Finally you won't be forced to have one
If you have signed up for YouTube, if you've got yourself a Gmail account, or if you have sneezed within 17 miles of a Wi-Fi hotspot, you've been given Google+. We'd say whether you wanted it or not, but did anyone actually want it? Now the service continues -- sans Google+ Photos -- but it's no longer going to be rammed in the direction of your throat. You can safely sign up for Google's more useful and popular services, and not automatically get this plastic toy in the bottom of the box.
Showtime heading to Hulu in early July as $9 monthly add-on
Hulu is providing its subscribers with access to Showtime, thanks to a deal between the two services. The extra viewing option will offer on-demand streams of every original Showtime original series, with access to new episodes as they premiere, all through the Hulu app. Showtime will be available in early July and will cost an extra $9 per month on top of the $8 Hulu basic service charge, making it $2 cheaper than signing up for the standalone Showtime service.
Leaving and returning to the OS X email app
Postbox, Airmail 2, Outlook and of course Gmail: those are just the email apps and services I've tried this year. Any of them could've become my regular email software, but they haven't: I'm using Apple Mail, and it always seems to go this way: I try something, I come back.
Google Fit adds calorie burn, distance estimates, Android Wear widget
The latest update to Google Fit for Android has added the ability to estimate the distance the user has traveled, and using information such as gender, height, and weight from their profile, estimate the calories burned. The update also includes a new widget for use with Android Wear smartwatches, one which provides more details about how far away the wearer is from their daily goal.
Unified Gmail inbox combines messages from multiple accounts into one list
Google is bringing the unified inbox to its Gmail app for Android, the search company has revealed. The latest version of the app allows users to view emails from multiple accounts on one single page, with the function not only working with multiple Gmail accounts, but also email addresses from other services, including Yahoo and Outlook.com.
Email not always working between GMail, iCloud accounts
Some users are having issues with iCloud-based accounts, such as those ending with @me.com or @icloud.com not receiving messages from GMail, an issue that Apple is aware of and is working to fix. The problem is inconsistent in nature, but most often marked by a timeout message from Apple's servers that blames "too many rejections" and encourages users to try again later.
The official Gmail app gets iOS 8 update, but still needs more
Google has released an update to its universal iOS email app, Gmail 4.0, and it adds good new features that exploit iOS 8. The new features are welcome, and the app is a must-have update if you're a Gmail user.
Google adds Send Money option to Gmail in United Kingdom
Google is adding the Send Money option to Gmail in the United Kingdom. Originally available to US users since 2013, the option allows users to attach funds to an outbound email by selecting the £ symbol, which can also be used to request money, with funds transferred between users via Google Wallet. The feature is rolling out to all Gmail users in the UK over the age of 18 in the coming weeks.
POP3, IMAP, STMP for Gmail slowly becoming reusable in China
Access to Gmail is finally being restored in mainland China, albeit not to all of its users. After being blocked in the country for the last four days, Google is now apparently seeing more traffic to its email service from the region, though still only through alternative methods such as IMAP, STMP, and POP3 rather than via its main browser-based interface.
Six-month period of disruption culminates in China Gmail block
China has blocked Gmail, preventing users in the country from accessing the email service, according to reports. Starting from December 26, Chinese authorities have reportedly added Gmail URLs to the "Great Firewall," in what is believed to be an attempt by the country's government to reduce Gmail and Google's prominence in the region, on top of earlier censorship efforts.
Incoming Inbox app updates detailed during Reddit AMA
Google is planning to introduce support for Google Apps within Inbox, the team behind the mobile app has revealed. As part of a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) thread, the team revealed a number of features which will be coming to the app at some point in the future, though it was not revealed when exactly users will be able to benefit from the new functions.
Material Design, IMAP and Exchange support included in Gmail APK
Version 5.0 of Gmail has become available to download as an APK, ahead of its expected release on Google Play. The latest iteration of the email service's app introduces many aspects uncovered earlier this month, with a visual refresh to Material Design and support for external email service both making an appearance in the app.
Inbox created by same team behind Gmail, invitation-only at first
Google has started to invite people to try out its new email service, one that has been in development for a number of years. Made by the same team behind Gmail, Inbox aims to help users manage their incoming e-mail by automatically grouping similar emails together and by picking out what it believes to be the more important incoming messages.
