Posts in Google Apps Blog
Introducing the new compose in Gmail

Posted by Phil Sharp, Product Manager

We're always trying to make Gmail faster and easier to use, so today we're introducing a completely redesigned compose and reply experience that does just that.

Faster
How many times have you been writing an email and had to reference something in another message? Saving a draft, opening the old email, and then reopening your draft wastes valuable minutes. The new compose pops up in a window, just like chats (only larger).This makes it easy to reference any other emails without ever having to close your draft. You can even do a search or keep an eye on new mail as it comes in. And because the compose window works the same way as chats, you can write multiple messages at once and minimize a message to finish it later.

Easier to use
The new compose is designed to let you focus on what's important: your message. The controls are still there when you need them but get out of the way when you don’t. We’ve even added some new features like the ability to easily insert inline images and have more to come.

And, when you add recipients to your message, you'll see profile pictures of your contacts in autocomplete helping you find the right person faster. You can also drag and drop the new address chips between to:, cc: and bcc:. When you’re done adding recipients, the address area collapses automatically to get out of your way.You’ll also see these same changes when you respond to a message. The reply experience has been designed to fit better inline as part of your conversation -- replies take up much less vertical height, intelligently expand to fit your content, and always keep the recipients and other controls in view no matter how long your message gets.

We're rolling out a preview of the new compose and reply today. After we've added some finishing touches over the coming months, we’ll enable it for everyone.

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Bringing Google Calendar to the Play Store

Posted by Michael Chan, Tech Lead

Previously available only on select Android devices like Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus, you can now download the official Google Calendar app for Android from Google Play. Google Calendar makes it easy for you to manage all your calendars in one place, including those from your Google accounts and other calendars synced to your Android device.

Beyond supporting the basics such as creating, editing, deleting events and responding to invitations, the new Google Calendar app has extra features that help you manage your time and communication more easily:

  • Snooze events directly from a notification if you’re not quite ready and want to be reminded later.
  • Use predefined messages to send quick "I'll be late" updates to your event participants directly from the notifications or the event itself (of course, you can always write your own).
  • Pinch to zoom in and out of a day.
  • Set a home time zone to help you manage your time better when traveling.

In addition, we also expanded the sync period so you can review past events from up to one year ago directly on your device. Download Google Calendar on Google Play today for devices running Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0.3+) or Jellybean. Use the Google Feedback feature in the app to let us know how we can make Calendar work better for you! (Cross-posted on the Official Android Blog)

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Find your stuff faster in Gmail and Search

Posted by Bram Moolenaar, Software Engineer

When you’re looking for something, you should be able to find what you need quickly and easily without needing to think about where it might be, whether it's in your email or out on the public web. That’s why this past August we opened a field trial allowing you to sign up to get information from Gmail right from the Google search box.

We’ve gotten very positive feedback from those of you testing it out -- such as this note: “The Gmail results feature is awesome! The fact that it's all integrated into one screen is huge.” Many testers have requested being able to find Drive files as well -- as one of you put it, “It would be awesome if I could search my google drive from google search as well :)”.

So starting today, you can sign up for a new and expanded field trial that makes it easier to find your stuff across Google, whether you’re searching on Google.com or searching in Gmail.

In Gmail, as you begin to type into the search box, you'll instantly start seeing relevant emails from Gmail as well as results from Google Drive, Google Calendar, and more:
Similarly, when you search on Google.com, your results will include relevant information and messages from Gmail (something familiar to those who joined the original field trial) and now -- new in this field trial -- also files, documents, spreadsheets and more from Google Drive:
To give this a try, please visit the updated field trial page and select Join the field trial. Please note that this trial is only accessible in English and for @gmail.com addresses (not available on Google Apps accounts). And keep the feedback coming!

(Cross-posted on the Inside Search Blog)


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Communicate more easily across languages in Gmail

Posted by C. Andrew Warren, Product Manager

Finding the right words can be difficult, especially across languages, and once you choose them, finding a way to type them can be even harder. Try emailing family in Germany, chatting with friends in China or adding a Russian business partner's name to your contacts and you may find yourself limited by the language of your keyboard.

