Tag Archives: gmail

Gmail Unleashed “Email Emoji Reactions” Onto An Unsuspecting World

Finally, the feature everyone has been asking for: Gmail emoji reactions, ArsTechnica wrote.

You can now reply to an email just like it’s an instant messaging chat, tacking on a “crying laughing” emoji to an email instead of replying. Google has a whole support article detailing the new feature, which allows you to “express yourself and quickly respond to emails with emojis.” Like a messaging app, a row of emoji reaction counts will appear below your email now, and other people on the thread can tap to add to the reaction count. Currently, it’s only on the Android Gmail app, but it’s presumably coming to other Gmail clients.

Of course, email is from the 1970s and does not natively support emoji reactions. That makes this a Gmail-proprietary feature, which is a problem for federated emails that are expected to work with a million different clients and providers. If you send an emoji reaction and someone on the email chain is not using an official Gmail client, they will get a new additional email containing your singular reactive emoji. Google is not messing with the email standard, so people not using Gmail will be most effected, ArsTechnica wrote.

There are some limits of this. It won’t work on business or school accounts, so you can’t respond to your boss’s email with a poop emoji. Emoji reactions are only for casual emails that people apparently want to send to friends. Emoji reactions also aren’t available for group email lists, messages with more than 20 recipients, emails on which you’re BCC’d, encrypted emails and emails where the sender has a custom reply-to address.

Engadget reported that Gmail has started rolling out the (emoji) feature to Android devices, and you’d know that you already have access to it if you see a smiley face icon at the bottom of an email when you open the app.

You can tap on the icon to bring up a menu where you can find emoji options to choose from. Everyone’s reactions will show up right next to the icon, and some of them will come with their own short animations. If you choose the party popper, for example, prepare for digital confetti on your screen upon sending one or upon opening a message with popper reactions. It’ll be a lot less fun for people on the email chain not using Gmail, though, because they’ll receive each reaction as a separate email.

TechCrunch reported that like emoji’s on instant messages, the new Gmail reactions are a handy alternative for emails that don’t necessarily need a written reply. Everyone in the thread will be able to see your emoji reaction, which may even include animation. For instance, the party popper shows digital confetti raining down on your screen. You can send up to 20 reactions to the same Gmail message.

Google provided some information about the reply emoji reactions:

Add an emoji reaction

* On your Android phone or tablet, open the Gmail app.
* Open a message you want to reply to.
* Below the message, tap Add emoji reaction
* From the picker, select an emoji you want to use. To display more emoji, select More +. The emoji you select appears at the bottom of the email.

Why you may get emoji reactions as an email:

Emoji reactions may look different and may appear as an email with a link that says “[Name] redacted via Gmail” if you:

* Use an older version of the Gmail app
* Set your Conversation view to off
* Don’t have a Gmail address
* Use a third-party email like Apple Mail or Microsoft Outlook
* Use a school or work account

Personally, I’m a fan of using Emoji on social media. That said, I don’t think I would enjoy having to look into an additional email just to see the emoji someone decided to send me. This feature could get annoying really quick, especially for people who don’t use Gmail.

Outlook for IOS – My First Look

Screen shot 2015-10-29 at 10.18.28 AMOutlook for iOS has been out awhile, but this is my first look. 

Since I made the switch from Microsoft products to “other” products in 2008 or so, I haven’t looked back…. Until now.  

My wife started a new job and received a Microsoft Surface (Not sure exactly what model) as her work machine.  It came with Windows 8.1 which I wasn’t really impressed with.  When windows 10 came out, I upgraded it for her.  What a world of difference!  I have to say, windows just became usable again.  I have one older laptop that I upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and it works great for what little I use it for. I’m not switching back from Apple for my desktop anytime soon, but I am impressed.

That being said, I notice that Microsoft is now putting out new office apps for iOS and Mac.  I decided I would try Outlook for iOS for email.

I use gmail for my main email and my work email.  I also have an icloud email account.  I figured I would give it a full test and put all 3 in it.  It was really easy, no server addresses, no SSL selections, it just worked (when is the last time you said that about a Microsoft Product?).

Outlook for IOS organizes things a lot like Gmail does.  In threads.  You can turn that off if you want.  It also handles “priority inbox” in Gmail in what is called “Focused Inbox”.   All in all, it’s a great email app and I’m 90% sure I’m going to dump Gmail for IOS as my go-to mobile email app.

Outlook also picked up my calendars from both iCloud and Google. The good thing is it didn’t make dupes like some calendar apps do.  I’m thinking if Microsoft keeps making good stuff like this, they may convert some of the die-hard Apple Fanboys.  

To check out Outlook for IOS, see it in the Apple App Store 

Gmail Contact Synching Bug

Last fall I got a Samsung Galaxy S3 phone. I love the S3. It’s an awesome piece of technology.

Sometime overnight a couple of evenings ago, it developed a hardware problem and the next day it would no longer boot. It was working perfectly when I went to bed, but when I woke up something had gone wrong.

So, I went by a Sprint store. The technician tried to do a hard reset, but no go. He ended up giving me a new white S3.

I ended up having a bit of a problem getting my Gmail contacts to synch to the new phone from Google’s cloud. After a bit of research, I discovered there is an apparent bug in Google+. If you have Google+ friend synching enabled on your Android phone, it ends up preventing the Gmail contacts from synching to the phone.

