Tag Archives: gmail

Google Gets Personal

Thought Google was smart enough to answer just about any question that came to mind? If you didn’t think that before you should now. Today Google announced a new feature that will be implemented when using the search tool. It allows you to find your own personal information through Google search. Google will now enable you to get information regarding airplane flight numbers, reservations at a restaurant, or the tracking number for a package delivery you are expecting.

Instead of this being a multiple step process to get information for any of the following listed above, Google has created a one-step process where you can get all of that with the click of a button.  When you use this new feature there is one thing to keep in mind.

Google has to be pulling this data from services that the user uses such as Google+, Gmail and Google Calendar. Google notes however, that you must be signed in to one of the previous accounts mentioned in order for this feature to work. Much of this information is pulled from your Gmail account with the exception of photos, which are pulled from your Google+ account.

Any user will have access to this new feature and will be available on any platform including desktop, tablet or mobile device.

Keep yourself informed with all the latest technology updates from Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and more through Windy City Strategies.

Google Releases Brilliant Email Snooze Button for Gmail

Let’s say you get an e-mail. It’s important. But, you just don’t have the time right now to respond to it. So, you leave it in your inbox. As long as you don’t delete it, you know you’ll get to it later. The only problem is that two weeks pass, and you’ve forgotten all about it, dropping further and further down in your never-ending pit of an inbox. Until that dreaded moment where you realize you’ve forgotten all about.

Google has fixed that problem with an e-mail snooze system within Gmail. This temporarily archives your e-mail, but has it automatically reappear at the top of your inbox at a specified future time. Google has released this offering as a script which you need to install yourself, in effect, making it likely that this feature won’t take off too quickly because of the sheer difficulty. But, it’s a really really cool idea, isn’t it?

Google Has Blogs For Everything Except Google+

Google has blogs for everything, except the one thing they seem to be banking their entire future on.

I personally RSS subscribe to Google’s corporate blogs on search engine optimization, analytics, AdWords, gmail, webmaster and mobile. But, the one I want to subscribe to the most doesn’t even exist. There is no official Google+ blog. And I wonder why that is?

There is an official What’s new in Google+ site. But, this isn’t really  serving the same purpose. It’s not providing too many tips and tricks as to how to best utilize the Google+ social network. Is this an intentional iterative design choice by Google? Are they moving away from the traditional blog/RSS format? Seems surprising for a company that owns Blogger?

Google Reminds the Fatherless its Father’s Day

On Father’s Day, Google did something pretty cute. If you logged into your GMail account, there was a little Google reminder to “Call dad.”

Cute, no? Here’s the problem. Many people don’t have fathers. Some were abused by their father. Some recently lost their father. And they didn’t find this “cute” at all.

There’s a risk behind doing stuff like this. I’m not sure I would have thought about the negative consequences of such a seemingly harmless gesture. But, you can bet Google will think it through next time they have another “cute” idea, and stick to changing their daily Google Doodle, which, since unpersonalized, can’t be taken too offensively. It does bring up another question of Internet privacy, though. For a company who is thought to know so much about us, how far away are they from knowing which of their users has a live and caring father or not?

Are Google and Facebook Trying to Buy Skype?

Rumor has it that Skype, a voice and video chat provider, is in buy-out talks with both Facebook and Google, the two biggest potential players, and therefore the biggest potential victims of the losing side of a buy-out.

Let’s think through the repercussions. If Facebook acquires Skype, the company can instantly add voice and video chat to their service. While Facebook currently offers these services, they are buggy at best, and have a vested interest in keeping Internet users satisfied (fat and happy) on the site.

If Google acquires Skype, Facebook doesn’t get them. But more than that, Google can look to improve their existing video chat features, those that are currently implemented through Gmail, iGoogle and orkut.

UPDATE: Surprise! Microsoft purchased Skype for $8.5 billion. Didn’t see that one coming…

Facebook Stops Hiding Gmail Jealousy

It’s no secret. Facebook and Google don’t like each other. And that’s understandable. They’re each other’s biggest threat.

