Google switches all users to Gmail’s redesigned compose window with full-screen mode

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Google announced today that it is starting to roll out the redesigned Gmail compose experience that it first introduced us to back in October of last year. The feature, which makes the compose window a small, chat-like pop up window within the Gmail inbox, allows users to easier multitask while composing messages and compose multiple messages at once. It started off as a preview, and Google eventually made it the default option for everyone back in March.  However, up until now Google allowed users to opt-out and switch back to the old full-screen compose mode. Over the next few days that won’t any longer be an option.

Google made a point of noting that you can make the new compose window “full-screen” and set that as the default if you prefer an experience more like the old compose window: Read more

U.S. Government proposes new privacy ‘rules’ for apps

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Image: technotin.com

App developers may soon be asked to tell us what data they collect, and how it is used, under a set of government proposals released today (via TNW). 

The US government’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration today issued its first draft of what will be a mobile apps code of conduct intended to better protect consumers and their privacy. If made final, policy states that publishers must provide consumers with “short-form” notices in multiple languages informing them of how their data is being used [...]

Just so that there’s no doubt about what “data” means, the government entity specifically says it includes biometrics, browser history, phone or text log, contacts, financial info, health, medical, or therapy info, location, and user files …

There is rather more doubt, however, about how effective the proposals might prove …  Read more

Google testing encryption to hide your Drive files on heels of NSA surveillance controversy

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Privacy protection in the apps we use on a daily basis has been a big topic of conversation following accusations that Google and other large tech companies were working with government agencies to provide user data. Google has worked tirelessly to clear its name during the scandal, and today CNET reports that the company is testing encryption for Drive files that could further keep its users’ data protected from prying eyes.

As a reminder, Google does not currently encrypt files store in its Drive cloud storage service, but rather only encrypts files being transferred on their way to Drive: Read more

Google brings voice back to Gmail w/ new group chat features, free calls to US & Canada from other countries

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When Google rolled out its new unified Hangouts messaging service, some users were disappointed that the new experience within Gmail removed the ability to place free calls within the US and Canada. Google previously confirmed that the feature would be returning and today it announced on its Gmail blog that it is rolling out the free calling feature to Gmail Hangouts and also adding some new features.

In addition to improvements to desktop calling, such as the ability to “add multiple phone numbers and video participants to the same call” and play sound effects, it is also making calls to the US and Canada free from any country with access to Hangouts. Read more

Google adds sports scores, weather, and more editors’ picks to Google News

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Google-News-Sports-ScoresGoogle announced today on the official Google News blog that it’s rolling out new features for Google News users including an expanded 4-day weather section built into the right side of the homepage, more Editors’ Picks throughout various News sections, and sports scores:

For avid sports fans, a newly introduced “Sports Scores” section on the News homepage and the Sports page will give a snapshot of live, recently concluded and imminent sporting activity. From this summary, it’s easy to dive in further and do things like click on a score for details of the match or on a specific team to get recent news about it. The section is customizable; for example, if you prefer not to see hockey scores, you can turn hockey ‘off’ while keeping the other sports ‘on’. You can also remove the entire section if you prefer. At the outset, we’re launching in the US, with the big four sporting organizations covering basketball, football, baseball and hockey. Over time, this section will expand to other countries and sports. Stay tuned.

Google notes that the new weather section will automatically adjust to your current location and it is now including more Editors’ Picks sections across Technology and Business pages instead of just on the News homepage.  Read more

Google announces new BYOD features for Android devices

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As more and more companies start allowing employees to bring their own smartphones and tablets into work, Google is obviously looking to capture a portion of that enterprise market. The company on Thursday announced several new features for the growing bring your own device, or BYOD, market.

Comprehensive mobile device management is included with Google Apps for Business, Government and Education. Organizations large and small can manage smartphones and tablets – including Android and iOS – right from the Google Apps Admin console, with no need for special hardware or software.

Read more

Digg’s Google Reader replacement beta now rolling out to all

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After launching a private beta of its new Google Reader replacement, Digg announced today that it is now rolling out the beta to all users signed up to test the new app. Digg just sent out the first batch of invites to the new web app, but promises it will be “adding users in increasingly larger batches.”

The app is still a work in progress and won’t get you every feature you might have had with Google Reader, but for now you can easily import your Google Reader content, use Google Reader-like shortcuts, and save and share to all the usual third-party services.

iOS versions of Digg Reader land for iPhone and iPad in the App Store sometime today, and Digg says an Android app will be available before the end of July.

