News > Gmail


New in Labs: Preview Pane

Category: Gmail | Aug 4, 2011

Posted by Maciek Nowakowski, Associate Product Manager

When I check my email, I often rely on the message snippets to figure out which messages to open first. Sometimes, though, I want to see more than snippets, which is why I’m happy to announce that you can now preview messages in your inbox using a new feature in Gmail Labs called Preview Pane. It’s probably a very familiar layout to those of you who have used Gmail on a tablet device. We also think it’s going to work especially well if you have a larger resolution screen.

Click the image above to see a larger version.

After you enable Preview Pane from the Labs tab in Gmail Settings you’ll see a toggle button in the top right corner of your message list, which lets you switch between preview and list views.


For those of you who have more vertical space you can also move the preview pane below your message list. You can enable this using the dropdown arrow next to the toggle button:


By default there is a 3-second delay in marking a conversation as read after previewing it. If that doesn’t feel natural to you, you can change the timing in the General tab of settings:


If you’d like to remove the new layout, simply return to Gmail Settings and disable the lab. Finally, don’t forget to let us know what you think about the latest addition to Gmail Labs.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/t2MZyquOefM/new-in-labs-preview-pane.html

Gmail for mobile, now sharper and smoother

Category: Gmail | Aug 3, 2011

Posted by Daniel Brotherston, Mobile Software Engineer

On the mobile team, we strive to produce web apps which look and feel just like installed apps. In the past few weeks, we’ve released a number of features which make Gmail for mobile look sharper and feel smoother.

Pull down to refresh
You can now pull down to refresh your message list and conversation on all iOS and Playbook devices. To refresh, simply touch the message list, drag downwards and release.


High resolution icons
For those of you using Gmail for mobile on an iPhone 4 Retina display, the icons and graphics are now at a higher resolution, making Gmail for mobile sharper.


Transitions
When you tap on a conversation, tap back to the inbox, go to the menu or go back, the view will slide left or right. This new transition animation is a quick, small indication that makes the view change feel smoother.

Curious web designers often ask us how we implement certain features. In this case, we used a combination of up to eight different CSS3 transitions and Javascript to get things to look just right.

As always, go to mail.google.com on your mobile browser to check out the latest updates to Gmail for mobile.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/k16JBcQqIhQ/gmail-for-mobile-now-sharper-and.html

Calling from Gmail now in 38 languages, with lower rates to over 150 destinations

Category: Gmail | Aug 2, 2011

Posted by Pierre Lebeau, Product Manager

We’re always trying to make it easier for people to connect—whether that means sending an email, chatting or video chatting, you can reach the people you care about from right inside Gmail. Last year, we made it possible for those of you in the U.S. to call any mobile phone or landline directly from Gmail and starting today, we are making this available to many more of you who use Gmail outside the U.S. by offering calling in 38 new languages.

You can now buy calling credit in your choice of four currencies (Euros, British pounds, Canadian dollars or U.S. dollars) and there are no connection fees, so you only pay for the time you talk.

To help reduce the cost of staying connected, we’re also lowering our calling rates to over 150 destinations around the world. For example, it’s now only $0.10 (or €0.08) per minute to call mobile phones in the U.K., France or Germany (landlines are $0.02/min), $0.15/minute to call mobile phones in Mexico and $0.02/min to call any phone number in China and India. The complete list is available on our rates page.

We’re rolling out this feature over the next few days, so if it’s available in your country you’ll see a little green phone icon show up at the top of your chat list and you’ll be ready to make calls (you’ll need to install the voice and video plug-in if you haven’t already). If you’re a Google Apps user, your domain administrator must have Google Voice and Google Checkout enabled in the administrator control panel in order to be able to use this feature.


Calls to the U.S. or Canada placed within those countries will continue to be free at least for the rest of 2011. Calls to the U.S. or Canada placed from outside these countries will be charged $0.01 per minute (or €0.01, £0.01, C$0.01 per minute).


