I don’t know about you, but I think computing is getting a little too “cloudy”. Many companies are offering there software as a service and are pushing us toward “the cloud” for everything. Fortunately, Google has gotten their head out of the cloud long enough to realize we can’t always be in the cloud all the time. Google announced on the Official Gmail Blog today, a new application called “Offline Google Mail”.
“Offline Google Mail” is an app that can be downloaded for free from the Chrome Web Store and installed into Chrome. Here is the link if you would like to download it. Below you can see the web page on the Chrome Web Store. All you have to do is click the button that says “Add to Chrome” and it will begin the installation. It took me less than a minute to complete.
Once you have the app installed, it will ask you if you want to use it to manage and compose email when you’re offline. Just click “allow”, and then “continue”, and you’re in business.
The main window, pictured below, is sort of a dumbed down version of what you would see in Gmail online. You have a list of your messages in a column on the left side of the screen and a preview area on the right side of the screen. You can compose messages offline and they will be sent when you are connected at a later time. You can even add labels to your messages offline.
This is a great feature add on for Google products. I know there have been many times where internet access has been scarce for me. This made using Gmail very inconvenient as it didn’t have the offline capability. Now, I can add this new app to my laptop and can work in my “Offline Google Mail”. The good thing is it will seamlessly work in online and offline modes.
Google also plans to roll out similar products for Google Docs and Google Calendar. According to the blog post, it appears that Google Docs allows offline viewing now, but they haven’t implemented offline editing quite yet. If Google gets this perfected, I believe it will make them much more attractive to corporate IT.
I am encouraged by the fact that Google recognized the need for offline synchronization. While I think it is great that we live in a world where everything is accessible virtually anywhere, the reality is there are still a lot of dead zones when it comes to internet access. I hope this is a sign of many more good things to come from Google.
Gmail has grown leaps and bounds since it was launched and there are several features like Priority Inbox which make using Gmail’s web interface much more fun. However, I am not sure when Gmail will stop it’s innovations in the webmail platform.
In a recent post on Google OS, Alex Chitu posted a screenshot which has Google Docs, Google Maps, Google Photo/Picasa integration along with an option to attach an invitation from Google Calendar, which already exists.
This new attachment integration will definitely make things more easier for users who prefer to use Google services rather than desktop solutions or even convert more users to use Google Docs and other services for ease of use, as a user will always store content on the cloud and can access it from practically any computer.
The introduction of this feature would also make Gmail one of the first webmail interface to work almost similar to Microsoft Outlook.
Google is also trying to add more tighter integration between all it’s products. For example, earlier last month, Google had introduced a feature that would allow users to search their Google documents in Gmail. Features like these make Gmail a one-stop place for common things that are part of our day to day life.
There is no official announcement as to when users will be able to start sending Google Docs, Map and Photos as attachments yet, however, you can expect these to be rolled out in the next few weeks.
I am a heavy user of Google Calendar and used to use Google Calendar Sync for Outlook. After I switched to using Outlook 2010, Google Calendar Sync stopped working as it only supported Outlook 2007 or lower.
However, the latest version of Google Calendar Sync now works perfectly with Outlook 2010 and can sync your Google events with your Outlook Calendar. The newer version of Google Calendar Sync for Outlook is available for only 32-bit versions of Office 2010.
If you have been waiting for the update you can go ahead and download the Google Calendar Sync for Outlook 2010 from here.
Google has been recently testing multiple account sign-in, which would allow users to sign-in with multiple accounts to Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Reader, Google Sites and Google Code without having to sign-out of an account.
This feature has now been rolled out to users in phases and can be used to access multiple Google accounts. If you have not yet enable Google Multi Sign-in Feature, here are some simple steps for enabling the Google Multi Sign-in feature.
Step 1: Go to your Google Accounts Manage page (clicking on the link will take you there)
Step 2: Click on the Edit link next to Multiple sign-in listed under Personal Settings. If you do not see the link it will be rolled out to your account shortly.
Step 3: On the Edit page, select the radio button next to "On – Use multiple Google Accounts in the same web browser." and then make selections from the checkboxes below after you have read the details. After you have done that, just click the "Save" button.
That’s it, you will now be able to check emails, calendar, docs and more from multi-account using a drop down provided at the top of the screen. If you want to add another account, just click on the down arrow key and click on the link which says Sign in to another account and then provide your login credentials to it.