That's why today we’re adding more than 100 virtual keyboards, transliteration and IMEs—collectively called input tools—in Gmail. These tools enable you to type in the language and keyboard layout you’re accustomed to, making it easy to keep in touch with family, friends and coworkers from any computer. You can even switch between languages with one click.
To try it out, check the box next to Enable input tools under Language in Settings.

Once you’ve enabled it, you’ll see the Input Tools icon next to the Settings button in your toolbar, and you can turn on and off any Input Tool from there.
With these new virtual keyboards, Gmail supports typing in 75 languages—a big jump from the five languages that were initially supported when we introduced Indic transliteration in Gmail in 2009.

Gmail’s users are from all over the world—and language should never get in the way of a good conversation. If you'd like to use Input Tools in other places, try out the Chrome extension, the Windows desktop client or the Android apps.

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A new way to sync Google Contacts


Posted by Jeff Ellingson, Product Manager

For many years, we've supported two open protocols for accessing Gmail and Calendar from mobile apps
and devices: IMAP for email and CalDAV for calendar. These protocols, combined with the options to
access Gmail, Calendar, and Contacts with your desktop or mobile browser and via native apps on iOS and
Android, help ensure you have a great experience regardless of the device you use.

Starting today, we're adding CardDAV - an open protocol for contacts - to that list. CardDAV enables 3rd
party clients, like the iOS contacts app, to sync your Google contacts. By supporting IMAP, CalDAV, and
CardDAV together, we’re making it possible for 3rd parties to build a seamless Google Account sync
experience.

To sync your Google Contacts on iOS using CardDAV, please follow these instructions in our Gmail Help
Center.




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Video chat face-to-face-to-face with Hangouts in Gmail

Posted by Fred Brewin, Product Manager

Since the introduction of Gmail video chat back in 2008, many of you have told us that you love the direct, personal communication it provides. That's why we're excited to announce that video chat is being upgraded to a more modern video calling technology -- Google+ Hangouts.

Unlike the old video chat, which was based on peer-to-peer technology, Hangouts utilize the power of Google’s network to deliver higher reliability and enhanced quality. You’ll be able to chat with all the same people you did before and, in fact, with Hangouts you’ll now be able to reach them not only when they are using Gmail but also if they are on Google+ in the browser or on their Android or iOS devices.

All Gmail users will benefit from this upgrade, but if you and the person you're chatting with also use Google+, you’ll get even more from the Hangouts experience. You'll be able to video chat with up to nine people at once, watch YouTube videos together, collaborate on Google documents and share your screen. Plus, Hangouts has a bunch of fun effects that you can try out...because any conversation is better when you're wearing a virtual mustache or pirate hat.


We’ll be rolling out Hangouts in Gmail starting today and then gradually over the coming weeks. We hope you enjoy hanging out with your friends and family. Arrrgh!

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Google+ Events in Google Calendar

Posted by Michelle Chen, Software Engineer

Today at Google I/O, we announced Google+ Events, a new way to create, capture and share public and private events. Google+ Events are seamlessly integrated with Google Calendar to simplify the planning process, so you’ll always know when you have something coming up.

When creating a Google+ event, you can check your Google Calendar to make sure you pick the best time to party. Google+ events also sync to your mobile device's calendar, so you can have them handy when you are on the go.



In week and day views in Calendar, you’ll recognize Google+ Events by the event owner's profile picture. When you click to expand the event in Calendar, it displays a beautiful theme and allows you to set reminders, see other guests, and respond to the event.



Clicking ‘View on Google+’ takes you to the event page, where you can exchange comments with other guests, view photos, and more. Learn about Google+ Events here, and see our post on the Official Google Blog.

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Notification Center support for Gmail on iOS

Posted by Jason Parachoniak, Software Engineer

Our team has been working hard to bring your most-requested features to the Gmail app for iOS. Today, we’re excited to add three new improvements to that list of updates: full notification center support, the ability to send messages from your alternate email addresses and an improved login experience.

