete, so you can find what you need even faster.

And a few other cool things…
Today’s update also includes more responsive animations (like when you open and close a conversation), larger attachment previews to help you see what’s inside, and the ability to save to Drive with a single tap.

We hope these updates make it a little bit easier to manage mail from all your accounts (Gmail or otherwise!). Look for the update on Google Play as it rolls out over the next few days.