Updated Gmail app could support mail accounts from Yahoo, Outlook
Google will allegedly include support for some alternative email services in its refreshed Gmail app for the next version of Android. Aside from a visual upgrade, Gmail 5.0 will apparently be able to handle email from other mainstream providers, including Yahoo and Outlook, with the user able to quickly switch between the different accounts with a swipe of the screen or by selecting the relevant account from a dropdown box.
Signing up a Gmail account no longer requires a social media account setup
Google is no longer forcing users to create a Google+ profile when setting up a new Gmail account, according to a report from marketing blog Wordstream. By easing up on the mandatory setup of the social media arm of the search company, Google is continuing to put distance between users and the service that never seemed to find the same footing as Facebook.
Passwords reset based on database comparison to leaked Gmail credentials
Fallout could still be on the way as a result of the collection of nearly five million Gmail username and password credentials leaked on a Russian Bitcoin forum, but for now at least one company is taking action. Automattic, the company responsible for the blogging platform WordPress, announced it has reset user passwords for more than 100,000 accounts based on the information contained in the list.
Google says there is no evidence of a breach, many logins are said to be outdated
Another credential scare has turned up online, this time for one of the world's largest free email services. The emails and passwords of around 4.66 million Gmail users have turned up on a Russian Bitcoin forum, traced backed to English, Russian and Spanish users of the service. It's not clear where or how the list was collected, but it is said that many of the logins are outdated.
Withings aiming for Activité smartwatch release in October
Withings is aiming to put its Activité smartwatch on sale in October, CEO Cédric Hutchings has revealed. At the same time as advising to Wareable about the updated release schedule for the wrist-based device, Hutchings highlighted the stylish and minimal design of the Activite compared to other smartwatches, claiming "We found that wearables were not that wearable." The Withings Activité will apparently cost around $500 at launch.
Gmail non-Latin address support to be followed by similar Google Calendar update
Google has added support for non-Latin and accented characters in email addresses on Gmail, in an effort to improve the company's overall multi-language support. The change, which will allow users to send and receive messages to and from addresses with characters not typically used in English, will apparently also spread to Google Calendar in the future.
Google tipped NCMEC, police over potential child pornography images
Google has aided in the arrest of a registered sex offender, caught by the scanning of files stored in his Gmail account. A tip from Google to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) over potential illegal content led to Houston police obtaining a search warrant, with law enforcement later finding more evidence and arresting the individual.
Gmail for iOS now leverages Google Drive directly for archiving and attachments
Google has updated its Gmail for iOS (free) to allow users to leverage the company's Google Drive in two new ways: users can now save attachments in emails directly to Google Drive, and users can now access Google Drive directly from within the Gmail app to add attachments to outgoing messages. The update to version 3.14159 (yes, pi) also gives users more options with account management, such as deciding which of their Gmail account is seen without removing other accounts, and changing the Gmail profile pic.
Increased Google Now, Gmail integration scans messages, suggests calendar appointments
Google is stepping up the integration of Google Now with other Google products, by starting to roll out another card for events and appointments to its roster. Set to hit smartphones over the next few weeks, "Inferred events" found in email conversations in a Gmail account will now appear in Google Now, with the service now giving the option to add the referenced event to the user's Google Calendar.
Bug could have been exploited to generate a list of every Gmail address
A bug in Gmail could have left every user's email address on the service exposed to collection by outside parties for close to four years. A security researcher from Tel Aviv discovered the bug, which allowed him to collect 37,000 email addresses in as little as two hours with a brute force attack. The bug could allow someone to change a token in a URL, gained from a declining access notification in Gmail's delegation feature, using a script to gather addresses.
Google transparency report for e-mail encryption prompts Comcast to improve
Comcast is preparing to start encrypting customer e-mails, after a Google transparency report noted a lack of protection on e-mails from its domain. The company claims it is will soon start testing encryption on outbound customer e-mails, advising to the Wall Street Journal that it will take place "within a matter of weeks," and it is "very aggressive about this."
Reports on inbound, outbound Gmail encryption, Chrome end-to-end extension
Today, Google issued one of its transparency reports, focusing on the encryption of outbound and inbound emails to other domains. Figures in the report look at different areas in the world, giving a percentage to the coverage amounts domains offer when dealing with messages from Gmail. Even though many domains may not need additional encryption, Google has announced a new Chrome extension for end-to-end web-based email, to give consumers more options.
