20 December 2014

Gmail Links to Google Inbox



Gmail now promotes Google Inbox. If Inbox is enabled for your account, you might see this message: "Good news – Inbox by Gmail is enabled for this account. To use it on the web, go to inbox.google.com. You can always use Gmail at mail.google.com."






Gmail also shows a promotional link for Google Inbox at the bottom of the page: "Take me to Inbox".






If you click "x", Gmail hides the link and shows this message: "You dismissed the Inbox link." Click "Don't show this again" to permanently hide the Inbox link.





19 December 2014

Chrome Data Saver, Compression Proxy for Desktop



Chrome has a data compression feature that works in Chrome for Android and Chrome for iOS. There's an unofficial extension that enables the compression proxy in Chrome for desktop and Google works on its own extension called Data Saver (the codename is Flywheel).



Jerzy Głowacki found this screenshot:





Add Google Docs, Sheets and Slides to App Launcher



You can now add Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides to Google's app launcher from the navigation bar. Just visit each desktop app, click the app launcher and then click "add a shortcut" at the bottom of the pane. Use drag and drop to move the shortcut or hide it by dragging the shortcut to the "more" section. Make sure you are signed in to your Google Account to be able to customize the app launcher.









I added Docs, Sheets and Slides to the app launcher, so I can quickly open the apps from almost any Google service.






To switch between Google's Office apps, you can also use this menu:






{ via +Google Drive }

Save Bandwidth When Playing YouTube Music Videos



I've checked to see what happens when you play a YouTube music video in the background when using the YouTube app for Android, while YouTube Music Key is enabled (it's bundled with the Play Music All Access subscription). I played U2's Beautiful Day on my Nexus 5 and opened the app data usage section to see how much data is used by the YouTube app.



When playing the video in the background, the YouTube app used about 4MB.






When playing the same video in the foreground, the YouTube app used about 24MB.






By default, YouTube selected the highest video quality that was available for this video: 480p.






This means that you can save bandwidth by playing music videos in the background. YouTube uses separate chunked streams for audio and video, so it can download only audio files when playing videos in the background.

How to Prevent Gmail from Trimming your Email Signature



Gmail has this annoying habit of trimming content that it thinks is repetitive or not relevant to the ongoing email conversation. For example, if you reply to an email message, the recipient will only see what you have written and everything else in the thread would stay hidden until they manually click the 3 dots (ellipsis) that say “Show Trimmed Content.”


This doesn’t always work as expected though. Gmail may sometimes hide your actual reply if it contains content identical to other messages in the thread. Also, if you attach a signature to your outgoing email messages, the recipients are unlikely to see your signature because Gmail will hide that portion under the ellipsis.


This GIF illustrates the problem. I sent an email to a contact and this is how they see it. Only the reply is visible to her but not my email signature.


Gmail - Show Trimmed Content


Stop Gmail from Hiding your Signature


You want your customers and contacts to see your email signature because it has your phone number, website address and other contact details but Gmail is likely to conceal that part. And, unfortunately, they do not offer an option to opt-out or disable trimming.


There’s a workaround though. Gmail “trims” your signature because it is identical. If you can make your email signature unique for every message, Gmail will not trim it on the recipient’s screen.


While you are composing a new message in Gmail, or replying to an existing thread, click the 3 dots to expand the trimmed content and append some unique text after your signature. You can maybe add a random number and set it to light-gray so that is almost invisible to the recipient but still manages to trick Gmail into think that is is “unique” content.


The Gmail Bookmarklet


There’s another one-click option. Add the “Trick Gmail” bookmarklet to your browser bookmarks and, while replying to an email thread, just click the bookmarklet. Remember that you have to click the bookmarklet while the reply or compose window is open in Gmail.


Trick Gmail


The bookmarklet will add an almost invisible random string (see screenshot) to your existing email signature, Gmail would consider that text as unique and won’t therefore hide it on the recipient’s computer.


Gmail Signature


In the Gmail bookmarklet, we are appending the unique message ID that is supplied by Gmail itself but you can add any text including the current date and time or even some random quote. More bookmarklets here.




The story, How to Prevent Gmail from Trimming your Email Signature , was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 18/12/2014 under Bookmarklets, GMail, Internet.

17 December 2014

Add Google Drive Files as Gmail Attachments



You can now attach Google Drive files to Gmail messages. When you compose a message, click the Drive button, pick a file and select "insert as attachment" at the bottom of the pane. Then click "insert" and the file is added as an attachment, not as a link. You can only use this feature for files that haven't been converted to Google's formats.






Here's an example of attachment from Google Drive:






If you pick a file that's too big, you'll get this error message: "Your message could not be saved because it exceeds the maximum size of 25 MB. Try removing an attachment."



"There are now more ways to share Drive files with friends and family through Gmail, without having to worry about accidentally removing their access. By selecting the 'Insert as Attachment' option from Drive you'll be able to attach non-Google files directly to your Gmail message. Now you can be sure your friend will always have that great candid photo from your weekend getaway, or the PDF for your aunt's fruitcake recipe (do people actually eat Fruitcake?) even if you delete it from your Drive," informs Google.

Google Slides Can Import OpenDocument Presentations



Google Drive's support for OpenDocument files has never been a priority for Google. Until today, you couldn't even open .odp files in Google Slides. "We now offer support for importing all three major ODF (Open) file formats: .odt files for documents, .ods for spreadsheets, and .odp for presentations," informs Google.






An interesting article from Computer World UK offers more information about Google's support for ODF:



"Magnus Falk, deputy CTO for HM Government, told the audience that the decision to adopt ODF (alongside HTML and PDF) as the UK government's required document format is now well in hand. (...) As a result, Google faces significant pressure securing government business in the UK – including in the health and education sectors – now that ODF is a requirement. The support for ODF in Google's products is weak and uneven. (...) Chris DiBona, head of open source at Google, told the PlugFest audience that support for exporting ODS and ODT files in ODF 1.2 format (the one used by all modern suites including MS Office and LibreOffice) is now under development. He also said that support for ODP presentations was under development and could be ready as soon as summer 2015. (...) DiBona explained that Google's internal metrics suggest to product groups there is little use of the existing ODF facilities, but he admitted that may be because of both the poor quality of the import and export, the weakness of the viewer implementations (which fail to display many aspects of ODF documents) and the lack of integration of the collaboration mechanisms into ODF."

Google+ Notifications Sidebar



The new icon for Google+ notifications is not the only change: previously read notifications can only be found in Google+, which now has a notifications sidebar. "Use the tray on the right to browse through your Google+ notifications," informs Google.









Showing two bell icons is confusing and I'm not sure why previously read notifications were removed from Google's navigation bar. Maybe Google wants to drive more traffic to Google+.

16 December 2014

New Google+ Notification Icons



There's a new Google+ notification icon in Google's navigation bar. When you have one or more notifications, Google only shows the red circle, which is now bigger.






If you don't have notifications, you'll see this new bell icon:






Here's the old bell icon:






{ Thanks, Alfredo Hernández. }