Google confirmed on Sunday that a major bug has mysteriously deleted the entire contents from within roughly 150,000 Gmail accounts. Google initially reported the problem to be more widespread, but it revised its initial estimate down from 0.29% of total Gmail user accounts to 0.08%. According to user reports, email correspondence from within affected accounts was deleted earlier this past weekend. Affected users were initially unable to log in to their accounts, and then found that their data had been deleted once access to the accounts had been restored. Accounts were essentially reset, with years worth of emails and chats having seemingly been erased. Google appears confident that the lost data will be restored, however, and it notes that users will be unable to access their accounts while engineers address the issue. “Google engineers are working to restore full access,” Google noted on its Gmail status page. “Affected users will be temporarily unable to sign in while we repair their accounts.” More →
Yesterday, Google announced the expansion of Gmail’s Priority Inbox feature to its mobile website. Users accessing gmail.com from their HTML5-capable smartphone browser can now view messages categorized by Gmail as both “important” and “everything else.” Currently, users must enable Priority Inbox on the desktop version of Gmail to be able to view it on their mobile — only viewing is supported, users can not yet rank messages from the mobile web version. Priority Inbox is supported in Android 1.5+, iOS 3.0+, and most other HTML5-capable smartphones. More →
Google announced Monday the extension of a free calling initiative for U.S.-based Gmail users that was set to expire this month. ”In the spirit of holiday giving and to help people keep in touch in the new year,” Google has extended free calling in the U.S. and Canada through the end of 2011. The promotion applies to all calls made from within Gmail, and is completely separate from Google Voice, which also affords free calling to the U.S. and Canada. Gmail’s recently added voice calling feature is thought to be a prelude to the eventual addition of VoIP services to Google Voice. More →
If you’re a Google Apps user, you’ve had the ability to delegate access to your email account for quite some time. Now, Google is giving all users of its Gmail web-base email service that option. Via a blog post, the Big G announced the email delegation feature for all users of its popular email platform. The new functionality can be found in “Settings” by clicking on the “Accounts and Import” tab. From there you can add another Gmail account that you would like to grant access to your inbox; delegates will not be able to change settings, passwords, or chat as the user. “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,” writes Google. The new feature is immediately available to all users. More →
If you’ve ever accidentally deleted a contact from your Gmail address book, you know what pain is. The action has been, since the inception of the contacts feature, irreversible. But that all changes today. Google has announced a new “restore contacts” feature that will grant those whom have accidentally deleted a contact 30-days of clemency. As the press release reads:
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.
The feature is rolling out to Gmail users as we type. More →
A lot of people are thinking it, but former Google employee, Gmail creator, and FriendFeed founder Paul Buchheit has come right out and said it. On his FriendFeed page, Mr. Buchheit has levied some harsh judgements on Google’s netbook-centric Chrome OS. Here are just a few of his thoughts:
Prediction: Chrome OS will be killed next year (or “merged” with Android).
I was thinking, “is this too obvious to even state?”, but then I see people taking Chrome OS seriously, and Google is even shipping devices for some reason.
Chrome OS has no purpose that isn’t better served by Android (perhaps with a few mods to support a non-touch display).
It is still unclear how Android and Chrome OS will peacefully co-exist after the tablet-optimized Android 3.0 comes out in 2011, what the genesis of Chrome OS looks like, and what the public will gravitate towards. We’re interested to hear your thoughts concerning the Chrome OS vs. Android debate. What do you think? Too similar? Or is Google one step ahead of the technology pundits?
[Via TechCrunch] More →
Today, Google released an update to its Gmail Android application that offers several bug fixes, improvements, and feature additions. Most notably, the new bits add enhanced priority inbox support, an improved compose workflow, and in-line rely responses. With priority inbox support, users can now see importance markers in the main message list and rank messages right from their device. The new compose feature will allow users to switch between reply, reply all, and forward while in the composition screen, as well as set the outgoing account (should users have more than one Gmail account setup on their device). In-line message replies are fairly self explanatory. The new Gmail application – version 2.3.2 — is available in the Market as we type. Enjoy.
