Has it really been a year since Google rolled out Offline Gmail? The exceedingly useful feature allows users to compose, sort, and search mail when no internet connection is available. Now Offline Gmail is leaving Google Labs and becoming a permanent part of the Gmail experience. The feature, as implemented, uses Google Gears to create a local storage cache. This is somewhat interesting given Google’s plans to ditch Google Gears and move to HTML5. Will the offline features be updated prior to the release of Chrome OS?
Coinciding with Offline Gmail’s departure from labs, Google has added two new features that were requested by users during the testing period. Gmail will now allow users to decide which messages are downloaded for offline use. You can now also queue up attachments to mail while offline.
If you haven’t been using this feature in the labs, you’ll still need to enable it in settings. If you’ve been using it this past year, what’s your experience been like?
We all know Google has a lot of information about us. Now there’s a way to have all that data laid out before you in terrifying detail. Google Dashboard is the search giant’s new site aimed at increasing user control over personal information.
The Dashboard is available in your account settings page (or just go here), and kept behind an additional sign-in page. Once logged in, you’ll see all the Google services you use along with a summary of its use. There is currently support of more than 20 Google services including Gmail, Latitude, Google Voice, Google Docs, Gtalk, YouTube and Picasa.
Google offers quick access to the settings for each service if you’re not happy with the information being stored. So, feel better?
Check out Google's video overview after the break!
Google's support forum has filled with messages from Gmail users who say they've been receiving 502 error messages all weekend. Many complained that the 502 blues left them without email service for 30 hours or longer.
But what those affected found most frustratingly was Google's slow response to the problem. For most of the weekend, Google kept mum about the situation and didn't reference the hiccup on its 'Apps Status Dashboard,' nor did the company respond to support requests, according to the complaints.
"I've been reporting [the outage] since yesterday evening but all's been quiet from Google," one user wrote. "The worst part is, no one I know who has Gmail is experiencing the problem. This is ridiculous."
Google did finally acknowledge the problem on Sunday afternoon, and was apparently able to resolve the issue by late evening. The company hasn't yet disclosed what caused the glitch in the first place, but did say "less than 0.001 percent of Gmail users" had been affected.
Los Angeles City Council approved a deal which will roll out Gmail and Google Apps to about 30,000 employees throughout the city.
"The City of Los Angeles, the second largest city in the nation, made a world-class decision today to support a state-of-the-art e-mail system," said Tony Cardenas an L.A. City Councilman. Most of the concerns regarding the switch surrounded privacy, stability, and cost.
Google and the city of Los Angeles cut a deal that if there was a “significant data breach” in which employee information was stolen or viewed Google would pay damage compensation. There should be obvious cost savings in moving away from onsite infrastructure as well as stability improvements moving the services into the cloud.
Have you, or your company made the switch? What are your thoughts on the Google Apps system?
Going strictly by the numbers, those who are rocking their email through Yahoo have a lower credit score than, say, Gmail users. In fact, according to Credit Karma, an online credit checking service, Yahoo email users tend to have the worst credit of all.
Credit Karma combed through its database and ranked the average credit score by email provider. For what it's worth, BellSouth and Comcast took the top two spots with the highest credit scores, while Gmail came in third with an average score over 680. Then it dips down, with MSN, Hotmail, and AOL taking the next three spots with an average credit score of 665 or less.
The rankings are based on credit scores from 20,000 users, so the sample size is arguably enough not to skew the results. So then the question raised is why the disparity? Credit Karma didn't say. Maybe Yahoo's spam filters trail the competition, or as Mashable.com surmises, maybe the lower ranked email addys represent a younger audience.
We don't have the answer, but we'd like to hear your theories. Hit the jump and sound off!
Email spam is on the rise, no surprise there, but new information is suggesting that these emails could be coming from good old mom and dad as well. According to researchers over at Websense, personalized spam emails are being sent from tens of thousands of compromised accounts spanning all of the usual suspects including Yahoo, Gmail, and Hotmail.
