16 April 2016

Background Buffer in YouTube's Android App

I paused a video in YouTube's app for Android and got this message: "paused videos keep buffering if you leave the app". There's a background buffering feature and YouTube shows the how much data has been buffered. For example, "buffering 11.8/39 MB". YouTube videos are actually cached, so that's the reason why YouTube's cache can become huge.

When YouTube caches the entire video, you'll receive a notification which shows that the video is "ready to watch".

This is useful if you have a slow Internet connection: play a YouTube video, pause it, leave the app and wait until the video is cached. Then you can watch it.

An article from Indian Express mentioned in December that "Google will introduce pause buffer feature soon allowing users to pause video, leave it to buffer, even leave the app or site and let it continue buffering". Google CEO Sundar Pichai delivered a keynote speech at a Google India event in New Delhi and announced a lot of interesting features: "tap to translate" will be released this year, "Google will crowd source the data for its translate feature", "1.4 billion Android users in the world", "WiFi at 100 railway stations in India by December 2016", "Internet access to Indians in their own language is the focus for Google in India".

15 April 2016

Better Google Drive Sync

Google Drive's apps for Windows and Mac got better. You can now select which subfolders to sync with your computer. Until now, you could only select the top-level folders.

Google Drive's sync options show the size of your individual subfolders and the space remaining on your computer, just in case you're running out of free disk space. Another new feature shows a warning when you're deleting or moving a file that's shared with other people.

Sleep Timer in Google Play Music for iOS

The latest version of the Google Play Music app for iOS brings a new icon, a timer feature in the settings and an updated search bar that helps you find music faster.

There's a new "sleep timer" feature in the settings, which stops the music when timer ends. For example, you can set the timer and play your favorite tunes for falling asleep. A similar feature is available in the built-in Clock app for iOS and it works for any music app.

The new app icon is less recognizable than the old one and it's also asymmetric.

Here's the old icon:

Apparently, Google's music service will add support for podcasts next Monday.

Learning CSS with Cats and a Dinner Table

CSS, short for Cascading Style Sheets, are rules (or “styles”) that define how content should look on a web page. To give you an example, if your web page contains a table, you can use CSS to specify the thickness of the border and the color of text inside that table.

Learning CSS is easy. There are a plethora of good online tutorials or, if you prefer the traditional route, get a book. My favorites CSS books include HTML & CSS by John Duckett and CSS Secrets by Lea Verou.

You should also watch the YouTube series by Travis Neilson and Guy Routledge, probably the best free video resources for learning everything about CSS.

I recently stumbled upon a couple of web resources that take the help of cats and post-it notes and make learning CSS even more interesting and entertaining.

CSS Basics with Post-It Notes (link)

Designer Kaylan takes the help of colorful post-it notes for visualizing the the basic concepts of CSS.

CSS Box Model

CSS Selectors Explained with CSS (link)

If you have figured out how to write selectors in CSS, half the battle is one. Mike Borsare uses #cats to help you learn the basic CSS selector syntax.

CSS Selectors

CSS Dinner Table (link)

If you know the basic of CSS selectors, use the Dinner table to practice your CSS skills. Here you have plates and fruits placed on a dinner table and your task is to select the various elements using selectors.

CSS Dinner Plate

Related: Learn to Code Online

The story, Learning CSS with Cats and a Dinner Table, was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 15/04/2016 under Code, Internet.

How to Create Multiple Copies of an Email Draft inside Gmail

You have composed a draft inside Gmail and would like to send the same email message to multiple people, separately. The subject, the email body, the attachments remain unchanged and the only thing that differs in each message is the recipient’s email address. Maybe you are sending your résumé to multiple companies. How can you do this without having to copy-paste the subject and body of the draft message multiple times?

When you compose a draft email in Gmail and hit the Send button, the email is automatically removed from the Drafts folder and moved to the Sent Items folder of Gmail. Unlike Microsoft Outlook, Gmail doesn’t offer an option to create multiple copies of an existing email message.

Gmail Draft Emails Copy

Create Duplicate Email Messages in Gmail

There are two easy ways to create duplicate draft emails inside Gmail. You can either use Mail Merge for Gmail or, if you are looking for a more simple one-click option, use my new Duplicate Gmail web app written with Google Scripts.

Here’s how to get started.

