Gmail adds 13 new languages!

Posted by Mally Mclane | Filed under gmail, interesting feature, new feature

gmail-logoEmail is a universal way to communicate. No matter where you are, you can reach anyone else in the world with the press of a button. We take it for granted now, but it’s so much easier to keep in touch with people than it was in the old days of pens, paper, and stamps. But there’s still an important barrier we need to overcome to make email truly universal: language. Gmail is already available in 58 languages, and today Google is bringing that total to 71—covering 94 percent of the world’s Internet population and bringing us closer to our goal of making sure that, no matter what language you write in, you can use it in Gmail.

These 13 new languages are joining the Gmail family: Afrikaans, Armenian, Azerbaijani (Azeri), Chinese (Hong Kong), French (Canada), Galician, Georgian, Khmer, Lao, Mongolian, Nepali, Sinhala, and Zulu.

As any native speaker knows, each language has its own nuances, so Google worked closely with linguists to make sure the tone and style are just right. For example, both Hong Kong and Taiwan use traditional Chinese characters. However, you’ll notice that Gmail’s new Chinese (Hong Kong) language uses 收件箱 for “Inbox” instead of 收件匣, which is a word more common in Taiwan.

All 13 languages are rolling out today in Gmail on the web and feature phone browsers. Try out any one of them by going to your Settings. It’s much easier than finding the right postage.


Gmail for Android app update rolling out with vacation responder, wider attachment support and more

Posted by Mally Mclane | Filed under android, gmail, new feature

gmail-logoFor those who use Android devices, you’ll know already that because they are made by the same people who make Google Apps, then it all works that little bit better than it might on other mobile devices.

One feature a lot of our staff have been asking for is the ability to set out of office / vacation replies when you’re actually out of the office. This is coming now in the new version of Gmail for Android, which is rolling out now through the Play store.

Also in this new release are the ability to download almost any attachment (previously, they have been restrictive in what you could download) and the ability to use Cloud printers.


Attaching files in Gmail

Posted by Mally Mclane | Filed under drive, gmail, interesting feature

In this blog, we try to give you new ways of working. Ways that will hopefully improve your productivity. This week, we’re going to show you how to share files using Google Drive, rather than attaching them directly to Gmail.


Benefits of Inserting Files Using Drive

Larger File Sharing

Traditionally when attaching files to Gmail, you are limited to 25 MB. Sharing a file instead, bypasses the need to attach it to an email, and allows you to send a file up to 10 GB in size. This functionality is possible due to the ability to upload files (and preserve them in their native format) up to 10 GB in Google Drive. Storing files in the cloud in Google Drive ensures that your important files in various formats are available anytime and on any device where you sign in to your Drive account.
Easier Collaboration
When sharing attachments, the purpose is typically to begin collaboration on a project. When sending documents or spreadsheets as attachments to emails to your colleagues, you can easily end up with multiple versions flowing back into your inbox. This workflow is a recipe for disaster. Before you know it, there are multiple versions of your spreadsheet or document circulating. You’re left with multiple revisions in multiple copies, and it is easy to get confused and accidentally start working with the wrong version by mistake.
By inserting a document using Google Drive, you can avoid this confusion because you and your collaborators are always working on the original document in its most up-to-date state. Collaborate on edits with your colleagues in the same document and the same time, and use chat and comments to take working with each other to the next level. Everyone is viewing the same content and can see the changes take effect in real time. Don’t agree with the changes a collaborate made? No problem. You can use the Revision History feature is Google documents to view changes and even restore a previous version of your document if necessary.
Maintain Doc Visibility
When you send an attachment, anyone can download, share, and make changes to it. The recipient has the freedom to forward the attached file to others, which results in a total loss of control over who is accessing your file. On the other hand, when sharing from Drive, you can control the visibility and sharing permissions for each document. Drive lets you be in control by allowing you to edit the collaborators.

How to Insert Files using Drive

Hover over the plus sign located next to the paperclip icon in a new message or reply screen.
Click on the Google Drive icon.
In the new window, choose the location of the file you would like to insert:
  • Upload – Select a file from your computer that you would like to upload to Google Drive and share
  • My Drive – Select a file from your My Drive point of view
  • Shared with me – Select a file from you Shared with me point of view
  • Starred – Select a file that you deemed as star-worthy
  • Previously selected – Select a previously used file
  • All items – Select a file from your file repository



After selecting a file and clicking Insert, the Drive file will be added to your email. Once you have finished composing your email, click send. Insert with Drive has a built in feature that will alert you if try to send your email without sharing the selected file with the recipient(s). You are able to set the file’s visibility directly from this alert, and then Share & send.


Inserting documents this way improves the way we send and work with file attachments. Now we have much more power to share large files, and have control over who can view or edit them. Use this method rather than the traditional way to attach files, so you can reap the benefits discussed above.
(this post was originally written by our friends at www.ditoweb.com)


new and streamlined navigation between your Google apps.