First up, Gmail is now fully integrated with Notification Center and supports banners, alerts and lock screen options. Plus, notifications are now incredibly fast -- up to 5x faster than in the previous version.
Next, you now have the option to send mail from alternate email addresses. If you have configured alternate sender addresses in Gmail on your desktop under Settings->Accounts->Send mail as you will see a From: option when composing new messages in the app.
Lastly, we’ve improved the login process to allow you to stay logged into the app for as long as you’d like. You can still choose to sign out of your account, but you won't be automatically logged out after a certain period of time has elapsed.

We’ll continue to improve the app, and we’re looking forward to bringing you more features in future releases, including support for multiple accounts.

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Willkommen bei Gmail, Deutschland. It’s official: Gmail is Gmail everywhere

Posted by Mark Striebeck, Engineer Director

As a German working on the Gmail team, my friends and family back home often ask why they have a @googlemail address instead of @gmail.com. Today, I’m happy to announce that is no longer the case: Google Mail is becoming Gmail in Germany. To celebrate, we’ve created a video that explains what it’s like to Go Google in German:


All new accounts will receive an @gmail.com address and if you have an existing @googlemail.com address, you'll soon be able to switch to @gmail.com. Once you make the change, you will still receive mail sent to your @googlemail.com address and all of your emails, contacts, and account settings will stay exactly the same. Plus, you can switch back at any time if you change your mind.

For more details, check out our FAQ. If you're ready to make the change, over the next few weeks, a link will appear at the top when you login over the coming weeks.


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Custom themes in Gmail

Posted by Greg Bullock, Software Engineer

Themes have been an important part of Gmail ever since we launched them back in 2008. Not only do they let you personalize your inbox with fun backgrounds, but they’re also practical, helping you easily differentiate between multiple Gmail inboxes (e.g. work and personal).

When we unveiled Gmail’s new look back in November, we introduced a number of new, beautiful HD themes. We also heard that many of you wanted to bring an even more personal touch by setting your own background. So over the next couple of days we are rolling out a new Custom themes section with two options, Light and Dark where you can do just that. Watch the video to see some examples:

You can upload your own images directly, select from your Google+ photos or simply paste any image URL. Or, if you don't have a particular image in mind, you can browse our searchable Featured Photos section to find one that speaks to you. With so many great options, it may be hard to choose, so to get a sense of the images available, try searching for ‘hdr scenery’ or ‘bokeh wallpaper' in the Featured tab.

Whether you want to bask on a tropical island or simply reminisce about last year’s holiday with the family, your Gmail can now be customized to your mood. Find your perfect image and make your Gmail your own with custom themes.

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Gmail now available in Welsh and Latin American Spanish

Posted by Chris Yang, Product Manager, Translator Toolkit

Languages can provide identity, pride, a sense of belonging and spiritual guidance to communities. We hope that by making Gmail available in both majority and minority languages, more people will be able to share their culture and knowledge with others worldwide. Today, we’re very excited to announce that Gmail is now available in Welsh and Latin American Spanish. You can select Welsh and Latin American Spanish as your default language in Settings:


Welsh, as a living language, is used by an increasing number of speakers, in their everyday life. For this project, we’d like to thank the Welsh Language Commissioner for working with us to make Gmail available to Welsh speakers around the world. The project was completed through Google Translator Toolkit, which is a Computer-Aided Translation tool supporting over 100,000 language combinations.


Spanish is spoken by more than 300 million people in the Americas and the Caribbean. The Latin American Spanish version of Gmail is designed to be a closer match to the expectations of Spanish speakers in the Americas.

These two languages bring the total number of supported languages in Gmail to 56.



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Continuing to bring people front and center in Gmail

Posted by Itamar Gilad, Product Manager

Email is more than just messages going back and forth -- it's also about the people sending them. That's why today we're introducing changes that continue to bring people front and center in Gmail, just as we did with profile photos in conversation view, the people widget and last year's integrations with Google+. Today’s changes include quick access to contact details when viewing past conversations as well as improved integration with Google+ circles.