  1. Open your Gmail mailbox, compose a new email message and save it as a draft.
  2. Go to labnol.org/duplicate and authorize the app to access your Gmail account. This is necessary since the app will read your Gmail drafts and create copies inside your Gmail account.

The Gmail clone tool works on both desktop and mobile phone so you can copy email messages on a mobile phone as well.

To quickly clone a message to send separately to someone else, select the source draft from the drop-down, then select the number of copies you wish to have and click the Create Drafts button. The copied drafts will include the complete contents of the original message, including file attachments and inline images.

If you would like to create more copies of the draft, reload the page and repeat the steps. Internally, the app uses the Gmail API to create drafts.

The story, How to Create Multiple Copies of an Email Draft inside Gmail, was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 15/04/2016 under GMail, Internet.

Tips for Saving to Google

If you're using the Save to Google Chrome extension, here are a few tips:

1. Select some text from the page before clicking the star icon to use this text as a note. You can change it later.

2. You can change the title of the page you save in the small box that's displayed after clicking the star icon. Just click the title and it becomes editable.

3. Pick an image to illustrate the page. From the same box, you can click the arrow icons to choose an image from the page.

4. Add a tag to group similar pages.

5. If you clicked the star icon by mistake, click the delete icon to remove the page from your list of saved pages.

6. Use the Google Save site to manage your saved pages. You can select multiple pages to add tags or delete the pages.

7. The search feature is very powerful because it searches the entire text of your saved pages, not just the title and description.

8. How to save pages without using the extension? Use Google Image Search and search for site:URL, where URL is the address of the page. Pick one of the images you like and click "save". Please note that this only works for pages that include images and only if the pages and images are indexed by Google.

Google Brings Back the Old Weather Cards

Back in January, Google redesigned the weather card for mobile. Now the old interface is back, but it's not clear if this is a bug or Googlers realized that the redesigned card wasn't good enough.

Google's attempt to build an even more powerful web application for weather brought some new information (air quality, UV index, sunrise and sunset times), but also a few extra taps. For example, you had to tap the "10 days" tab to see the forecast for the next 10 days.

Here's a screenshot of the ill-fated redesign:

14 April 2016

Save to Google

It looks the Google Save site is not restricted to bookmarking image search results. The "Save to Google" Chrome extension lets you save any web pages and add tags. "One spot for webpages and Images: Your saved webpages and saved images from Google Image Search will live together at google.com/save," mentions Google.

In fact, the saving feature from Google Image Search actually bookmarks the web page that includes the image and automatically selects the image you are saving to display it next to the site's name. The Chrome extension lets you save any web page and you can pick an image from that page.

If Google wants to create a general-purpose bookmarking site, then it could also integrate with Google Web Search and sync with Chrome bookmarks.

{ Thanks, Carlos. }

11 April 2016

The Best Twitter Search Tricks

The Twitter Archiver and Twitter Bots app fire each time a new tweet is found that match your search query. You can write simple search queries (like #Oscars) or more complex query (like obama min_retweets:10 filter:news) that uses one or more Twitter search operators.

Twitter Search

How to Search Twitter Like a Pro

Here’s a complete list of Twitter search operators that can help you perform more accurate searches on Twitter:

All tweets sent by a particular Twitter user

to:BarackObama -filter:links
Tweets sent to @BarackObama but not containing any links

elections list:TIME/time-staff
Search for tweets from users who belong to a particular Twitter list

youtube.com min_faves:100
Tweets containing YouTube videos that are favorited by at least 100 users

earthquake min_retweets:10
Tweets that have been retweeted at least 10 times

iPhone near:NY within:10mi
Tweets sent by users within the 10 mile radius of New York containing iPhone

#foodrecipe lang:en
Tweets sent in particular language (en = English)

iPhone Reviews since:2016-04-01 until:2016-04-09
Tweets sent in a particular time range (may not work with Twitter APIs)

YouTube good OR amazing OR awesome filter:links
Tweets containing YouTube videos that are described as awesome or amazing

#Emmys filter:images
Show tweets for a particular hashtag but containing images

Barack Obama filter:news
Show only tweets that mention a keyword and contain links to news websites

from:john to:peter -RT
Tweets from user @John that @mention user @Peter but exclude Retweets

family games filter:safe
Filter tweets containing adult or potentially sensitive content

tornado filter:media
Show tornado tweets containing images or videos

music concert filter:native_video
Show tweets that contain native video (uploaded inside tweet)

twitter search tricks

How to Find the Most Popular Tweets

The engagement filter inside Tweetdeck surfaces the best tweets and removes the noise from Twitter search results but the most surprising part is that Twitter has not made this filter available outside Tweetdeck. You don’t even have it inside the official Twitter app.