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/lw7AUh5f4t4/calling-from-gmail-now-in-38-languages.html

Gmail Snooze with Apps Script

Category: Gmail | Jul 29, 2011

Posted by Corey Goldfeder, Software Engineer

Editor’s Note: For a more technical description, see the Google Apps Developer Blog

At Google, we all use email very heavily — for communicating with other Googlers, for task management, and to mail around funny pictures of kittens. Because of the volume of email we all deal with, a lot of Googlers subscribe to the “inbox zero” philosophy where we try to keep our inboxes empty except for the messages we currently need to deal with.

What is Gmail Snooze?
One feature that some of us really wanted was for Gmail to let you “snooze” an email. Snoozing means archiving an email for now, but having it automatically reappear in the inbox at some specified time in the future. With Apps Script you can extend Gmail to add this functionality and a lot more yourself.

How to set it up
Even if you don’t know how to write a script, it’s pretty simple. Go to Google Docs and create a new spreadsheet, then choose “Script Editor” from the “Tools” menu. Paste in the following code:


var MARK_UNREAD = false;
var ADD_UNSNOOZED_LABEL = false;

function getLabelName(i) {
  return "Snooze/Snooze " + i + " days";
}

function setup() {
  // Create the labels we’ll need for snoozing
  GmailApp.createLabel("Snooze");
  for (var i = 1; i <= 7; ++i) {
    GmailApp.createLabel(getLabelName(i));
  }
  if (ADD_UNSNOOZED_LABEL) {
    GmailApp.createLabel("Unsnoozed");
  }
}

function moveSnoozes() {
  var oldLabel, newLabel, page;
  for (var i = 1; i  0) {
        if (newLabel) {
          // Move the threads into "today’s" label
          newLabel.addToThreads(page);
        } else {
          // Unless it’s time to unsnooze it
          GmailApp.moveThreadsToInbox(page);
          if (MARK_UNREAD) {
            GmailApp.markThreadsUnread(page);
          }
          if (ADD_UNSNOOZED_LABEL) {
            GmailApp.getUserLabelByName("Unsnoozed")
              .addToThreads(page);
          }          
        }     
        // Move the threads out of "yesterday’s" label
        oldLabel.removeFromThreads(page);
      }  
    }
  }
}

Then click the “Save” button and give it a name. In the dropdown labeled “Select a function to run,” choose “setup” and click the blue run arrow to the left of it. This will ask you to authorize the script, and will create the necessary labels in your Gmail. Then go to the “Triggers” menu and choose “current script’s triggers.” Click the link to set up a new trigger, choosing the “moveSnoozes” function, a “time-driven” event, “day timer,” and then “midnight to 1am.” Click save and you’re done.

Using the Snooze Label in Gmail
To “snooze” a thread, use Gmail’s “Move To” button to move the thread into the “Snooze for X days” label and archive it. Every night, threads will move up through one day of the queue, and at the appointed number of days they will reappear in your inbox, unarchived.

Because this is an Apps Script, you can edit the code any way you like. If you’d like different snooze times or for unsnoozed messages to get starred, you can easily change the code. And if you have an even better idea for how to use Apps Script to improve Gmail, you can post it to our Gallery (Script Editor > Share > Publish Project) to share with the world.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/JUiubnrJSuY/gmail-snooze-with-apps-script.html

Save your friends from outdated email—help them switch to Gmail

Category: Gmail | Jul 27, 2011

Posted by Peter Harbison, Product Marketing Manager

I switched to Gmail the first month it came out, mere seconds after receiving an invitation from a friend and two years before joining Google. Since then, I’ve invited hundreds of people, most of whom have happily made the switch to Gmail and never looked back.

But I have one friend, Andy, who’s the straggler in the group. A couple months ago, I sent out an email about a barbecue I was having. On the “To:” line, there were 15 Gmail addresses and then Andy. He stuck out like a sore thumb. Shortly thereafter, Andy was complaining to us about how much spam he got. That was the last straw.

My friends and I sat Andy down and talked him through how to import his contacts. We answered his questions, guilt-tripped him a little, and a few painless minutes later we were done. Andy had Gmail.