T-Mobile announces launch of its tablets at Walmart
T-Mobile has announced that Walmart will offer its tablets nationwide. Featuring T-Mobile's "Free Data for Life" offer, customers receive 200MB of monthly data for the life of each tablet, with prepaid plans starting at $10 per month for up to 1.2GB of data. The Trio AXS 3G Quad Core tablet is now available for $180, and includes a 7.85-inch screen, 1.2GHz processor and 16GB on-device storage. The HP Slate 7 HD tablet will be available in June for $230, featuring 4G connectivity, multi-touch HD wide angle viewing, Beats Audio enhancement and 16GB on-device storage.
Design changes current bar organization system, removes tab system
In a design that moves away from its familiar client layout, including the tab system that was introduced last year, Google is said to be testing a new interface for the web. Screenshots from a current Gmail test obtained by Geek show the alteration of the client for the first time since the introduction of the current layout in 2011.
Changes remove option for advertising in educational version of Google Apps
Google will no longer scan the e-mail of students to serve advertising, the company has revealed. Users of its Google Apps for Education service will be safe from having their data and e-mails accessed by Google's monitoring systems for advertising purposes, with the move affecting more than 30 million students, teachers, and administrators around the world.
Photos stored in Auto Backup now accessible in Gmail messages with new button
Google today announced its latest addition to Gmail's email message composition tools, with the release of the Insert Photo button for its web version. Allowing users to access and insert photos that have been uploaded to their Auto Backup from their phone, including photos in emails through a web application is now simplified. Entire albums can also be shared, if images are uploaded and organized on Google Photos. Within the body of an email draft, users can resize images by dragging on any corner of the inserted photo.
New paragraph specifically advises of content scanning on Google services
Google has updated its terms of service, adding an explanation for its content scanning efforts. The new paragraph, one of relatively few changes to the document, specifically notes that Google scans e-mails in order to provide "personally relevant product features," including "customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection."
Encryption of data between Google data centers implemented
In response to recent leaks of harvested data being sent to the NSA from big providers, Google is now always using an encrypted HTTPS connection when users check or send mail. Additionally, Google claims that 100 percent of users' emails are encrypted when moving between Google's data centers, something the company calls "a top priority after last summer's revelations."
Issue was limited to iOS, mobile web, offline clients
Gmail users may have recently suffered a bug which caused deletions or spam reporting to reply to the wrong messages, Google has revealed. The bug only spanned between January 15th and the 22nd, and only affected a portion of people using the iOS app, mobile web browsers, or the offline Gmail client. Google cautions, though, that people should check their Trash and Spam folders before February 14th if they think something may have gone missing.
Outage affected Gmail, Google+, Hangouts, Google Play
Google suffered an outage on its e-mail service that affected all users of Gmail, as well as affecting Google+, Hangouts, and Google Play. Starting at approximately 2pm Eastern Time today, the outage prevented Gmail users from accessing the service at all, instead presenting "Temporary Error (500)" message, though after 20 minutes, a number of users started to regain access to various affected services.
Gmail users can e-mail Google+ contacts without knowing address
Google is allowing Gmail users to send messages to contacts on Google+, in a new update to the e-mail service. Gmail now brings up a list of people listed in the user's Google+ circles when writing in the contact field, effectively allowing people to e-mail each other without being required to know the e-mail address of the potential recipient at all.
Gmail image change accompanied by Android app updates
Gmail users will no longer have to manually permit images to load for messages, in a new update rolling out to accounts from today onwards. Messages with images will automatically load by default rather than requesting the user to accept the downloads, though users will still have the option to set it back to permission-based loading if they wish.
Archives of e-mails, messages, appointments downloadable from Google
Google has finally allowed Gmail and Google Calendar users to download a copy of all data on the services. E-mails and messages from Gmail, along with appointments and other notices within Google Calendar, can now be requested and pulled from Google servers by users, providing an offline backup of their data as well as allowing it to be imported into other apps and services.
Gmail for iOS updated for iOS 7, improvements for iPad
Google's official Gmail app for iPhone and iPad received an update yesterday, offering a visual update for iOS 7, and improvements for iPad use. Users of the Gmail app can access their Gmail account (and can accommodate switching between up to five different accounts), receive notifications, read mail as threaded conversations and more. Version 2.7182 offers iPad users a new navigation bar for landscape viewing, a new full-screen view of messages in portrait, improved scrolling and a full-screen view for composing new messages. Available for download from iTunes, Gmail for iOS is free.