If you want to disable the multiple account sign-in in Google, just follow the same instructions. However, in Step 2 click the Radio button next to "Off – Use on Google Account at a time"
This is definitely one of the most useful features I have seen with Google or any other service because it takes out the hassle of managing and maintaining several different accounts.
I have several Gmail accounts for various reasons, now checking multiple account emails through a browser can be quite a pain since you have to sign in and sign out to access those accounts. However, Google is testing a new feature which will allow users to sign-in to multiple accounts at once.
The new Multiple account sign in works with Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Reader, Google Docs, Google Sites and Google Code, however, Google may add support for different sites too.
Multiple Sign in will allow you to open different Google accounts in different tabs and you might not have to open another browser for it. This is definitely a great feature and I am eagerly awaiting it’s release since it will definitely increase my productivity. What about you? If you cannot wait for the feature to come out, you can try out the Gmail Notifier for Windows 7 which notifies you whenever a new mail arrives in your Gmail account and supports multiple accounts.
Looks like Google Calendar is down, and not just for me, even downforeveryoneorjustme.com says so.
By the way, if you visit http://calendar.google.com you will see the following message as shown in the screenshot below.
Thank God I had my Calendar synched to an Exchange server or else I would have missed one of my appointments. Is Google Calendar down for you too? The Google Apps status does not show anything about the outage yet.
Update: Looks like it just sprang back to life and is back up again. Did you face any issues?
NG2Sync is a handy freeware and opensource command line tool which will allow you to quickly sync your Lotus notes account with Google Calendar.
To sync your Lotus notes with Google Calendar, just enter your Lotus notes password along with the credentials for Google Calendar. Once you have provided the information, this tool will sync up both your accounts and keep them up to date.
Every morning when I wake up, I snooze the alarm clock about 3-4 times, to buzz me again. The snooze function basically shuts down the alarm for a few minutes and starts buzzing again after 5 minutes.
If you add calendar events in Google Calendar or Outlook and have them open, you will get notifications about upcoming events. Outlook provides you with an option to Snooze the event and remind you after a certain time limit.
According to Google OS, Google Calendar has added a similar feature, where users can choose to be reminded again about a event after 5 minutes. To make use of this feature, you will have to have the Google Calendar webpage open in your web browser.
You can always chose to receive SMS alerts for your events, and even sync Google Calendar events with Outlook. If you are using Google Chrome, you might also want to checkout a Google Chrome extension, which allows you to setup a alarm inside the browser.
Google calendar does a fantastic job of letting you setup reminders. However, if you are offline quite often then you Google calendar reminders might not be the best solution for you. In such a case, it is good to use a desktop based application and GMinder is an an excellent app for that purpose.
GMinder lets you manage your Google calendar even when you are offline by letting you access the desktop client. You can add events, delete events, set pop-up reminders and even browse through events to see more details.
You can also snooze or dismiss the reminders and customize their appearance by tweaking the color and sound. GMinder allows you to manage multiple Google calendars from the same desktop client. All you need to do is sign in with your Google account and your Google calendar will be downloaded for offline access.
Download GMinder here.
Google Calendar has started out with its own Google Calendar labs, however there are only 6 labs feature available right now.
One interesting feature in Gmail Labs is to add custom gadgets to it, based on which we told you about the most useful gadgets for Gmail and a bunch of social networking gadgets for Gmail.
According to Google OS, users can also add custom gadgets to Google Calendar, however the method is slightly different that it is for Gmail.
Here are some simple steps to add custom gadgets to Google Calendar
How To Add Custom Gadgets To Google Calendar
Step 1: Find a gadget that you want to add to Google Calendar and get the URL for it, you can find more info on getting the URL for a gadget in our earlier tutorial for Gmail.
Step 2: You will now have to create a new URL based on this format http://www.google.com/calendar/render?gadgeturl=GADGET_XML_FILE, where you will have to replace the GADGET_XML_FILE with the URL for the gadget.
For example to add the wikipedia gadget to calendar the URL will be http://www.google.com/calendar/render?gadgeturl=http://www.google.com/ig/modules/wikipedia.xml
Step 3: Load this URL in a browser where you have logged into Google Calendar.
Step 4: Once you load the URL, you will see a overlay window asking for your permission to add the gadget to Google calendar, just click on Yes, add this gadget.
You can add as much gadgets as you want, but interactive gadgets other than those developed using OpenSocial may not work.
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