Thursday, August 27, 2009

Gmail Features

Everyone is busy with no time to keep abreast of the various enhancements to applications they are currently using. This blog post will peruse some of the features of Gmail or what is being tested in Google Labs.

• Mentioned first, because of its unique status, Tasks is the first graduate of the Gmail Labs which helps you keep track of the things you need to do. Tasks can be used with Google’s Calendar, iGoogle and mobile in addition to Gmail, keeping you current on important task no matter which application you have accessed. This featured is listed under the “Contact” link on the left of the screen once you have signed in to your Gmail account.

Drag and Drop Labels let you organize your mail as you see fit. Mail that go together can be grouped in a label and you will have access to everything pertaining to this topic in the same label---folder

• I am sure you have seen the Chat section on the left which allows you to do just that with voice and video. There is a link in the chat section that allows you toTalk Face to Face. With the Chat feature you can also sign in to your AOL Instant Messenger account and chat with your AIM buddies from Gmail. It works the same way as in AOL, just click on the buddy and start typing.

Fast PDF Preview allows you to preview a PDF document straight from your inbox without downloading it via the ‘View’ link.

The below enhancements are still in Google Labs and their functionality can disappear at any time, break or become a fully functioning production feature. With this in mind you can use the features and be among the first to know what’s happening with the ones you chose to use. To access these features you will need to turn them on in the Labs Tab under Settings in your Gmail account. You can also revert back to your normal Gmail by going to, troubleshoot which feature you think cause the problem by disabling one at a time and reporting your observations to the team via the ‘send feedback’ link next to the feature.

• Here it is! Ever clicked the send button and then realized you made a mistake? Well Google Labs is working on the Undo Send feature which allows you to cancel the send email as soon as you send it.

YouTube, Picasa, Flickr and Yelp Previews allow you to see a preview of videos, photos or reviews right in your email prior to linking to it. Each one is an individual feature.

Offline, as the name suggests, allows you to access your Gmail account and work offline.

Create a Document allows you to create a Google Document from an email conversation by clicking on the ‘Create a Document’ link.

Text Messaging in Chat works the same as texting does in Google Voice. It allows you to send text and receive messages from your Gmail account.

Gmail Themes allow you to customize the look of Gmail to suite you from the 30 themes available. Themes are only available in Internet Explorer 7.0 and newer, Firefox 2.0 and newer, Safari 3.0 and newer, and Google Chrome.

Superstars add additional star icons to the existing yellow default star. The Labs tab gives instructions on how to set up this feature once you have enabled it so read the information displayed with it and follow the steps.

Pictures in Chat allows you to see your friends’ profile when you are chatting.

Custom keyboard shortcuts allow you to customize your keyboard shortcuts mappings and add an additional Settings tab for remapping the keys

Message Translation changes messages you received in other languages to your default language.

Google Calendar Gadget adds a box in the left column that shows your Google Calendar---you’re always abreast of upcoming events even though you are not signed into your calendar.

Google Docs Gadget also adds a box to display your Google Docs and includes a search option.

Add any Gadget by URL allows you to add a gadget which shows in a box to the left also

These are just a few of the features Google Labs is working on. To get the entire list you can go to the Labs tab under Settings in your Gmail account. Also, visit the Links section at the bottom for more information,

As always, email me with your comments and topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service,

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General Information

Tasks Video

Details on using Tasks

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