China tightens blockade on Google, blocking email app access to Gmail [Update: restored for now]

china

Update: The FT reports that access has been restored for now at least, with a slight pickup in Google’s stats appearing to confirm.

China has tightened its firewall blockade of Google services, reports Re/code and the WSJ, with email apps no longer able to access Gmail via IMAP, POP3 or SMTP. While web access to Gmail has been blocked since June – believed related to the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre – users had remained able to access mail using email apps like Apple Mail and Outlook until Friday …  Read more

Google makes three Inbox invitations available to the app’s current users

Inbox-Invite-Phone

Earlier this week, Google launched Inbox, a new email management app that’s currently available on an invite-only basis. Almost reminiscent of when Mountain View launched Gmail as a beta product in the spring of 2004, the now social media-driven internet worked itself into a frenzy of tweets, +1s and likes from people vying to get hold of an invitation.

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Google’s new Inbox app is a marriage between Gmail and Google Now (update)

 

Inbox

Today, Google unveiled a new email solution called Inbox, which looks like a marriage between Gmail and Google Now. Currently available by invitation only, this new app takes bits from your email like purchase invoices and bank statements and groups them together for fast access. Like Google Now, Inbox adapts to the way you operate, highlighting key pieces of emails like flight plans, photos, documents and upcoming event information.

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Lollipop will see big update to Gmail app, will handle non-Gmail accounts too

If you were wondering why Google hasn’t yet introduced an updated version of the Gmail app on Android to match its Material Design guidelines, the answer appears to be that it has something big in store. Gmail 5.0, which will be introduced as part of Android 5.0 Lollipop, will for the first time allow you to access all your email accounts within the same app, Gmail and non-Gmail alike …  Read more

European Union tells Google combining user data across services without opt-out is illegal

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Google has come under fire from European Union officials on a number of fronts already. It’s been accused of unfair search results, been criticized for the way it has implemented the controversial ‘right to be forgotten‘ ruling and asked to stop describing apps which offer in-app purchases as ‘free.’

Reuters now reports that the EU believes Google is breaking the law in combining user data across unrelated services like Gmail, YouTube and Google Maps without offering users an opt-out, and the way in which it has consolidated 60 separate privacy policies into one …  Read more

Refreshed Hangouts in Gmail makes it easier to see who’s online

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Today, Google announced an update that improves Hangout’s integration in Gmail. In an effort to make your contacts more accessible, this new tab displays friends who are online first, followed by those who aren’t. You can still send messages to offline contacts, however they won’t get them until they sign into Hangouts from a desktop, smartphone or tablet.

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Google discusses child porn detection policies after recent sex offender arrest

Google recently helped police in Houston, Texas catch a sex offender after tipping the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that it had located explicit pictures of children in a man’s email. Although the search giant’s efforts helped catch a criminal, they’ve also made some people wonder if the company regularly monitors its subscribers’ email accounts.

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Google helped police arrest a man for child abuse after locating explicit images in his Gmail account

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Google helped law enforcement arrest a man in Houston, Texas by sending a tip to National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The search giant used information obtained from the suspect’s email account, according to a report from Business Insider. Already a registered sex offender, the man was previously convicted of sexually assaulting a child in 1994 and was recently caught after sending explicit images of a child via email.

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Google Voice now features calling from Hangouts on the web

google voice hangouts

We reported earlier this year that Google has plans to eventually roll Google Voice’s features into its Hangouts service and retire the former product, and we’re slowly seeing that transition play out now. Google’s Alex Weisen, who works on Google Voice, shared last night in a Google+ post that they’re making calling via Hangouts an option from the Google Voice website. Furthermore, the functionality will not require a Google+ account to work either. The option appears to be live on the Google Voice web interface now. Read more