Quick access to contact details
When you search for an email address, the search results will now show you contact details in addition to that person's profile photo and the emails sent from and to them. From here, you can start a chat, call their phone and more. Plus, if your contacts have a Google+ profile, this information will stay up to date automatically.


You can get to these same results in a variety of ways including from the people widget, contacts and the chat list search menu.

Improved circle integration and circle search
In addition to adding contact details to search results, we've made some improvements to the circles integration announced in December. When you select a circle, you'll now see profile photos of people in that circle at the top right of the page. Plus, when you click on these images you'll be taken directly to search results with contact details.


Circles are also now supported in search and filters. Find messages from a specific circle by typing circle:[circle name] in the search box. You can also find mail from any of your circled contacts by searching with has:circle. You can refine your search even further with other criteria and create filters based on circles. This means you can now view all the unread emails from your ‘Friends’ circle or automatically star every message that comes from your ‘VIP’ circle.


These updates are helping us to provide a more consistent, beautiful experience across all of our products. Quick access to contact details will be rolling out to everyone today. To take advantage of circles and more in Gmail, you'll need to join Google+.

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Going Google with Gmail

Posted by Preston Hershorn, Product Marketing Manager

If you are a frequent visitor to the Gmail blog, there’s a good chance you’re already a Gmail ninja. Maybe you use video chat in Gmail to keep in touch with family when you’re on the road. Perhaps you’ve created a superb organizational system with labels and Priority Inbox and even have a colorful theme to say “this inbox is mine.”

Sound familiar? If so, then you’ve seen the benefits of going Google. But we all know someone who hasn’t yet made the switch, and is missing out on the convenience of having email, chat, video, and calling all together in one place.

So, as part of our effort to let users know all the things they can do by going Google, we’ve put together a short video that shows just how easy it is to get things done with Gmail when you are living in the cloud. Take a look and then share it with one of your friends. They might just be the next person to go Google - and they’ll have you to thank!

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A better Google+ notification experience in email

Posted by Zohair Hyder, Software Engineer

Notification emails are a great way to keep up with what's happening in the Google+ stream: whether someone mentions you, comments on your post, or shares with you directly. It's not always enough to just read these updates, however; sometimes you want to respond right away, right from your inbox. The good news is that starting today, you can reply to Google+ notifications from Gmail.

On the desktop, in addition to adding people to circles, and viewing recent Google+ content in the people widget, we're now making Google+ notification emails in Gmail completely interactive:

  • You can view, comment on, and +1 posts from inside your inbox
  • Your comments appear in the Google+ stream in real-time, and
  • Responses from others instantly appear in Gmail, as part of the notification message

You can also reply to notifications from your mobile device (and/or POP or IMAP client). Just open the notification email about the post you're interested in, and look for the new prompt, "Reply to this email.” Tap reply, send your comment, and we'll automatically add it to the ongoing Google+ conversation. Even if you don't use Gmail, you can still reply-by-email from many different services.


From left to right: Google+ notification on the phone; replying via email; updated post in the stream


We're rolling out all of these features over the next week to users who've upgraded to Google+. In the meantime, you can adjust which Google+ notification emails you want to receive via your Google+ settings.

We’re always working to create a simpler, more intuitive experience for our users, and with today’s changes, we’re excited to take another step in this important direction.

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Say hello (or olá or halo or salam) to automatic message translation in Gmail

Posted by Jeff Chin, Product Manager, Google Translate

We're excited to announce three Gmail Labs graduations today: Automatic Message Translation, Smart Mute and Title Tweaks.

Automatic Message Translation
Did you ever dream about a future where your communications device could transcend language with ease? Well, that day is a lot closer. Back when we launched automatic message translation in Gmail Labs, we were curious to see how people would use it.

We heard immediately from Google Apps for Business users that this was a killer feature for working with local teams across the world. Some people just wanted to easily read newsletters from abroad. Another person wrote in telling us how he set up his mom’s Gmail to translate everything into her native language, thus saving countless explanatory phone calls (he thanked us profusely). I continue to use it to participate in discussions with the global Google offices I often visit.

