Gmail adds action buttons for Offers, restaurant reviews, & YouTube, Dropbox, & Drive uploads

Gmail-restaurant-review

Back in May Google rolled out new contextual quick action buttons in Gmail that appeared next to messages in your inbox allowing users to, for example, quickly RSVP to an invitation or check-in to flights. Today Google announced on its Gmail blog that it’s rolling out even more quick action buttons in Gmail. One of the new buttons will allow users to rate and review restaurants and save Google Offers with a single click:

For example, you can rate and review restaurants you ordered from on Seamless and even modify OpenTable reservations—all without opening an email. And for the deal lovers out there, you can conveniently save a promotion from Google Offers with one click, making it easy to find and buy it when you’re ready.

Another new quick action button will allow YouTube and Vimeo uploaders to click a “View video” button next to emails in their inbox to jump right to viewing their finished uploads (pictured below). The same button will also appear for Dropbox, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.  Read more

Google adds handwriting input to Gmail and Google Docs via mouse & trackpad

Google-handwriting-input-01

Google announced today on its Gmail blog that it is adding handwriting input functionality into Gmail and Google Docs for those that find it easier to draw characters than use a traditional keyboard. Both Gmail and Google Docs within Drive will allow users to draw single or multiple characters using a mouse cursor or their finger on a trackpad:

Gmail and Docs offer wide language support, however in some cases using the keyboard is less than ideal. Whether you’re a student trying to include a foreign phrase in your paper or an international consultant hoping to begin your message with a friendly local greeting, now you’ll be able to use your own handwriting to input words directly into Gmail and Google Docs

The feature is first rolling out for more than 20 languages in Google Docs and over 50 languages in Gmail, including many of the most requested languages for handwriting input such as Japanese, Chinese, Hindi, and Russian.

Google-handwriting-input-02

Here’s how to enable it: Read more

U.S. Army & DoD move to Google Apps to go mobile and reduce costs

Google Apps Logo Ring hires

Google announced today on its Enterprise blog that the U.S. Army is the latest to go Google with a new program currently rolling out Google Apps and services to over 50k members of the Army and Department of Defense.

According to Google, driving the U.S. Army’s decision to adopt Google Apps is the ability to reduce IT costs and also run Apps on multiple platforms and operating systems through the Army’s existing security and authentication requirements. Another big motivator was the added advantage of Google’s mobile apps: Read more

Google Play Music ‘All Access’ for iOS reportedly landing this month following internal beta

Since first announcing its Google Play Music ‘All Access’ streaming service earlier this year on Android, Google has been delaying the release of an official Google Play Music app for iOS for unknown reasons. Android chief Sundar Pichai originally said the app would be out in “the next few weeks” in May, but four months later we’ve yet to get an iOS app or access to the $9.99 month streaming service on iOS. Today, Engadget reports that Google is continuing to test the app internally and will launch it later this month:

Sources aware of Google’s plans have let slip to Engadget that not only is the company currently testing a native Google Music iOS app internally, but that it’ll launch later this month. We’re told that while employees have been invited to test the app, Google still needs to fix a few bugs before it’s ready for release… The company had previously closed the door on iOS users because Flash was needed to enforce DRM restrictions set by music labels. Now, Google appears to have overcome that issue and is nearly ready to launch.

Until the official app from Google launches, popular third-party clients like the gMusic app have been updated to support the “All Access” streaming service. Read more

Google’s mobile Gmail app is going to start showing ads

Among other smaller additions, Android Police found a pretty big change coming to Google’s Gmail 4.6 App this week: Ads.

While El Goog hasn’t officially activated ads on mobile yet, the App is getting ready for them with a bunch of new code tailored around bringing ads to Gmail. Snippets are pasted below

<string name=”ad”>AD</string>
<string name=”ad_will_not_save”>Will not save ad as message</string>
<string name=”ad_will_save”>Will save ad as message</string>
<string name=”ad_dismissed”>Ad dismissed</string>

The above appears to suggest that you’ll be able to save ads as messages. Like an ad? Save it, and it’ll become part of your inbox. Don’t like it, and it’ll get dismissed. Very interesting, isn’t it?

To support ads, a whole brand new library was added called… ads:

com/google/android/gm/ads/

Inside, we have 8 classes, all related to ad presentation – toasts, teaser, sender header, ad header, ad border, and the ad view itself:

  • AdBorderItem
  • AdHeaderItem
  • AdHeaderView
  • AdSenderHeaderItem
  • AdSenderHeaderView
  • AdTeaserView
  • AdToastBarOperation
  • AdViewFragment

The likely move isn’t at all surprising and with Google popping ads disguised as email in Gmail tabbed interface and well, that’s how Google makes money.  You didn’t think Gmail was really free, did you? Read more

Google Talk & Hangouts bug sends messages to the wrong recipients – Google investigating

talk

Update 2, Sept. 27: Google is reporting that Google Talk issues have now bee resolved for all users.

Update, Sept. 27: Some users are continuing to experience issues with Google Talk services today. Google says it expects “a resolution for all users in the near future.”

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 11.04.27 AM

TechCrunch alerted us to an issue with Google Talk and Google Hangouts, which is rather alarmingly resulting in some messages being delivered to the wrong recipients.

examples …  Read more