But, in the past, the companies have always played nice with each other. Said nice things about each other’s offering. Maintained the idea of “reciprocity” within their relationship. But, when either party feels like they’re getting the short end of that straw, they make their anger public. And as the fight for the #1 consumer data company in the world quickly becomes a two-man show, the two men are getting a little more defensive.

Specifically with the introduction of Facebook e-mail, Facebook has decided not to play nice with Google, the makers of Gmail, anymore. In fact, Facebook is no longer letting you find new friends on Facebook via your Gmail address book – at least not without making it difficult.

The question is, will making your product more difficult to integrate with the other really hurt the other company, or will these petty antics just anger your own customers?

Facebook.com Creates Social Inbox

Do you want a new e-mail address? Well, if you’re signed up for Facebook you’re about to be able to get a @facebook.com e-mail address. But, don’t think it’s just about e-mail. Because CEO Mark Zuckerburg wants to make it clear that it’s not just that. It’s e-mail. Instant messaging. Texting. Across all your traditional e-mail channels and now including your social media connections.

It will incorporate Gmail’s technologically innovative threaded conversation history by group or individual. It will also prioritize your e-mail messages based on your social connections. Are you Facebook friends with the sender? Then, there’s a good chance you’re going to want to read this quickly, and the message will jump to the top of your “social inbox“.

All cool stuff. But here’s the big idea behind it. When you’re in Facebook and you want to send a message to someone, you don’t need to know their e-mail address. You send it to the person. That’s the new idea. We’ll see if it catches on.

Gmail Lets You Create E-mail Name Variations

Google likes change. “Always evolving” probably describes them better than any digital company. And Gmail users may have noticed a few changes to hit their inbox lately. Priority inbox. De-threading options.

But, there’s one you probably don’t know about. With your one Gmail address, you can create as many e-mail name variations as you want, in order to help manage incoming mail.

Simply add a word after your name with a plus sign. For instance, keep your professional newsletters separate by signing up with yourname+newsletters@gmail.com. Travel discounts? yourname+travel@gmail.com. It’s that simple. Plus, you can set up filters to direct those messages straight into an archive folder if you’d like, or have just those e-mails forwarded to a different account.

Google. It’s even cooler than you know.

Greplin: Personal Search Engine

How is this idea of a personal search engine not coming from Google?

The start-up Greplin is now offering a personalized search engine that helps you search through “all your online data in one place, really fast”. After registering, Greplin continuously indexes all of your personal sites, so that you’ll never have a hard time finding what you’re looking for even.

It’s like a closet organizer for your online closet. You know you wrote about a certain topic once, but can’t remember where you did. Was it an e-mail? A blog post? A tweet? Simply scan your online accounts through Greplin, and you’ll find it instantly. Gmail. Facebook. Dropbox. LinkedIn. Twitter. Google Calender. Google Docs. And counting.

Why Google’s not doing this already…I have no idea.

1,000,000 Free Calls Through Gmail in First 24 Hours

Just yesterday at Windy City Strategies, we blogged about the release of Google Voice through Gmail. In less than 24 hours from the release, more than 1,000,000 free calls had been made.

All signs point to this being a game changer. Not just a new convenience. But changing the entire telecommunications profit model. Because unlike Skype, which currently costs 2.1 cents a minute to make outgoing phone calls to non-Skype users, Google Voice through Gmail is free. You can call anyone in the world on their own phone line…free of charge.

Now, you’re probably thinking, that’s great but I don’t want to have to sit down in front of my computer every time I make a call. The thing is, you can access Gmail through your smart phone.

Imagine that every call you make from your cell phone no longer costs you a single minute of air time. Instead of traditional wireless plans, we would move to a strictly data plan environment. I love it when things get better and freer all at the same time.

Google is also planning on releasing phone booths in universities and airports that utilize the Google Voice through Gmail platform. However, if day one tells us anything, this thing is going to spread like wildfire without any advertising or PR push on their end.