The next step in China's effort to block all things Google
After several months of service disruptions, China appears to have found a way to block access to Google's Gmail service through third-party email clients. China had already been disrupting service to Gmail for the better part of six months, though users have been able to login via third-party software. As of Friday, that was no longer the case, and Internet users in China are pretty peeved about it.
Yahoo scrambles to fix an undersea cable affecting its mail service
Some Yahoo Mail users are suffering through a fourth consecutive day of service interruptions, the result of an underwater fiber cable cut. Yahoo says the cable was damaged by an unnamed third party that was attempting to fix a different cable and that it knows the exact location of the cut, which it is now in the process of repairing and testing. Users are hoping a fix comes soon, as they've been contending with slow or nonexistent service since November 20.
No other Android app has been downloaded more times than Gmail
High fives are in order for Google's Gmail team, as Gmail is the first Android application to notch 1 billion downloads in its belt. The feat, which actually occured a few days ago, was announced today by Google VP Sundar Pichai, who posted the achievement on his Google+ page. It was a succinct (albeit excited) recognition, though crossing 1 billion downloads doesn't mean there are a billion people using Gmail.
Revises its email scanning policy again following ‘uncomfortable’ criticism
Microsoft came under severe criticism after it emerged last week that in 2012 the company had peeked inside the Hotmail account of an employee suspected of leaking Windows 8 trade secrets. Within 24 hours of the revelations, the company thought it behooved it to “provide additional context and describe how we are strengthening our policies.” But the "strengthened" policy did not go down too well with the critics either.
Gmail vs.Outlook.com: the battle of the best email services
Your webmail inbox is the center of your online ecosystem, and not just for your primary email account, but for every other account you have that’s connected to it. Which one’s better? It’s time for the battle of the webmail giants, and it’ll be a doozy. In one corner, we have the Whale of Webmail, the defending champion inboxer: Gmail! In the other corner, the scrappy kid with a big name, the King of Clean, the Preview of Pain, Outlook.com!
Note: This feature was originally featured in the July 2013 issue of the magazine.
Tabs work for browsing, can they for email as well?
Can you remember surfing the web before tabs? Power surfing has never been the same, and even casual web users can benefit from tabbed browsing. Google didn't invent the concept, nor did the company even popularize tabbed browsing, but it is incorporating tabs of a slightly different kind into its Gmail service on the desktop and mobile. It's almost like a pre-sorting system.
Google is inviting Gmail users to try out a new way to compose and reply to messages in Gmail. The redesigned compose window appears as a pop-up window inside the inbox rather than a dedicated, full-size window. It's a subtle change, but is big on convenience in that you can compose new messages while still surfing your inbox folders. It's essentially a larger size chat window.
Say goodbye to Hotmail (as you know it) and hello to Outlook.com, Microsoft's new personal email service that launched in preview form on Tuesday. To listen to Microsoft describe it, Outlook.com represents "the first major improvement to cloud mail in eight years," and is yet another reimagined cloud service as Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 roll into view. It's "modern email designed for the next billion mailboxes." Marketing hype aside, just what exactly is Outlook.com all about?
No matter whether you're working far from home or cozied up to your desktop PC, the ubiquitous nature of services like AOL Mail, GMX or Hotmail means that so long as you’ve got an internet connection, you’ll never be out of touch with everyone you care about. Of the many webmail services available today, few are more popular than Google’s Gmail. Easy to use and boasting integration with Google’s full range of online offerings, Gmail is nothing but win. To harvest more of that winning Gmail feeling, we recommend taking a look at Send From My Gmail, our Extension of the Week.
Hotmail may been losing some of its “geek cred” to more feature rich services such as Gmail, but as one of the most popular email providers in the world, they had a bit of explaining to do after accidentally wiping out the inboxes of over 17,000 users last week. According to Microsoft’s Mike Schackwitz, an error in a script that is used for testing the stability of the service accidentally deleted valid user account folders, rather than just those belonging to internal test bots.
"In Hotmail, one way we monitor the health of the e-mail service is through automated tests. We set up a number of accounts with different configurations, and then use automated tests to log into these accounts, simulate normal user activity and behavior, and report when errors are found," Schackwitz wrote in a blog post. "We use scripts to create and delete these test accounts in bulk. The way we delete a test account is to remove its record from a group of directory servers that route users and incoming mail to the correct mailbox."
Microsoft didn’t really apologize for the error in its blog post, but at least they claim to have learned a valuable lesson. "This issue was one that had not arisen before, and at first, we did not assign it to the correct team for action," Schackwitz wrote. "Additionally, because there were a relatively small number of reports, the volume wasn't high enough to set off alarms. This meant we had a ticket in the system that was getting no action."
Microsoft has restored all missing emails but has this further eroded your trust in Hotmail?