Category: Gmail

Smart Reply in Gmail Now Rolling Out to Everyone

One of the announcements this week at Google I/O ’17 was the addition of Smart Reply to Gmail.  This one-tap feature allows you to reply to an email quickly and without having to type anything in response.  It is a feature that has been in Google Inbox for some time now and it appears that users of the Gmail app on Android are starting to see it show up.  If you aren’t familiar with Smart Reply, here is how it works at a high level.

Using Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, the email you receive is interrogated for information – Is there a question?  Is there a date or time?  Those kinds of things.  If such an item is found in the email, you will see a selection of replies to that question at the bottom of the page.  Just tap the appropriate response and a new email pane is opened.  Tap send and you are done.  That’s it.

Gmail Update Brings GIF Keyboard Support

A small update to Gmail is currently rolling out to the Google Play Store that brings support for GIF keyboards from within the app.  The update is build 7.3.13.151698241.release for those keeping score at home and who like to play Google version Bingo.  When it is installed, you will be able to insert GIF animations directly from the keyboard instead of having to go to another app, then copy-and-paste it into your message.  In order for it to work, you have to be using a GIF supporting keyboard like Google’s own Gboard.

Once you have the update, inserting GIFs is done like it is any other app when using a supporting keyboard.  You can search for GIFs from the keyboard, tap them, and they are inserted into your messages.

Send Money to Friends and Family via Gmail

Google has rolled out the ability to send friends and family funds via Gmail on your Android phone.  The update requires the latest version of Gmail (which rolled out last week) but the ability is a back-end change that Google has enabled.  The ability to send funds is something that has been on the Gmail web portal for a while now and having it added to the Android version just makes it that much easier to use.

How it works is pretty straightforward.  When you are composing an email to another Gmail user, tapping the attachment icon (the paperclip icon) will give you the option to send money.  This will pop-up a page that allows you to type in the amount of money which can then be sent from your Google Wallet to the recipient.  On their end, they simply accept the transfer in the email sent to them and they can have it added to their Google

Send Money in Gmail

Send Money in Gmail

Wallet or transferred to their bank account if they have it configured.

There are some catches to this as you may have figured out.  First, it only works to other Gmail recipients.  You can’t, for example, send mail to a friend on Exchange or Outlook.com.  Second, this update is tied to your Google Wallet so you will need to fund that wallet in some way.  This is usually just tying your Wallet to a credit card.  Finally, this update is for Android only.  iOS users don’t have this functionality yet.

 

Add-Ons Coming to GMail for Additional Productivity

Productivity enhancing add-ons are going to be coming to Gmail later this year.  At Google Cloud Next today, the company announced that developers will soon be able to create add-ons that allow users to immediately jump to another app from within Gmail to complete a task or perform another task.  The idea is to increase productivity as you can stay within one app, Gmail, yet complete other tasks from another app.

The example used was from Intuit where someone could send an invoice to a customer right from within Gmail.  Using Machine Learning to figure out that the email was about a bill, users will be able with a tap to move into Quickbooks to create and send the invoice without ever having to leave the mail app itself.  Salesforce would be another example as you could add a contact to your contacts list within SalesForce right from Gmail.

Gmail Update Brings Direct Account Access in App Shortcuts

Yesterday I posted on the improved support for Exchange in the latest update to the Gmail app.  The update to the app now allows you to manage your Exchange tasks from within the app so you don’t have to go elsewhere to do so.  There is another nice update that came with the 7.2 version when it comes to the app shortcuts.  Now when you long press the Gmail icon, you will be able with a single tap access any of the configured accounts you have in the app.

As readers likely know, in order for app shortcuts to work, you have to be running Nougat 7.1.1 or later.  That, for now, limits it to just a handful of devices unfortunately.

When you access the shortcuts, you will have one for each of your accounts along with a compose shortcut.  When you select one of your accounts, you are taken to the inbox for just that account, allowing you to focus just on it and not all of your emails from various accounts you have configured.

Gmail for Android Update Brings Exchange Task Support

Google continues to show the love to Microsoft Exchange users with the latest update to Gmail.  The update is rolling out now and when you get it, you will be able to manage your tasks setup in your Exchange account through the app.  No longer do you have to depend on another app (like Outlook for Android) or your desktop client to manage them.

Google has supported Exchange accounts in Gmail on Nexus devices going back to the Nexus 5 but it wasn’t until mid-year last year that they opened this feature up to non-Nexus devices.  Since then, Google has been tweaking improvements into the app for Exchange but no major feature changes have happened until today.

Gmail Update for Android Brings Improved Searching Functionality

Gmail for Android has been updated with several improvements for users.  The updated build, version 6.9.11.134426830.release for those keeping score at home and who like version number Bingo, is rolling out now in the Play Store and when you get it, you will find that you have much improved search features in the app.  Google has improved the search features in Gmail that give you much better search results of what is in your accounts whether you are offline or online.  Further, the search improvements work on both your Google accounts as well as your non-Google accounts.  You can search a variety of ways including the senders name and their email address.

Update – Gmail Accounts Working on Windows Phone

Last week I posted about an ongoing issue that Windows Phone users have had with adding a Gmail account to their devices.  The issue was that when a user opened up Outlook Mail and attempted to add a Google account, it would give an error indicating that the browser of the device was not supported.  This on again-off again problem has been going on for several weeks but it appears, finally, that it has been addressed.  Google indicated in a forum post that the error was not intentional on the part of the company which I personally think is the case.  To me, this feels like simple inattentiveness on the part of the Mountain View company.

It’s Not Just You – Windows Phone Users Unable to Add Gmail Accounts

If you have been trying to add your Gmail account to your Windows Phone over the past few days and keep getting an error, you are not alone.  Currently when users attempt to add their Gmail account to their phone, they get an error indicating that the browser (Edge) is not supported and provides links to download other browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer).  But, as you will know, that’s not an option for Windows Phone users.

The issue, it seems, is with Google and this isn’t the first time this particular issue has popped up.

PSA – EMail Hack Shows Once Again Why You Need To Use 2-Factor Authentication

The news from Reuters today outlining a massive email hack that has impacted some 270 million accounts globally, including some Gmail accounts, serves as another reminder to be safe out there and to use 2-Factor authentication.  Yes it is a pain and yes it sucks that we have to do these kinds of things, but it is a great way to keep your Google account and any other for that matter more safe and secure.  In fact, I would go as far as to suggest that if a service you use doesn’t offer 2-Factor authentication, you may need to rethink if you really need that service.

Gmail Update Brings Exchange Support To Everyone

Google has finally rolled out an update to Gmail that brings support for Exchange to the masses.  The update is rolling out to the Google Play Store now and you should see the update come to you via OTA update over the course of the next few days.  Once you do, you will be able to add an Exchange server to the app, unifying your inbox with your Gmail and other mail services.  Gmail to this point has only offered Exchange support on Nexus devices which mean that corporate users had to use multiple apps to deal with their email.

Gmail Update for Android Brings Rich Text Formatting and Instant RSVPs

The latest update to Gmail for Android is finally bringing Rich Text Formatting to the email app.  The update has been released to the Google Play Store but it may be a few days before you see the OTA update on your devices.  Once you do, the ability to bold, italic, color, highlight and underline text will be available for you when you are creating an email.  Rumors of these features coming to Gmail have actually been floating around for a few months now.  Several sites have done APK teardowns that have shown the handlers in the code for the ability to do this type of formatting but until this point it hasn’t been available.