Digg warns that the app is still very much in beta, but reminds us of a few features it plans to add in the coming months: Read more

Feedly launches new cloud backend & web interface, hits 12M users ahead of Google Reader demise

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Following Google’s announcement that its RSS Reader product would be retired on July 1st, apps like Feedly that relied on the Google Reader backend announced big plans to help itself and other apps through the transition. Feedly has been preparing its move to its own “feedly cloud” back end since the announcement, and earlier this month transitioned its own iOS client to the platform. Today, Feedly is officially launching the new back end and API, as well as a brand new web interface and the first apps to integrate the feedly cloud platform:

As of today, feedly cloud is now live, providing a fast and scalable infrastructure that serves as the backbone to feedly, as well as a number of connected applications. Feedly cloud is open today to all users visiting http://feedly.com, providing a simple one-click migration path from Google Reader.  And thanks to the great developer community that has gathered around it, providing multiple safe and sound alternatives to Google Reader.  With the release of feedly cloud, feedly today transitions from a product to a platform. We are also today delivering a new, completely stand-alone Web version of feedly.

On top of the new API and feedly cloud back end, the company is also delivering on one of the most requested features for the service: a standalone new web interface that doesn’t require any plugins or browser extensions. Read more

Google partners with HP to push Apps to small-medium businesses in blow to Microsoft

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Google has partnered with HP, the world’s largest PC manufacturer, to promote Google Apps to small businesses, reports AllThingsD.

HP has become a Google Apps reseller and will package management tools with its PCs, printers and other IT gear.

Although more than five million businesses use Google Docs, Microsoft Office remains the default solution, with many either unaware of Google Apps or unsure of how to use them. But if you buy a PC and it comes with Google Apps pre-installed, you’re much more likely to give it a try …  Read more

Gmail for iOS updated with new inbox grouped by category & improvements to notifications

Gmail-inbox-iOS-categoriesAs expected, Google just started rolling out its brand new inbox to iOS users after first introducing us to the new category-based design last week. While its not a tabbed design like on the desktop, much like the Android app that just started rolling out iOS users can now access the new feature that groups emails into separate inboxes by selecting categories from the app’s side navigation bar.

 Meet the new inbox: If you’ve enabled the new inbox, your mail is now grouped into categories so that you can see what’s new at a glance and decide which emails you want to read when. Primary mail is shown first and it’s easy to access and keep track of email in other categories by opening the menu. Configure this feature by going to Gmail.com on your computer.

Today’s Gmail update also brings improved notifications allowing you to customize what emails you receive notifications for: Read more

Google rolls out brand new Gmail inbox on desktop and mobile with Categories for easier organization

As expected from a previous leak earlier this month, Google just announced on its official Gmail blog that it’s rolling out a brand new UI for Gmail on both the web and mobile that brings a new Categories based UI for easier organization of emails. The Gmail-App-Categories-01screenshots below line up with the images that we posted last week showing new customizable Categories that users can assign to manage emails according to content. For example: ‘Social’ for emails related to social networks, ‘Promotions’ for promotional material, ‘Notifications’ for reservations, bills, etc, and ‘Forums’ for mailing lists and forums.

On the desktop, the new inbox groups your mail into categories which appear as different tabs. You simply choose which categories you want and voilà! Your inbox is organized in a way that lets you see what’s new at a glance and decide which emails you want to read when.. You can easily customize the new inbox – select the tabs you want from all five to none, drag-and-drop to move messages between tabs, set certain senders to always appear in a particular tab and star messages so that they also appear in the Primary tab.

The update is not only rolling out to desktop users, but also to iPhone and iPad and mobile devices running Android 4.0 and up. On the mobile apps, users will first see their “Primary” inbox and can switch to other categories using the side navigation bar. Google says the new inbox is rolling out in the next few weeks but users will be able to try it sooner with a new “Configure inbox” option in Settings. Read more

Leaked screenshots show redesigned Gmail with ‘Categories’ feature to sort emails by content

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The image above is being passed around by an anonymous tipster this evening that claims to have screenshots alongside some new information about an upcoming version of Gmail for both the web and mobile devices.

According to the tipster, the update Gmail for web will have new Category tabs that organize emails into separate inboxes based on the content within (as pictured above). Examples given include Main (for family, friends and everything that doesn’t belong in another category), ‘Social’ for emails related to social networks, ‘Offers’ for promotional material, ‘Notifications’ for reservations, bills, etc, and ‘Forums’ for mailing lists and forums.

We have no way of verifying the legitimacy of the tip, but it’s an interesting concept nonetheless and it will apparently also be hitting the new Gmail mobile apps when it begins rolling out this Wednesday… Read more