It looks like search giant Google has started to roll out a new feature to its Gmail users that also utilize Google Voice. The new functionality allows Google Voice users, receiving a call from within Gmail, to record the voice conversation. Blog TechCrunch is reporting that some users have begun to see a new “record” button show up in Gmail’s call window. The feature has been available to Google Voice users for quite some time by hitting the number “4″ on your phone’s dial-pad after receiving an inbound call. After activating call recording, both parties are notified that the conversation is being recorded with a verbal queue. Google has yet to publish a press release announcing the feature or detailing when it will be rolled out to all users. Anyone have the new feature in Gmail yet? More →
Today, Google announced two, small improvements to their Gmail web interface for mobile Safari: scrolling speed and the toolbar availability. First, scrolling: Google explains that the new scrolling on gmail.com is now “snappier” and better reflects the speed of an inputted swipe gesture. The second feature improvement has the navigation toolbar staying onscreen when scrolling through mail — rather than appearing, via a short sliding animation, after a delay. “Being able to access your toolbars from any point on the page should make it easier to triage your email and move around the app,” writes Google. The new features are available in mobile Safari for iOS versions 4.0 or higher (English only, for the moment). More →
To us, one of the differentiating features of Gmail is the service’s ability to automatically and accurately organize email conversations into threads. Now, Google has announced that they are *gasp* affording you the ability to turn this feature off. As Google explains:
The way Gmail organizes mail into conversations is like cilantro. You either love it — and, like me, enjoy the nice citrusy, herbal finish it gives to everything from salsa to curry — or you hate it. And those of you who hate it hate it enough to launch sites like nocilantro.com and ihatecilantro.com (“an anti cilantro community”), where you can hate it together.
But my fondness for cilantro pales in comparison to my love for Gmail’s conversation view, or message threading. I haven’t had to wade through multiple messages to follow a conversation in years. A centithread hasn’t filled up the entire first page of my inbox in almost as long as I can remember. Having all the replies to an email (and replies to those replies) grouped with the original message simply makes communicating so much easier.
It turns out not everyone feels the same way. And just as an outspoken minority has banded together in unison to declare their distaste of one of nature’s most delicious herbs, some of you have been very vocal about your dislike of conversation threading. So just like you can order your baja fish tacos without cilantro, you can now get Gmail served up sans conversation view. Go to the main Settings page, look for the “Conversation View” section, select the option to turn it off, and save changes. If you change your mind, you can always go back.
This feature will be rolling out over the next few days so if you don’t see it immediately, check back in a bit. And once you try it out, let us know what you think.
We’re curious, any Gmail users out there dislike threaded conversations? More →
A quick note on Sprint’s support site indicates that the HTC EVO 4G will be getting a small software update sometime in the near future. The update lists “calendar event edit issues” and “multiple Gmail account sync” as the two problems it is designed to address. The version number is also listed at 3.29.651.5. You can check for the update by navigating to Settings > System Updates > HTC software update on your EVO 4G. More →
Google has just released an update to its Gmail application to the Android Market. The new app brings several new conveniences, including: message actions stick to the top of the screen while scrolling, view previous messages more easily (like in the desktop client), and limited support for Priority Inbox. The new bits are in the Android Market and available for all those running Android 2.2. Go get em’!
Today, Google announced that over 3 million businesses have met their messaging and collaboration needs by switching to Google Apps. To celebrate the occasion, Google announced two new features it is adding to its cloud-powered services: two-step verification and mobile editing for Google Docs. First, two-step authentication. As Google explains:
Google Apps Premier, Education and Government Edition administrators can now have users sign in with the combination of their password (something they know) and a one-time verification code provided by a mobile phone (something they have). Users can continue to access Google Apps from Internet-connected devices, but with stronger protections to help fend off risks like phishing scams and password reuse. For the first time, we’re making this technology accessible to organizations large and small without the costs and complexities that have historically limited two-step verification to large enterprises with deep pockets. Furthermore, in the coming months, Standard Edition and hundreds of millions of individual Google users will be able to enjoy this feature as well.
The second feature, mobile editing of Google Docs, is exactly what it sounds like. Google has demonstrated the ability to edit documents on the Android OS as well as the iPad. “In the next few weeks, co-workers around the world will soon be able to co-edit files simultaneously from an even wider array of devices,” writes Google.
There you have it. Two-step authentication for extra security and the ability to collaborate and edit Google Docs on select mobile devices. We’re curious, any individual users going to take advantage of the two-step authentication process when it is rolled out to all Gmail/Google users? More →