Posted by Mally Mclane | Filed under calendar, drive, gmail, new feature

Since we went live with Google back in April, you’ve used the familiar black bar at the top of the screen to swop between Gmail, Calendar and Google Drive – however, this is soon changing.

Over the next 3-5 weeks, Google will be removing the black bar and replacing it with a small ‘launcher’ that will provide quick and easy access to all your links by clicking a small button in the top right of your screen:




Clicking the launcher icon will open up a floating window that gives you access to any Google Apps that have been turned on for you:





The theory behind the change is two fold: 1) to make it more seamless to get around your apps and 2) to eliminate any distractions once you’re inside the app itself. It certainly makes for a cleaner experience, we hope you enjoy the new launcher!


Mally Mclane
Communication and Collaboration Services Manager
University of Bristol




A new way to respond to Calendar invites…

Posted by Mally Mclane | Filed under calendar, gmail, new feature

Google have always allowed you to respond to Calendar invites directly from the invite itself. It’s one of the features we wanted from the project, much tighter integration between email and calendar, increasing productivity at the University.

Rolling out now is a simple new feature in Gmail:



You can see from the image that you can now RSVP to an invite directly from your inbox, there is no longer any need to open the invite email itself to see the details or RSVP. Of course, if you want to still do that (e.g. because the invite shows you agenda for that day) then that is still available to you.


This feature will appear in your inbox over the next few weeks.


new: Gmail compose now has a full-screen option

Posted by Mally Mclane | Filed under gmail, new feature

Beginning on August 6th, when you compose an email in Gmail, you’ll be able to compose it in full screen mode:

compose (1)



When this option is enabled, the compose window is centered in your inbox and expands to fit on your screen.  In addition, the formatting toolbar is on by default.  You can click on the expand button in the top right to switch to full-screen or set full-screen as the default by selecting Default to full-screen in the more options menu in the bottom right.


Gmail’s People Widget

Posted by Mally Mclane | Filed under gmail

These days, Email isn’t just about text – thanks to the power of modern web browsers, modern web design and new technologies, emails can now come to life with picture attachments, video attachments and audio attachments, along with richly formatted text.

In Gmail, by default, a feature called the ‘People Widget’ is turned on. It appears to the right of your inbox and looks like:


It’s used to display connected information about the person you are currently conversing with, such as:

  • Information about your contact, which may include information such as their name, email address or occupation. This information comes from your account’s Contact Manager.
  • Recent email your contact sent you
  • Thumbnails of recent photos your contacts sent you
  • Google Calendar events if your contact’s Calendar is shared with you
  • Google documents shared with both you and the contact

The idea behind this is that it as emails can contain so much more information these days (and we send a lot more email!), it can make finding certain items difficult.

NB: It will only display items already sent to you, and will only show them if you’re viewing an email from the person who sent it to you. It won’t show them to anyone else.

There may be circumstances where you don’t want to use the People Widget (e.g. if you receive personal photos/emails on your work account), so if you ever decide you don’t want to see the people widget, you can do so by doing the following:

  1. Click the  gear in the top right.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. On the General tab in Settings, select the ‘Hide the people widget’ radio button.
  4. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.




Google Quota Changes

Posted by Mally Mclane | Filed under drive, gmail, new feature

30gb-free imageSince Gmail launched, it’s always had it’s own quota and since Google Drive launched, that has always had it’s quota too. As users use the products more/more, they’ve had to manage 2 quotas and to be frank, it’s confusing.


To get around this, Google have recently announced ‘unified storage’, where there is one quota for Gmail, Drive and Google+ (though UoB doesn’t yet use Google+):



This means that you now have one 30GB quota to use both for your Gmail and any documents you store on Google Drive.  Quota on Google Drive only applies for files you upload and do not convert to Google’s own format. You can have unlimited numbers of documents you create in Google Drive or that you convert.

(these changes will be rolling out across the month of June, you can always check your quota at the bottom of your Gmail window)


the all new Gmail inbox

Posted by Mally Mclane | Filed under android, gmail, inbox, ios, mobile, new feature

Inboxes can be overwhelming. We all get masses of email everyday and sorting through it all, manually, can be a drag.

All the emails we get are different types: business related, personal related, Facebook, Groupon, the list is endless! All of these emails distract and compete for your attention, taking you away from the emails that matter most to you. Sometimes it feels like our inboxes are controlling us, rather than the other way around.

But it doesn’t need to be that way…

Beginning later this month, University Gmail users will be able to opt into a brand new Gmail inbox. 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.

Gmail new inbox demo

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.


It doesn’t stop there – the Mobile apps are also changing to match the Desktop experience. In the Gmail for Android 4.0+ and Gmail for iPhone and iPad apps, you’ll see your Primary mail when you open the app and you can easily navigate to the other tabs.



However, if the new inbox isn’t quite your style, you can simply switch off all optional tabs to go back to classic view, or switch to any of your other favourite inbox types.

The new inbox is rolling out later in June. The Android and iOS versions are become available now. Keep an eye on the settings and select Configure inbox when it appears in the Settings options.