GMail Desktop notifications for emails and chat: HTML5

Google has introduced yet another innovative feature! Innovation, not because its desktop notification, but because its HTML5 based desktop notification. Its currently working only for those who have enabled it and using Chrome. They are working to make this feature available on other browsers too.


To enable this, use chrome and login to your GMail. Goto Settings. Enable notification and save it.

Chat notification example:


Email notification example:


Browser settings:
Open Google Chrome browser. Goto Options -> Under The Hood tab -> Privacy -> Content Settings. Or click on the settings icon on the chat or email notification.


Source: GMail Blog
Do you prefer to enable this feature or let it be disabled ?

GMail: “Priority Inbox” To Help You Focus On Important Emails

Often time we get a lot of email in the last minute before going to a meeting or exam! But we are unsure if its just another autoresponder mail or a genuinely urgent as well as important.

Check above video – its a very good animated video explaining Priority Inbox neatly.

To solve this problem, Google has introduced a new feature called Priority Inbox. This is a separate section in your email and will automatically separate your important mails, based on which email you read and reply to.

And ofcourse it has some filters to manually mark someone’s email as important or as unimportant.
And Like most things, Priority Inbox isn’t perfect, so it needs your help to get more experience in knowing what is important to you. So it has a + and symbol to mark any email(either in ‘Priority Inbox’ or regular ‘Inbox’) important or unimportant.
Priority Inbox is in Beta, and will be enabled to all GMail and Google Apps users in 1 or 2 weeks time.

Source: Priority Inbox

On April 1st 2009, GMail turned 5

Its not an April Fool prank. Google might have also found it quite embarrassing to put the Birth Day doodle on yesterday(on 1st of April).
But sometimes GMail seem to be making fool out of us, by showing errors, mainly while using the lab apps! Anyway, GMail is still in BETA, so no complaints!

Five years ago, before Gmail was launched it was just used for the internal messaging requirement in Google Inc. Later with the users request and a lot of inconvenience with other mailing services(mainly for storage), Google decided to take the step towards email service, which mainly aimed at providing faster and spacious mail box to each user.

Even though GMail is still in its Beta, it has improved a lot from its initial days, making its users more and more lazy by adding more and more features which lessens our job 🙂
From its simple text based plain emailing feature to the newly added video chat. From its invite only to, open to general public. Every move seem to be have taken more carefully and thus making it our favorite email service 🙂 ..ok most of our favorite mailing service. I have seen most of the bloggers use GMail and are addicted to check their mail 5 to 6 times a day. Crazy, isn’t it ? And orkut, FaceBook, communities having millions of GMail fans. With all these crazy fans and useful apps, service, GMail turns 5. We wish GMail and GMail team a brighter future ahead.

Voice and Video chat – right inside Gmail

Today Google released the Voice and Video chat feature to its Gmail. Switching from email to chat as needed, all within the same app, is really great for productivity.
From Gmail Blog:

All you have to do is download and install the voice and video plugin and you are ready. And in the spirit of open communications, Google has designed this feature using Internet standards such as XMPP, RTP, and H.264, which means that third-party applications and networks can choose to interoperate with Gmail voice and video chat.

Source: GmailBlog

This feature is available both in Gmail and Apps account. Seems like Google will soon steal the market share of Email Service. Presently Yahoo tops the list – Comscore figures.
The problem with Google not listing in the top might be, many people with a domain will be using Google Apps instead of the default

Faster Access of Gmail Using keyboard Shortcuts

We had seen about Gmail keyboard shortcuts in Google Official Blog some times ago, and wanted to write about it after testing whether its worth using or not.

So we started using it from the day we saw it. At first it was just fun..after some time we thought that its a good exercises to our brain, and after using it extensively we feel that, this feature of Gmail is so awesome that, everyone must try using it as far as possible.

Some simple reasons to start using Gmail Keyboard shortcuts:

1. It saves lot of time.

2. People think you as a geek, when they see you using Gmail without touching mouse 🙂

3. And we have observed that, when we use the keyboard shortcut, it works faster when compared to that when we use mouse, to perform the same task.