The work-around to the problem is to turn off Google+ synching. Once I turned off Google+ data synching  in the the phone settings, the Gmail contacts instantly started synching over. I’ve got quite a large contact list since the list was originally developed in Windows and has been synched over to a number of different phones as well as OS/X, so it took a while to synch over.

I don’t need the Google+ contact list to synch over to the phone anyhow, so I will keep this Google+ app feature turned off. I had noticed even before this happened that contact updates didn’t synch properly to or from the old phone, so it is likely that the bug in the Google+ synching has been around for a while and as of this writing is not resolved.

So, if you get a new Android phone and you are having trouble getting your Gmail contacts to synch over to the new device, make sure that Google+ synching is disabled then cloud synching of your contacts should begin working just like it’s supposed to.

New Gmail is Rubbish

Last night, Google pushed out the latest Gmail update for Android and I’ve spent the whole of today cursing the new app. What was a productivity tool has become an exercise in frustration and frankly I want to punch whoever thought up these changes (Disclaimer – Geek News Central does not condone any acts of violence).

Apparently Google thinks that there are only two types of people: those who archive and those who delete. If you are someone who archives and deletes regularly, you’re in trouble as Google has really screwed up the way archive and delete work together. To me it seems obvious that worthless emails should be deleted as soon as possible and that useful emails should be archived after reading. Google seem to have got it the other way round, making it impossible to delete worthless email without opening it. Here’s how Google has messed it up.

Gmail has a option in “General settings”called “Archive & delete actions”. It controls whether the archive and delete (wastebin) icons appear above an email. You can have only the archive icon, only the delete icon or both at the same time. I like having both so I can delete or archive emails quickly and as necessary. No problem so far, but….

Gmail OptionsGmail Icons

In the Conversation list, you can swipe emails off the screen. In the previous version, you could choose the behaviour directly – either no swiping, swipe to archive or swipe to delete. In this version, the swiping behaviour in the Conversation list is derived from the “Archive & delete actions”. Fine if you just archive or just delete, but in its wisdom, Google has chosen archiving to be the swipe behaviour if you choose to have both the archive and delete icons in show above the email.

No Delete

This is RUBBISH. Think how it works….I have a near-spam email that I have no interest whatsoever in reading. I want to swipe it into oblivion but I can’t because that would only archive it. I have to open the email before I can hit the delete button. But if I change the settings so that I can swipe to delete, archiving becomes a two-step operation – options menu and then archive. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Google, simply let people choose the swiping behaviour for themselves rather than forcing your useless assumptions on people.

Get Ready for Gmail Revamp – New Inbox on Desktop and Mobile Gmail Coming

Google has been doing some major updating as of late to try and make it all work together. Gmail is one of those items that is getting a revamp. Today on the Official Gmail Blog, Product Manager Itamar Gilad announced the new features of this version to Gmail.

From the Gmail Blog: We get a lot of different types of email: messages from friends, social notifications, deals and offers, confirmations and receipts, and more. All of these emails can compete for our attention and make it harder to focus on the things we need to get done. Sometimes it feels like our inboxes are controlling us, rather than the other way around.

The new Gmail inbox will include tabs to organize different emails. Inbox groups (as Google calls it) will organize mail into categorized tabs. So spammy posts can go to an “Offers” tab and friends can be put into another tab.


The mobile version of Gmail will also have this option. You will need to download from Google Play or Apple iOS App Store to get these features.

If you don’t like the new inbox, simply switch it off and it goes away.

This feature is rolling out slowly. When you get the new feature, you will see a “Configure Inbox” option in the settings (the gear icon on the top-right).

Quick tip: Back out of the new Gmail Compose

Last week Google began rolling out its brand new Compose feature, a version that had been a part of Labs for testing over the past few months. Originally, it appeared that the roll out of that feature to all users was irrevocable, but now we have learned that is not actually the case….yet.

As it turns out, Google has built in a way to go back to the old compose feature and, no, this is not part of the company’s annual raft of April Fool’s jokes.

When you click the Compose button and receive the new pop-out box that it generates, simply move your mouse to the bottom right of the screen and click the down arrow that appears there. From here you will find an option to “Temporarily switch back to the old compose”. Its that simple. However, the resulting warning does let you know that this feature will be going away “soon”.

gmail compose switch

Major Gmail update rolls out to Android

gmail logoGoogle may be the company we love to hate lately, but there is no denying that it dominates many markets, like search, advertising and mobile. The company also has one of the most popular web-based email services on the internet. Today it finally rolled out an anticipated update to its Gmail app for Android and it brings the features we had been promised.

The new app rolled quietly out to the Play store this morning and users should receive the update to their Android devices automatically, if they have that feature enabled. Otherwise you will need to manually install it.

The bigger question is, what do you get in this latest version? If you are fortunate enough to have a device running Jelly Bean (4.1 and up) then there is great new feature — the ability to reply, archive or delete from notifications, meaning there is no need to open the actual Gmail app.

For those running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or newer, you will get faster search (including offline) and bug fixes. Those stuck on 2.2 and newer devices will get a new Labels API for 3rd-party app developers and some performance improvements.

Obviously all updates from 2.2 up are available to those running Jelly Bean, but that is sadly still a minority of Android customers.