Archive for the ‘Appearance’ Category

Docs Preview and Got The Wrong Bob

This entry is part 26 of 35 in the series Green Belt

Welcome the Gmail Podcast, a collection short hints, tips, and tricks to help you get more from your Gmail account. I’m your host, Chuck Tomasi.

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Let’s say you’re a typical Gmail user and your colleagues send you links to a Google document, either a spreadsheet, presentation, or regular text document. Typically, you would click the link to open the document in Google Docs. That’s a little cumbersome when all you need is a quick peek to get a few facts or figures. That’s where the labs feature called “Docs Previews” comes in handy. Like any labs feature, you can find it under setttings, on the labs tab. Enable it and save your settings. Now when you get a link to a Google doc, an option will appear on the bottom of the message to preview the document, almost as if it were an attachment. Sorry, it doesn’t allow you to preview actual Microsoft document attachments like Excel or Word.

docs-preview
Another handy labs feature that can save you from some potential embarrassment is called “Got the wrong Bob?” This feature looks at the patterns of recipient groups you have sent to and tries to prevent you from including the wrong one.
For example, I normally send email to Kreg S, Victor C, and Steve H, about a surprise party we’re planning for Steve R. Well, it’s Saturday morning and I’m feeling a little tired from a long Karate workout the night before. I start typing and the automatic insert changed the order of my lookups for some reason so my quick typing gets me Kreg S, Victor C, and Steve R! It would be a bit of a problem if the mail went to Steve R instead of Steve H – obviously, it would ruin the surprise. Fortunately, I’ve got “Got the wrong Bob?” feature turnd on and it shows a red message just under the recipient box that says “Did you mean Steve H instead of Steve R?”
Again, like all other labs features, you can find “Got the wrong Bob?” under the labs tab of the settings screen. As a side note, be aware that the labs feature formerly known as “Suggest More Recipients” has been changed to “Don’t forget Bob”.
That’s all for this time… Comments, suggestions, or questions can be sent to gpodcast@gmail.com or check the website for full information and archives of all previous Gmail tips at chuckchat.com/gmail. I have no affiliation with Google other than as a satisfied Gmail user. Thank you for listening, and don’t forget to write.

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iPhone and Android Enhancements

This entry is part 22 of 35 in the series Green Belt

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If you’re an iPhone or Android user, you’ll definitely want to look at the recent changes to the mobile web Gmail interface for those devices. Google has made some major improvements to the UI.

First, Gmail mobile now supports labels for your email conversations very much like the desktop version. Now you can add color coded tags to respective emails for managing your inbox while you’re on the go. You can find the Label feature in the new “floating menu bar”, as I call it, that also has buttons labeled “Archive”, “Delete”, and “More”. Click on “More” and select “Label As” just below “Mute”.

Another new addition is address auto completion of recipients’ names. Now you can simply start typing a name and Gmail will start filling in the name for you.

Finally, my favorite – keyboard shortcuts. Yes, now you can use keyboard shortcuts if you own an Android phone. Most of the same keyboard shortcuts map the same way they do on the desktop. From the official Gmail blog at Google, “if you’re reading an e-mail you can press ‘u’ to return to the inbox or ‘n’ to move to the next conversation.”

Interestingly, these changes to the iPhone and Adroid platform came at the same time in April 2009 when they completely redesigned their mobile application. This is a change from previous enhancements which came out on the larger target audience of the iPhone first.
This new Gmail interface is available for iPhone/iPod Touch with OS 2.2.1 versions and Android-powered devices in U.S. English language only.

Look for more nice tweaks to the mobile version of Gmail in the future and keep listening to the Gmail Podcast to stay up to date on them.

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