4. Practicing these shortcuts will help you a lot, if you have purchased a laptop recently and you don’t have a mouse attached to it. Touchpad is quite irritating, until we get used to it.

Keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts help you save time by allowing you to never take your hands off the keyboard to use the mouse. You’ll need a Standard 101/102-Key or Natural PS/2 Keyboard to use the shortcuts. To turn these case-sensitive shortcuts on or off, click Settings,and see for “Keyboard shortcuts” in the General tab and select Keyboard shortcuts on, and click on Save Changes button.
Here are the list of Default Gmail shortcut keys(which can also be found in your Settings –> Keyboard Shortcuts tab, of your Gmail account).

Shortcut Key Definition Action
c Compose Allows you to compose a new message. <Shift> + c allows you to compose a message in a new window.
/ Search Puts your cursor in the search box.
k Move to newer conversation Opens or moves your cursor to a more recent conversation. You can hit <Enter> to expand a conversation.
j Move to older conversation Opens or moves your cursor to the next oldest conversation. You can hit <Enter> to expand a conversation.
n Next message Moves your cursor to the next message. You can hit <Enter> to expand or collapse a message. (Only applicable in ‘Conversation View.’)
p Previous message Moves your cursor to the previous message. You can hit <Enter> to expand or collapse a message. (Only applicable in ‘Conversation View.’)
o or <Enter> Open Opens your conversation. Also expands or collapses a message if you are in ‘Conversation View.’
u Return to conversation list Refreshes your page and returns you to the inbox, or list of conversations.
e Archive Archive your conversation from any view.
m Mute Archives the conversation, and all future messages skip the Inbox unless sent or cc’d directly to you. Learn more.
x Select conversation Automatically checks and selects a conversation so that you can archive, apply a label, or choose an action from the drop-down menu to apply to that conversation.
s Star a message or conversation Adds or removes a star to a message or conversation. Stars allow you to give a message or conversation a special status.
! Report spam Marks a message as spam and removes it from your conversation list.
r Reply Replies to the message sender. <Shift> + r allows you to reply to a message in a new window. (Only applicable in ‘Conversation View.’)
a Reply all Replies to all message recipients. <Shift> +a allows you to reply to all message recipients in a new window. (Only applicable in ‘Conversation View.’)
f Forward Forwards a message. <Shift> + f allows you to forward a message in a new window. (Only applicable in ‘Conversation View.’)
<Esc> Escape from input field Removes the cursor from your current input field.
<Ctrl> + s Save draft Saves the current text as a draft when composing a message. Hold the <Ctrl> key while pressing s and make sure your cursor is in one of the text fields — either the composition pane, or any of the To, CC, BCC, or Subject fields — when using this shortcut.
# Delete Moves the conversation to Trash.
<Shift> + i Mark as read Marks your message as ‘read’ and skip to the next message.
<Shift> + u Mark as unread Marks your message as ‘unread’ so you can go back to it later.
[ Archive and previous Archives your conversation and moves to the previous one.
] Archive and next Archives your conversation and moves to the next one.
z Undo Undoes your previous action, if possible (works for actions with an ‘undo’ link).
<Shift> + n Update current conversation Updates your current conversation when there are new messages.
q Move cursor to chat search Moves your cursor directly to the chat search box.
y Remove from Current View*
Automatically removes the message or conversation from your current view.

  • From ‘Inbox,’ ‘y’ means Archive
  • From ‘Starred,’ ‘y’ means Unstar
  • From ‘Trash,’ ‘y’ means Move to inbox
  • From any label, ‘y’ means Remove the label

* ‘y’ has no effect if you’re in ‘Spam,’ ‘Sent,’ or ‘All Mail.’

. Show more actions Displays the ‘More Actions’ drop-down menu.
? Show keyboard shortcuts help Displays the keyboard shortcuts help menu within any page you’re on.

Combo-keys – Use the following combination’s of keys to navigate through Gmail.