We all have a story like this. On the Gmail team, we affectionately refer to them as “email interventions.” We hear about them all the time: the cousin who finally switched from an embarassing address like hottie6elliot1977 to a more professional elliot.d.smith@gmail.com, a co-worker who helped his dentist switch after he heard her grumble about having to pay for IMAP access, etc.

It’s for these folks we created emailintervention.com, a site that makes it easier than ever to help your friends and family make the switch.

Staging an intervention is simple:

  1. Visit emailintervention.com
  2. Sign in and automatically identify who from your contacts has yet to make the switch, or just enter a friend’s email address manually
  3. Choose from one of three intervention message templates (“straightforward”, “concerned” or “ embarrassed”), and add your own intervention video if you’d like
  4. Send a customized email and follow up as needed


Your loved ones are counting on you. Even if they don’t know it yet.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/_nSJoT91fc4/save-your-friends-from-outdated.html

Review your mail forwarding and delegation settings

Category: Gmail | Jul 26, 2011

Posted by Saurabh Sharma, Product Manager

A number of Gmail settings are the kinds of things you can set and forget — like mail forwarding and delegation. When I was in college, I used filters to forward bills I received via email to my parents (lucky them!). That was useful for a few years, but not so much now that I’ve been paying my own bills for a while.

It can be pretty easy to forget about all the settings we’ve enabled years earlier. So, for about the next week, if you use Gmail’s forwarding or delegation features you’ll see a message at the top of your inbox each time you sign in. The notice asks you to review your settings and confirm they’re still what you want.

If things look right, you’re good to go. The message will stop appearing in about a week. If you see any unfamiliar accounts or forwarding setups you no longer need, review your settings and change them as appropriate. Note that any unfamiliar accounts may indicate that your password has been compromised and you should change it immediately.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/D7xpM-eDrOU/review-your-mail-forwarding-and.html

Review your mail forwarding and delegation settings

Category: Gmail | Jul 26, 2011

Posted by Saurabh Sharma, Product Manager

A number of Gmail settings are the kinds of things you can set and forget — like mail forwarding and delegation. When I was in college, I used filters to forward bills I received via email to my parents (lucky them!). That was useful for a few years, but not so much now that I’ve been paying my own bills for a while.

It can be pretty easy to forget about all the settings we’ve enabled years earlier. So, for about the next week, if you use Gmail’s forwarding or delegation features you’ll see a message at the top of your inbox each time you sign in. The notice asks you to review your settings and confirm they’re still what you want.

If things look right, you’re good to go. The message will stop appearing in about a week. If you see any unfamiliar accounts or forwarding setups you no longer need, review your settings and change them as appropriate. Note that any unfamiliar accounts may indicate that your password has been compromised and you should change it immediately.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/D7xpM-eDrOU/review-your-mail-forwarding-and.html

Your initial feedback on Gmail’s new look

Category: Gmail | Jul 25, 2011

Posted by Mark Striebeck, Engineering Manager

A few weeks ago, we released a preview of Gmail’s new look via two new themes. We asked you to try them out and send us your feedback. So far, less than 5% of Gmail usage is happening through these themes, but we’re getting some good feedback on what’s working and useful advice about what to improve from you early adopters.

What you like

  • The clean and minimalist look of the new design
  • Seeing a consistent “look” across Google products

“The new Preview theme is wonderful! It’s clean and crisp, easy to read and really focused on the one thing that matters most in Gmail — the mail! Thanks!”

What you want to change

  • Too much whitespace and not enough information (though interestingly, many people reported that they appreciated to lower information density after a while)
  • Not enough contrast
  • Darker theme options

“Even with the ‘dense’ version, I still have listings of about 30% fewer messages. The lack of visual differentiation between content and UI chrome is also harder to process (e.g., where does the conversation list end and the toolbar begin).”