Well, here’s the trick. You can actually filter tweets by engagement level on the Twitter website or inside any Twitter app using an undocumented search operator that Twitter doesn’t want us to know about.

Go to the Twitter search box, type any search term and append the operator min_retweets:[number] or min_faves:[number] to filter your search results. For instance, here’s a sample search that will only shows tweets pointing to the labnol.org domain that have been favorited or retweeted at least 5 times.

The story, The Best Twitter Search Tricks, was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 10/04/2016 under Twitter, Internet.

How to Schedule Email Messages in Gmail with a Google Sheet

Have you ever wanted to write an email message in Gmail now but send it later? Maybe you are sending birthday wishes and would like to delay the delivery of the email message until the actual day. Or you have written an email but would like to schedule delivery in the recipient’s time zone when the message is more likely to get read.

Microsoft Outlook has a built-in email scheduler but you do not have a ‘native’ option to delay the delivery of email messages inside Gmail. That’s where Gmail Scheduler can help. It is an add-on for Google Spreadsheets that will not only help you schedule email messages inside Gmail but you can also send recurring email. For instance, if you would like to send an email reminder to your tenant on the last Friday of every month, you can do it with the scheduler easily.

Email Scheduler for Gmail

Unlike extensions like Boomerang or Sidekick that are browser specific, Gmail Scheduler is available inside Google Sheets and thus works across all desktop browsers. The scheduler, written with Google Scripts, runs on Google servers and will automatically deliver the message at the time chosen by you even if the computer is switched off.

Schedule Emails in Gmail and Send Later

It take few easy steps to schedule email messages with the Gmail Scheduler. The basic idea is that you compose all the emails that you would like to be delivered later in Gmail, let them stay as drafts and then specify the exact delivery date and time for these messages in the Google sheet.

Watch the video tutorial (download) to get started.

How to Setup Gmail Scheduler

  1. Go to Gmail and compose a couple of email messages. After you are done writing the emails, do not hit the Send button but let the messages stay in drafts.
  2. Go to labnol.org/scheduler and install the Email Scheduler for Gmail inside your Google Spreadsheets.
  3. After the add-on is installed, allow the add-on to access your Gmail and other Google Apps services. This is a one-time authorization and is necessary since all the emails will go out from your own Gmail account.
  4. Inside the Google Sheet, go to Add-ons -> Email Scheduler -> Configure to launch the Email Scheduler.
  5. You’ll see a list of Gmail drafts in the dropdown. Select a message, click the Schedule button and follow the wizard to schedule that message. Simple.

Your draft messages can have rich formatting, you can add attachments, signatures and even inline images. Make sure that you have included the recipient’s email address(es) in the TO/CC/BCC fields of the drafts.

The email are scheduled in the timezone of your browser. Also, the emails will be sent within +/- 15 minutes of the specified time. If you have multiple emails, you can also choose a different Gmail alias as the FROM address.

Gmail Scheduler

Email Scheduler for Gmail – Premium Features

The Gmail Scheduler is available in free and premium editions.

Features Free Premium
Support Gmail & Google Apps accounts Yes Yes
Emails messages you can schedule at once 5 No limit
Schedule Recurring Emails No Yes
Track Email Opens No Yes
Duplicate Gmail Drafts No Yes
Send emails from another email alias Yes Yes
Technical Support None Email
Gmail Scheduler Premium

The premium edition lets you schedule more emails, send repetitive emails that are sent on a recurring schedule (hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or yearly), track email opens and you can are also entitled to technical support.

The daily email sending limit is based on the type of your Google account. Gmail users can send up to 100 email recipients per day while Google Apps for Work customers can email 1500 recipients per day. Check Email Quota.

If you have trouble using the Gmail Scheduler add-on, please ensure that Gmail & Drive SDK are enabled for your Google domain.

The story, How to Schedule Email Messages in Gmail with a Google Sheet, was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 10/04/2016 under GMail, Internet.