Shortcut Key Definition Action
<tab> then <Enter> Send message After composing your message, use this combination to send it automatically. (Supported in Internet Explorer and Firefox, on Windows.)
y then o Archive and next Archives your conversation and moves to the next one.
g then a Go to ‘All Mail’ Takes you to ‘All Mail,’ the storage site for all mail you’ve ever sent or received (and have not deleted).
g then s Go to ‘Starred’ Takes you to all conversations you have starred.
g then c Go to ‘Contacts’ Takes you to your Contacts list.
g then d Go to ‘Drafts’ Takes you to all drafts you have saved.
g then i Go to ‘Inbox’ Returns you to the inbox.
g then t Go to ‘Sent Mail’ Takes you to all mail you’ve sent.
* then a Select all Selects all mail.
* then n Select none Deselects all mail.
* then r Select read Selects all mail you’ve read.
* then u Select unread Selects all unread mail.
* then s Select starred Selects all starred mail.
* then t Select unstarred Selects all unstarred mail.

All these above keyboard shortcuts can be changed by changing the settings in your Gmail account(by going to Settings and Keyboard Shortcuts tab ).

Another small useful feature: If you often send messages, where the subject is the entire message (e.g. “Going to movie at 2:15?”), and Gmail would always prompt you to add in body text. Now, however, you can add “EOM” or “(EOM)” at the end of the subject line (short for End Of Message), and Gmail will silently send the message without the unnecessary prompt.

Google team know that these keyboard shortcuts are difficult to remember, so they have added another small feature, i.e., shortcut reference menu.

You can call up this menu by holding “shift” and hitting the “?” (without cotes ofcourse) key while logged in. It’s easy to remember: just type “?” any time you have a question about a shortcut and need a reminder. This feature works in the latest version of Gmail, currently available for English IE7 and Firefox 2 users. And not a great surprise, these shortcuts also work in Google Browser Chrome.

Traffic strategies: PART 2(Add RSS feed signature to your emails)

We write emails to our friends, relatives, anonymous people around the world etc. Many of the people with whom we communicate may already be knowing about our blog and there is a high chance that they already are our subscribers.
But still adding RSS feed signature or adding the “Headline Animator, which displays rotating headlines” will bring some traffic to our blog, as it shows our old article titles and they might be interested to know more and they may endup clicking on the title and visiting your site. Anyway, adding a small piece of code doesn’t hurt or take a lot of time.

Feedburner has got this feature and you can integrate the small piece of basic HTML code to get the animated banner. But the limitation here is, you can see only five most recent items cycling through your feed’s. To over come this you can use some other RSS widgets, but while selecting see that these widgets are created only using basic HTML(for faster loading and user experience).

To use Feedburner animated banner feed as your email signature in Yahoomail, follow these simple steps:-
1. Log into your Yahoo! mail.
2. Click on Options.
3. In the “Management” section, click on the Signature option.
4. Drag and drop your Feedburner animated banner and click on “SAVE“.

If you want this email signature in Gmail, then you have to take some more steps:-
Gmail currently doesn’t allow us to add HTML codes directly into emails. But there are always some workarounds to get our work done!
Actually, you can over come the Gmail signature limitation by using Gmail’s POP3/SMTP features by making use of standard email program (Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.), create a signature in that email program that has your Headline Animator in it, and send your emails through your Gmail account. This is an easy task for those who are already using Outlook etc software.

But for people who are not using such email programs and who are not willing to use such things, there are some other solutions:-
To use the animator in Gmail, all you need is the “Better Gmail” Firefox extension. It adds a check box in your gmail account settings to enable HTML. Remember you must be using “Mozilla Firefox” only to get this to work.
I think everyone needs to give this Firefox extension a try. It also adds many cool features to your gmail, like:- Add Google Calendar link, Add Google Reader “Feeds” link, Air Skin, All pages’ mailto: links compose in Gmail, Attachment Icons, Attachment Icons (Bigger!), Conversation Preview, Attachment Reminder(now integrated in Gmail by Google), Date Search, Filter Assistant, Fixed Font, Folders4Gmail(Great isn’t it?), Force encrypted Gmail connection (https), Forward Thread, GrandCentral Voicemail, Integrate Google Reader, skin), Show disk usage as progress bar, Signature Settings: Float/HTML/No dashes, Smart Read Button, Super Clean Skins, TinyURL selected link (Cmd+Shift+T), Unlabeled Message Search etc etc etc etc… So here is the link to download “Better Gmail”.

