GMail adds call phones feature to chat service

Gmail voice and video chat makes it easy to stay in touch with friends and family using your computer’s microphone and speakers. But until now, this required both people to be at their computers, signed into Gmail at the same time. Given that most of us don’t spend all day in front of our computers, we thought, “wouldn’t it be nice if you could call people directly on their phones?”

[Call phones from GMail](http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/call-phones-from-gmail.html)

Google Wants You To Use More GMail Labels

GMail label is the tool in GMail to help you to organize your inbox, as there is no concept of folder in GMail. Label is akin to tagging or categorizing your emails, and Google wants you to [use more of it](http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/evolution-of-gmail-labels.html) as they introduced new label features in GMail.

We realized that if you didn’t know about labels, it would be easy to assume Gmail had no way to organize your mail. Not only were “labels” unfamiliar, they were kind of hidden. So, we set out to make labels more accessible, as well as more powerful. Most of the changes have been in Gmail for a while, but we’re adding some new features today. We thought you’d enjoy a peek at the method to our madness.

The new GMail label features are:

* Labels are now given prominent location on the left column, above chat list and grouped together with system labels such as Inbox and Drafts.

* GMail now automatically shows only labels you use the most and hides the rest. A “more” link gets you the rest of the labels. You can show or hide a label by clicking on the down-arrow to the left of the label.

![Gmail Labels New Position](http://sanziro.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/gmail-labels-new-position.jpg)

* You can now drag-and-drop to tag label to email items. You can drag from email items to labels on the left column, or you can drag the label to email item.

Source: [GMail Blog Post](http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/labels-drag-and-drop-hiding-and-more.html)

iPhone Apps In The News

Blacjack Card Counter from Australia based Webtopia is in the news lately as Nevada Gaming Control Board has warned casinos to watch out for players using the iPhone app to count cards.

Counting cards technique has been used by professional gamblers, it is ok if you are using your head, but is illegal if assisted by a device. Blackjack Card Counter is not the only card counter app in iPhone App Store, but is the only one with a stealth mode at the moment, allowing users to count cards discreetly where screen goes black.

Apple’s App Store rejected an South Park app that allows users to access episode clips, read South Park news, download South Park wallpapers and other Aouth Park related info. The reason given by Apple is that its content might be “potentially offensive”, and said such policy could change in the future. Strangely, you can find South Park’s Season 1 to 12 television shows and the South Park movie on iTunes store.

On a more ‘serious’ note, Google at Mobile World Congress 2009 has demonstrated its up and coming offline feature for GMail running on iPhone, allowing you to use its popular GMail service while offline. It is using the new HTML5 local store features which is supported by iPhone’s Safari Mobile browser. No news when we can download it from App Store.

Sync Your Google Calendar and Gmail Contacts to iPhone

Google has released a beta of Google Sync that enable you to sync your Google Calendar and Gmail Contacts to those in your iphone. This free service by Google also supports similar sync for Windows Mobile devices.

This is handy for people who rely on Google tools and require the calendar and contacts info on their iphone. Please note that Google Sync will replace all your existing contacts and calendar on your iphone, be sure to backup important data before you try out the service.

For those who uses Apple’s Calendar and Contacts on their Mac and iPhone, Apple’s $99 per year MobileMe service is the option that would enable you to access your calendar and contacts over the internet.

The setup for Google Sync is slightly more complex, it uses the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync technology on the iphone thus requires the setting up of a new Exchange ActiveSync account on your iPhone. Google provides step by step setup guide to enable Google Sync on your iphone.

Google Sync Home Page.

Google Blog announcement on Google Sync for iphone.

Google GMail Says Sorry

google-gmail-says-sorry

Google has issued an apology for its system wide GMail outage for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon.

Many of you had trouble accessing Gmail for a couple of hours this afternoon, and we’re really sorry. The issue was caused by a temporary outage in our contacts system that was preventing Gmail from loading properly. Everything should be back to normal by the time you read this.

Gmail, including the email service provided by Google Apps, is estimated to have about 100 million users. Around 20 million users access GMail each day, and for a few hours yesterday afternoon, they all see the same “Temporary Error (502)” when accessing GMail. The error was first reported by users around 2pm PST, and twitter was storming with complain posts about the email service downtime. Well luckily for us, Google never highlighted in its apology that its GMail service is still under beta, as labelled under the GMail logo.

Google Tweaks Automatic Contact Adding For GMail

google-tweaks-automatic-contact-adding-for-gmail

Google posted in its GMail blog that an update to GMail this week will give users more control over the contact list auto-added feature. This is in response to users’ complains that auto-added contacts by Gmail, which can not be turned off, clutter their contact list.

Previously, GMail automatically added all new e-mail addresses to your main contact list, designed so that email address can be auto-complete as you type when composing a new message, saving times from needing to look up in the contact list.

Google has now created a new “Suggested Contacts” list in addition to “My Contacts”. Any e-mail address which you sent out will appear under the “Suggested Contacts” list. If the address has been e-mailed five or more times, GMail’s default setting will automatically add the address to the “My Contacts” list. You however have the option to turn off this count based auto-added feature.

By having this tweaks, Google has managed to help the users reduce their contact list clutter, and at the same times preserve the auto-complete feature.

Via The Official GMail Blog