I don’t post on here very often any more so I’m going to try and replace any lengthy facebook posts with blog posts. Just because.
So, the new Gmail update on Android – WTF? Complete nonsense. They’ve removed the checkboxes next to messages for multiple select in mailbox view, instead replacing them with “sender images” which seem to default to randomly coloured squares with the first letter of the sender’s name in it. Clicking on these is the same as clicking a check-box, but is completely non-intuitive. Would you expect to click on a picture to select an item?
There is an option to remove these images. Great. Only it doesn’t restore the checkbox. Instead you have to long-press to select multiple items individually.
Taking a perfectly standard and well-recognised interface feature and replacing it with something counter-intuitive and unlike anything else. Google are becoming Microsoft.
P.S. There’s supposed to be an option to either reply or delete from the notification screen as well, which is great as I’m generally a deleter, not an archiver. I’ve set the option (“show delete and archive”) – I just checked it. And yet I’m still getting archive and reply as my options.
P.P.S Got it – just went for “Delete only” and it appears. I guess there’s not enough space on portrait for Archive and Delete as well as Reply at the same time.
I’ve been catching up on my news feeds and found out that GMail have added a host of new functions which I’m now messing with.
The first, and one I’ve been yelling about for ages, is they’ve finally made the Contacts search scan all the fields – which it used to in the old version. This is great for me as I’ve got information on people buried in the “info” field and used to be able to search on it. Then I couldn’t without reverting to an old version. now I can again. Yay!
Offline Email is essentially a limited version of configuring IMAP mail. It drags a portion of your mail down onto your desktop and enables you to write and reply to messages when you’re offline. When you go online, it synchronises. Neat.
A silly one is an option to add your location (based on your IP address) to your signature. As I travel around, I though this was funky so I’ve activated it. Only it doesn’t seem to work. At all. Maybe it’ll kick in shortly.
Another daft but useful one is a re-ordering of the tab text you see at the top of your browser. Essentially the number of messages in your Inbox is much closer to the start of the text string so it’s less likely to be hidden when you have multiple tabs open.
Finally, there’s multiple mailbox view. You can configure GMail to simultaneously show you several mailboxes, filters, labels and so on as message lists. Something I may make use of once I migrate back to a widescreen desktop environment.
Google have proved they have a sense of humour by releasing a funky add-on to the Labs in Gmail. All it does is confirm that you really, really want to send that email you just typed. Which sounds silly, but how often have you bunged off a random SMS while drunk that you kind of wish the girl in accounts hadn’t received? Or gotten horny (while drunk) and emailed an ex to suggest that perhaps one more try together might actually be a good idea?
Mail Goggles aims to stop that. Whenever you send a message (based on a schedule, defaulting to late night at weekends) it asks you to solve a couple of maths problems before it’ll actually release the mail.
Completely silly. But I like it. I really wish I’d had something like that on my mobile way back in the past.
I use Gmail. A lot. I like it. It’s reliable, it works and they keep adding functions to it.
Only today I’ve noticed that two functions I’ve had for some time have both vanished for no apparent reason. The first is something I’d waited ages for and was quite pleased when it arrived – the ability to view Powerpoint presentations online as slideshows. Handy as I can’t be bothered installing the part of OpenOffice that I’d need to open them.
The option’s gone. The bottom of my emails just doesn’t give me the facility any more. I just have “View as HTML” which gives me a message that if I want to see the images, I have to download it. And the option to download it.
Secondly, and even more bizarrely, I can now only search my contacts based on email address and name. I can’t search on Notes, addresses or phone numbers. I could do this before. I know I could. While travelling, I meet a lot of people in hostels and the like. I usually put a couple of notes for them so I know where I met them due to my poor memory.
Also, it’s useful if I know I’m travelling somewhere. I can search my contacts on their address or location and email the people I know who are there. Easy.
Only, again, this functionality has gone.
At the top of the page, next to “Help” is a link to “Older version”. I tried this. And the features have returned.
So I have to decide. Do I want coloured blobs for my labels – which is nice but hardly necessary – and a Google Talk box down the left which I never use and wish I could get rid of… or do I want to be able to search my contacts properly, and view files I’m sent?
Hardly a brain-aching decision. I’m only glad Google allow the option of skipping back to the older version. But for how long?