Inbox Types Support Rolling Out to Gmail for Android

Inbox Types in Gmail for Android

File this one under the “Finally” category.  Gmail for Android is finally getting inbox type sorting.  The ability to filter your inbox based on a number of criteria has been available on the web and in the iOS version of the app but had never made it into the Android build.  That is changing with an update to the Gmail rolling out over the course of the next week or so to bring the feature to users.

What is inbox type support?  When available, you will be able to sort your inbox on a number of criteria including unread messages, important messages, stared messages and priority inbox.  When you enable one of these, that message type is bubbled up to the top of your Gmail view on your phone so you can deal with them first.  The most common use is unread messages so you would see all of them first, then your read messages below it.

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Gmail Go Added to Android Go Lineup for Low Memory Devices

Gmail Go

Gmail Go, a lighter weight version of the Gmail app, is the latest addition to the Android Go initiative from Google.  The app is available in Google Play Store for devices with low memory, the hallmark of the Go program.  If you aren’t familiar with the Go program, it is an initiative set out by Google back at Google I/O last year to bring apps & services to devices with low RAM.  These apps are mostly aimed at emerging markets or those with very low cost devices with 1GB or 2GB of RAM.

Gmail Go essentially is Gmail but without some of the more powerful management, editing and filtering options.  Still, it comes with Smart Replies and inbox label filtering which is likely going to meet 99% of users needs.

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AMP Support is Coming to Gmail Later This Year

AMP in Gmail

Google has announced a new AMP for Email developers preview for companies to create more interactive emails.  The feature, which is part of the Gmail developer program, will be generally available and supported in the email service later this year.

With AMP for Email, you’ll be able to quickly take actions like submit an RSVP to an event, schedule an appointment, or fill out a questionnaire right from the email message. Many people rely on email for information about flights, events, news, purchases and beyond—more than 270 billion emails are sent each day! AMP for Email will also make it possible for information to easily kept up-to-date, so emails never get stale and the content is accurate when a user looks at it.

Once AMP for Email fully rolls out, it will be much more like a website in your email than a static message.

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How To Enable The Unread Message Counter for Gmail Tabs in Chrome

Gmail Icon

One of the hidden gems in Gmail are the labs.  The labs are unsupported, experimental features that may make their way into the mainstream support for the email service.  For the most part, I don’t recommend using beta or unsupported features but there is one that has been there a long time and Google seems to continue to improve it.

The feature is the ability to enable an unread message counter on the Gmail tab in the Chrome browser on Windows, MacOS or Linux as well as in Chrome OS.

Unread Counter in Gmail Tab in Chrome
Unread Counter in Gmail Tab in Chrome

In this How To, I’ll show you were to go in Gmail to enable the feature so you can try it out for yourself.

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G Suite Improving Gmail Attachment Compliance to Prevent Corporate Data Loss

G Suite Attachment Compliance for Gmail

Google is in the process of rolling out a new Gmail attachment compliance policy to all G Suite customers.  The new settings, which are optional, allow for G Suite administrators to configure scanning of the content of an attachment to prevent corporate data loss.

Previously, G Suite admins could configure attachment scanning but it would only scan the header of the attachment of configured file types (like .docx, .pdf, etc).  The problem is that users could change the file extension to bypass the scanning and thus get the corporate data out of the corporate network.

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Gmail and Inbox Update Converts Addresses and Phone Numbers to Links

Gmail for Android

Google is rolling out an update to Gmail and Inbox for both Android and the web that will create links for physical addresses, email addresses and phone numbers that are found in your email messages.  The update is on the fast track which means it should roll out to all users over the course of the next few days.

How it works is pretty straightforward and should save time for users.  If there is a physical address in an email message, the link will take you to Google Maps.  If there is an email address found, the link will open up your default email client and set you up to compose a new email to that address.  Finally, when you are on your Android phone, if there is phone number found, clicking the link will open up your default phone app to place a call to the number.


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Smart Reply in Gmail Now Rolling Out to Everyone

Smart Replies in Gmail

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.

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Gmail Update Brings GIF Keyboard Support

Google Gmail for Android

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 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.

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