Attachments can be saved directly to Google Drive from Gmail
Google has added two more features to Gmail, linking the e-mail service to a number of others. A new option allows attachments on incoming messages to be saved to Google Drive directly, while new "quick action buttons" provide quicker access to other relevant services based on the contents of the e-mail messages themselves.
Mavericks Mail update fixes Gmail glitches
Apple has released an update for the Mail application in OS X Mavericks that corrects issues users were experiencing in syncing the app with their Gmail accounts. The update, first rumored on Monday, "improves stability and compatibility with Gmail, and includes fixes for users with custom Gmail settings." The update is a 32.46MB download, and it is available from Apple's Support Pages.
Advertising to reach Android app in future version 4.6 update
Google could be adding advertisements to its Gmail app for Android in the future, bringing it in line with the browser-based equivalent which already displays marketing messages. An examination of the APK for version 4.6 of the app appears to show lines of code relating to the display and storage of advertisements, among a number of other feature updates.
Social networking integration improved
Google has released an update to its Gmail app for Android, alongside a revamped web search with new social-networking features. The Gmail app (free Play Store) brings a new interface that is intended to have a cleaner design when in conversation view and while checkmarking multiple messages, while the app now clearly shows when account sync is off.
Some messages delayed by hours
Google has apologized for Gmail problems that plagued many accounts for up to 11 hours on Monday. Simultaneous but unrelated network failures affected 29 percent of all messages sent through the company's servers. The average delay was only 2.6 seconds, however 1.5 percent of the messages were delayed by more than two hours.
Plaintiffs call foul on e-mail scanning
Google has continued to defend its Gmail scanning and ad-targeting practices, pushing for dismissal of a privacy lawsuit filed in a San Jose federal court. In a Thursday hearing, the company's attorneys argued that "all users of e-mail must necessarily expect that their e-mails will be subject to automated processing," as quoted by the AP.
Gmail gains improved Drive and Google+ integration
Google has updated the official Gmail iOS app with improved Drive and Google+ integration, allowing links to the services to open in their respective apps. For those who would rather these links open in a mobile browser, that can still be set within the app's preferences. Also new to the v2.4 update is a full screen mode for viewing larger image thumbnails. Gmail is a free download in the App Store.
Google moves to push pop-up compose e-mail window to all Gmail users
Google is updating its e-mail composition interface for all users, removing the old version entirely and replacing it with a pop-up version. The new e-mail creation window, already used by a number of users for some weeks now and set to roll out to everyone over the next few days, takes the form of a pop-up window in the bottom right corner, which Google says allows for users to monitor their inbox while writing new messages, with the added option of a full-screen mode for more workspace.
Carries over changes from web, Android apps
As promised late last month, Google has updated the iOS Gmail app to use a new inbox format. Email can now optionally be grouped into broad categories, such as Updates and Social. The most important messages are pushed into a Primary category, which is the default view in iOS. Enabling categories requires going to Gmail.com.
Updates coming in 'next few weeks'
Google is slowly rolling out an updated Gmail interface to the web and its mobile apps, according to an official blog post. The interface divides a person's inbox into five customizable categories; Primary, for instance, gathers together high-priority emails, while Social can be used to handle messages from social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Messages can be dragged-and-dropped between tabs, and people can choose to use any combination of categories or none at all.
Screenshots show tabbed mail interface for the web
Shortly after hints of an Android app redesign hit the Internet, new screenshots appear to show that a similar redesign is in the works for Gmail's web version. The redesign, discovered by The Next Web, show a significantly redesigned interface, one that is tailored to help users better organize their emails. The major feature in the redesign appears to be the addition of a tabbed interface that categorizes emails.
Google developer presentation may have leaked Gmail for Android update
Gmail for Android may be seeing a redesign in the near future, after a slide from a Google I/O showed a new navigation drawer. The revised and larger drawer, spotted by Android Police, is anchored to the left hand side and pulls in instead of dropping down from the top, and the action bar at the bottom of the screen is removed and replaced by buttons that perform the same tasks elsewhere in the interface.
Main, Gmail searches pull results from other Google apps
Google has released a beta version of Chrome 28 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The most significant change is in the Windows release, where a native notification center for apps and extensions has been turned on. These can include not only text and images, but optional actions such as making a phone call or sending email. Notifications can appear even when Chrome is closed. Google is promising Mac notifications "soon."