Drag and Drop:-
One more option to use with Gmail, Yahoomail, hotmail or anyother mailing service is, just drag and drop the widget at the bottom of your email and it will be working fine. But it requires you to do it manually all the time you send an email. Many people follow this simple drag and drop work, as this would provide us with the option of when to add and when not to add the email signature(with feed banner).
Copy the HTML codes generated in Feedburner(animated banner creation) and paste it in a notepad and save it on your hard disk with file name ending with .html. Run it(by clicking on the html file) whenever you write an email. Now drag and drop the animated banner into your email. Its that simple..

It seems like- “this method will not bring any traffic”, and its partly true. As you will not get heavy traffic out of this method. To get more traffic, you must be active in mail groups like yahoogroups, gmail groups etc and you should be sending interesting emails to a group with large number of users. This will surly bring some traffic, as people may forward that email to their friends and then their friends may mail it to their friends…like this, your email(along with your email signature) will reach many people and you may get many visitors and they may even signup to your RSS/email feeds and may become your loyal visitors(but please keep your fingers crossed!). Do not expect a heavy traffic from this method, which dries up your blogs bandwidth.

And another thing I want to mention here before ending this article, is, never think that your emails are marked as SPAM because you are using some HTML codes in your email messages. This will not happen, as today’s email systems has gone far from the basic text, to a high multimedia messaging. So no email service provider is going to mark you as a SPAMMER, for using some basic HTML in your email.

Gmail feature, to track login sessions and some more details

Want to know, the timeings of your last login(like in your AdSense account) ?

Are you afraid or have doubt that, somebody else at office is accessing your Gmail ?

Want to know the Browser, mobile, POP3, etc and the timings and the Ip address of your previous logins ?

Gmail has all these features in one click….Most of us have surly missed to notice this very important security feature of Gmail.

Many of you have seen all the options present in Gmail Settings tab. And you might be thinking, where the hell could this option be present?

You might have missed this because, this option is at the end of the Gmail page(footer).

Here are the screen shots…

When you click on the “Detail” link…you can see the details of the last 5 login sessions. And you can also see, if the same email account is being used at the same time in some other places. And importantly, you can “Signout all other login sessions”.

How to use this data

If you’re concerned about unauthorized access to your mail, you’ll be able to use this data to find out if and when someone gained access. Does the Access Type column show any unusual access? If you don’t use POP to collect your mail, but your Recent activity table is showing some POP access, it may be a sign that your account has been compromised.

The IP address column is also useful. If you always or most often sign in to Gmail using a single computer, your IP address should be the same, or start with the same two sets of numbers (for example, 172.16.xx.xx). If you’re seeing an IP address that differs greatly from your usual IP address, it could either mean that you’ve recently accessed your mail from a different location, or that someone has accessed your mail. Your current IP address is displayed below the Recent activity table.

Concurrent sessions

If your mail is currently being accessed from another location, it would be listed in the Concurrent session information table. This could mean that you simply have another browser window open with Gmail loaded, or that your home computer is logged in to Gmail while you’re accessing your mail from work. If you’re concerned about any concurrent access, you can sign out all sessions other than your current session by clicking Sign out all other sessions.

If you think your account has been accessed by someone illegally
You’ll need to change your password and your security question. The first step is to read our suggestions on choosing a good password to make sure that your new password is secure. Then, follow the instructions in How do I change my password? to update your password.
In the first screen shot, you can also spot another small link “Gmail view: standard | turn off chat | “. You can click on the “turn off chat” link to sign out of chat inside your Gmail. But this can be done at the chat box window itself(so, its not an important, must have option).