Since message translation was one of the most popular labs, we decided it was time to graduate from Gmail Labs and move into the real world. Over the next few days, everyone who uses Gmail will be getting the convenience of translation added to their email. The next time you receive a message in a language other than your own, just click on Translate message in the header at the top of the message,


and it will be instantly translated into your language:


If you're bi-lingual and don't need translation for that language, just click on Turn off for: [language]. Or if you'd like to automatically have messages in that language translated into your language, click Always Translate. If you accidentally turned off the message translation feature for a particular language, or don't see the Translate message header on a message, click on the down arrow next to Reply at the top-right of the message pane and select the Translate message option in the drop-down.

Title Tweaks
With the graduation of Title Tweaks, we've changed the text in the browser tab so that you can more easily see if you have new messages. The tab now reads "Inbox (20) - user@example.com - Gmail" instead of "Gmail - Inbox (20) - user@example.com.”

Smart Mute
We've made improvements to muting based on the graduation of the Smart Mute lab so you can be sure that noisy email threads stay out of your inbox. You can learn more about muting email threads in the help center.

In addition to graduating these three labs, we'll also be retiring some less popular labs over the next few days: Old Snakey, Mail Goggles, Mouse Gestures, Hide Unread Counts, Move Icon Column, Inbox Preview, Custom Date Formats and SMS in Chat gadget. Please note that the SMS in Chat lab is not being retired, just the gadget associated with it.

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Know Your Gmail Stats using Gmail Meter

Posted by Saurabh Gupta, Developer Programs Engineer

One day I was looking at how many messages I have in my sent mail, and realized there are a lot of things I wanted to know about my email habits. How much of my emails do I read, and do I reply fast enough? As luck would have it, Romain Vialard, a Google Apps Script Top Contributor, developed a tool called Gmail Meter powered by Google Apps Script.

Gmail Meter is an Apps Script which runs on the first day of every month and sends you an email containing different statistics about your Inbox. In a similar way to how recently introduced Google Account Activity gives key stats about how you’ve used your Google Account, Gmail Meter gives you different types of statistics that will help you analyze your Gmail habits.

  • Volume Statistics show you the number of important and starred messages, the number of people who sent you emails, and more. Volume statistics can be very useful in determining how you are using email efficiency tools like Priority Inbox.
  • Daily Traffic gives you an estimate of when you receive messages and when you send them during a given month. For example, in the graph below you can see how the peaks in my “Sent” curve indicates that I write emails in spurts.
  • Traffic Pattern lets you get a sense of your overall email activity over the past week.
  • Email Categories tells you how you are managing your Inbox. In the pie chart below, you can see that the majority of my emails are labeled. My Inbox is tiny compared to other labels which indicates that I keep a lean and mean Inbox.
  • Time Before First Response shows you how long it takes you to reply, and how long it takes others to reply to you. By looking at this chart, I can infer that I reply faster than others I communicate with.
  • Word Count tells you whether you are writing long emails. The example below shows that most of my emails are shorter than 200 words.
  • Thread Lengths help you understand whether you participate in long conversations resulting in long threads. Top Senders and Top Recipients help you identify who you communicate with more frequently.
How to Setup Gmail Meter




It is easy to set up Gmail Meter. First, go to Google Docs and open a Spreadsheet. Click on Tools > Script Gallery. Search for “Gmail Meter” and click Install. You will now see a new menu item called Gmail Meter on your spreadsheet. Click on Gmail Meter > Get a Report. You can then choose the type of report. Preparing a report may take some time and you will get an email once the report is ready. If you would like to know more about how this script works, be sure to check this tutorial.


Learning about my email habits has helped me become more email efficient. So, before you read that next article on "Writing Effective Emails," be sure to learn more about your own email habits using Gmail Meter.

Update 4/26/12: To clear up some confusion, Gmail Meter is not developed by Google.  Although we're highlighting it here, as with any third-party scripts, we can't guarantee security.

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