Security researchers have suggested that given the sheer volume of spam emails being observed, the recent leak of some 10,000+ Hotmail accounts obtained through a phishing scam isn’t the only source of compromised email addresses, and it is very likely malware key loggers have helped to contribute to the rise in fraud. "The quantity of people hit makes me think that it was key logging — the success rate for phishing is only about one in 1,000," said Shulman, chief technology officer for security firm Imperva. "Secondly, when I went through the list of email account credentials, there were entries with the same username, but a slightly different password, which suggests that they're typos.
According to Patrick Runald from Websense “"Generally phishing is declining and being replaced by key logging, and considering the number of compromised accounts, it could be a combination of both." Apparently it also helps if your password isn’t 1-2-3-4-5. Time to go change the combination on my luggage!
Google says that it was high load on the internet giant’s Contacts server that caused the outages of last week. Users of Google Apps could not access their Google Contacts on September 24, from 10 AM to 11:30 AM EDT. Gmail contacts were also unavailable from 10 AM to 1 PM EDT. This also affected Google Voice, as it relies on Google Contacts.
According to the Google Apps team, the solution was to temporarily stop all requests to the Google Contacts servers. A banner was shown in Gmail that informed users of alternate ways of accessing their contacts, but this likely did not lessen withdrawal symptoms for those affected.
On September 25, Google explained that the increased server load was caused by a rare convergence of events. First, an error in a network data center caused additional load on the Contacts server. Also, it just so happened that the server was experiencing higher than average usage that day. Finally, an update to the Gmail platform unintentionally increased load on the Contacts server even more. If they keep this up, their uptime might fall below 99%... the horror.
Douglas Gresham, software engineer for Google’s Mobile division, announced today on the official Google Mobile blog that they have enabled Push support for Gmail for iPhone and Windows Mobile devices. While other applications such as calendars and contacts already had the capability, Push connectivity for Gmail could only be accomplished using third-party applications.
Smartphone users have been requesting this connectivity for quite some time due to its “always on” feedback. Once new email arrives in your box, you will have it quickly on your phone. In theory, the Push connection method should also reserve battery life because the device is not polling for messages on a set interval, even when there is nothing new.
From my experience, once properly set up (takes about 5 minutes) it took my phone (iPhone 3GS) about 45 minutes to fully retrieve all of my data over 3G. So, be patient. The first thing transferred that I noticed were my contacts (just under 100 entries), the last thing was my calendar, email fell somewhere in between.
Have you set it up on your own device? Let us know.
We can't think of a ton of reasons to want to leave Gmail behind, but should you decide to do your emailing elsewhere, the search giant wants to make it easy for you to take your data with you.
Working towards that goal is a small team of Google Chicago engineers who make up Google's Data Liberation Front. Just as it sounds, the team's mission is to liberate personal user data so that it can be easily transferred into and out of Google's services by building simple import and export functions.'
"Many web services make it difficult to leave their services - you have to pay them for exporting your data, or jump through all sorts of technical hoops -- for example, exporting your photos one by one, versus all at once," Google wrote in a blog entry. "We believe that users -- not products -- own their data, and should be able to quickly and easily take that data out of any product without a hassle."
In addition to "already liberated" Google products, such as the company's blogging platform Blogger and email service Gmail, the team also plans to do the same for Google Sites and Google Docs (batch-export) in the coming months.
Google has just added a pair of nifty Google Voice features into Gmail that you may not have even noticed. The first is an option that integrates text messages sent to Google Voice so that they show up as email messages in Gmail. Text messages are identified as "SMS from (insert name here)," and you can also reply to them from within Gmail. That's pretty groovy if you've ever received a text while sitting at your PC.
The second addition is a new Labs feature that lets users play back Google Voice voicemail messages from within the Gmail viewer. You no longer have to open up a separate browser window to hear the audio.
To turn on the SMS feature, navigate to the Settings tab of Google Voice. For the voicemal player to work, you'll find the option under the Labs tab in Gmail.