We’re working on improvements for the final release, but it is very encouraging that a visual update like this was generally greeted with such a positive response. If you haven’t tried out the new themes yet, give them a go and tell us what you think.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/aiVQd3OnlqM/your-initial-feedback-on-gmails-new.html

Your initial feedback on Gmail’s new look

Category: Gmail | Jul 25, 2011

Posted by Mark Striebeck, Engineering Manager

A few weeks ago, we released a preview of Gmail’s new look via two new themes. We asked you to try them out and send us your feedback. So far, less than 5% of Gmail usage is happening through these themes, but we’re getting some good feedback on what’s working and useful advice about what to improve from you early adopters.

What you like

  • The clean and minimalist look of the new design
  • Seeing a consistent “look” across Google products

“The new Preview theme is wonderful! It’s clean and crisp, easy to read and really focused on the one thing that matters most in Gmail — the mail! Thanks!”

What you want to change

  • Too much whitespace and not enough information (though interestingly, many people reported that they appreciated to lower information density after a while)
  • Not enough contrast
  • Darker theme options

“Even with the ‘dense’ version, I still have listings of about 30% fewer messages. The lack of visual differentiation between content and UI chrome is also harder to process (e.g., where does the conversation list end and the toolbar begin).”

We’re working on improvements for the final release, but it is very encouraging that a visual update like this was generally greeted with such a positive response. If you haven’t tried out the new themes yet, give them a go and tell us what you think.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/aiVQd3OnlqM/your-initial-feedback-on-gmails-new.html

Faces of Gmail: Sarah Price

Category: Gmail | Jul 21, 2011

Posted by Kathleen Chen, Consumer Operations

In this month’s Faces of Gmail we’re profiling Sarah Price, our history-loving, lindy-hopping community manager.

What do you do on the Gmail team?
I’m the Community Manager for Gmail. That means that I watch over Gmail’s user forum and talk with Gmail users in other places. For example, I’m one of the people behind @gmail on Twitter and Facebook. If you use Google+, you can follow me there, too!


What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Gmail users have high expectations for us. They think of Gmail as their own and have great ideas about how to make it better. I love this about our users. Sometimes, though, we make a change that some people love and some people don’t like as much. For the people who don’t like the change, it can be hard to help them understand why we made it, and that we are still listening to their feedback.

What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love that I get to work with such an amazing product, and I love meeting Gmail users from all over the world, including the “Top Contributors” in our Help Forum. I also love helping people get to know each other. It’s very powerful when people come together over a common interest in Gmail.

What did you do before coming to Google?
I studied Latin Literature at Yale and Ancient History at Oxford. You are probably wondering how I ended up at Google! While I was a student, I also worked as a computer repair technician. I enjoy solving problems and teaching people about technology.


What’s your favorite lab?
How can I pick just one? I couldn’t live without Multiple Inboxes, which I combine with Superstars. Inbox Preview is really cool, too.

Which theme do you use?
I recently switched to the Preview (Dense) theme. It took a day or two to get used to it, but I like how clean it feels.

What’s something you think every Gmail user should know about Gmail?
Everyone should take a tour through settings. Just click through the pages and see what you find. There’s a lot of great stuff in there, and some really important things, too, like options for recovering your account if you ever lose access.

What do you do when you’re not working on Gmail?
I rehearse and perform with my fusion social dance group, Decadance. We do everything from hip hop to waltz — sometimes in the same piece! I joined Decadance because I love the lead/follow dynamic in partner dance. When I’m not dancing, I love to read, travel and play games, both board games and video games. I’m also starting to plan my wedding.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?
I hate waste when it’s easily avoidable. For example, when someone leaves the door ajar on the refrigerator in the office kitchen, or throws away a plastic bottle when there is a recycling bin nearby.

If you want to meet Sarah, she will be “hanging out” on Google+ today from 1-2:30pm PDT (8-9:30pm GMT).

Photos by Cody Bratt, Google Talk team

Update 12:18pm: Removed reference to Gmail Labs feature that’s not out yet (but that Sarah was testing).


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/KASIm09KHu4/faces-of-gmail-sarah-price.html