Google has revamped their mobile Gmail webmail interface recently, bringing it up to par with the Gmail 2.0 app for iOS. The new Gmail app was launched back in December 2012. As yet, there is no news on the Android app getting an update, but this may come at a later stage. The same applies to the Windows Phone platform – no news there yet.
The interface looks more like the regular deskop web interface now:
This update is also rolling out for Gmail Offline. New features include improved search and integration with Google Calendar. More Gmail Offline info (in Chrome Web Store) can be found here. The mobile Gmail webmail announcement can be found on Google+ here.
It has been a bit quiet on the webmail-front lately, but Microsoft is heating up the battle with Scroogled, a new website dedicated to bashing Google’s Gmail.
The website looks like this:
As you can see, it’s making fun of the colorful Google logo, and bashes Gmail for looking for keywords in emails to provide targeted ads.
The Scroogled website is offering a petition to have Google stop going through emails for keywords, as well as promoting Outlook.com as a better webmail service.
On the website there are also two videos available to tell how bad Google is, including a part of Eric Schmidt, Google Chairman, quoted saying the following:
“We don’t need you to type at all. We know where you are, with your permission; we know where you’ve been, with your permission; we can more or less know what you’re thinking about.”
Here’s the first video:
The second video shows a man and a woman discussing email, where the woman notes that Google goes through his email, and he admits being Scroogled:
The website was down for a short while yesterday actually, only giving a web server error to visitors:
Remember my previous post about the webmail wars? The Gmail Man was part of that story, but Microsoft seems to be taking it up a notch with Scroogled this time, really focusing on that privacy issue: apparently they feel it’s a very big deal. Privacy is important of course, but the way Gmail works is just the way Google search works: with keywords. Will Microsoft be bashing Google Search next because they display ads based on your search queries and promote Bing?
As one Twitter user puts it, he’s not impressed:
Gmail goes through my email to sell ads, but it’s so much better than Outlook, I don’t care. #scroogled
I wonder what the actual purpose is behind the ‘Have you been Scroogled?’ website – besides of course having people switch over to Outlook.com. Bashing competitors in advertising is nothing new, and especially in the US they’re a fan, however this campaign might come across as childish and lame and work against Microsoft’s intentions. Time will tell.
Facebook has introduced Graph Search, a new internal search service at an event held at the Facebook headquarters.
Graph Search, what is it?
First and foremost, the new search function is meant as a way to find anything on any topic shared in the past. One example of a search phrase would be ‘Photos my friends took in New York City’, which would give those photos from NYC made by your friends as a result.
When it comes to privacy, it seems Facebook is trying to do it right, right away with Graph Search: when searching for photos for instance, only photos shared with you will appear. Subjects covered by the new internal search are people, photos, places and interests.
In case nothing is found, Graph Search will switch over to web-based search by means of Microsoft’s Bing.
This service means a lot of ‘old’ content you and your friends shared will be revisited: that which has been only viewed once or twice when passing by in the Timeline will now be revisited with Graph Search.
Here’s what the search will look like:
The search bar’s appearance will be bigger on top of each page. Refining search results looks like this:
On the right hand side you can see that the search results can be refined by gender, relationship, employer, current city, hometown, school, friendship and even likes. Also, searches can be extended firther (see bottom right of the above picture. The search should allow you to connect with more people, find new interests and see what has been shared in the past by your friends.
This is one of the things Facebook will be on the same playing field as the top performing product from their competitor Google: search. No doubt Facebook will find ways to monetize it, with either sponsored messages/pages, paid ads next to search results and other means of income. Also, it will be interesting to see how fast Facebook will approach Google’s number of daily searches, which is around 5 billion per day. Facebook has over 1 billion users, according to an update in September 2012.
More details can be found here in the Facebook Newsroom, as well as the about page. You can also join the waiting list for beta access – currently only available to English (US) audiences.
The people over at Gmail have expanded their webmail service by joining in another service: Google Drive. They’ve noted on their official blog that you can attach files from your Google Drive account, which means the maximum file attachement size has been fourhundred-dupled from 25MB to 10GB. Hooray for big files users and movers!
When you attach a file from Drive, the platform is smart enough to check whether your recipients are able to access the file – when this is not the case you can change the file’s access settings right there from the interface without leaving the email. Quite convinient indeed.
Speed is important for the Gmail engineers, because they feel it’s important for the users. For that reason they’ve introduced a new compose and reply that pops up in a separate window:
This way, when you need to refer to another email, watch for new emails coming in or want to work on multiple messages and save them, you can do that very efficiently in the Gmail interface.
Next to being more efficient, the new compose/reply window allows for easier message writing: the controls move out of the way when you don’t need them, so you can focus on your message:
The same goes for replying to messages: you are now able to write a reply where the window expands vertically, keeping controls and such in sight. The new compose/reply will be rolled out as a preview at first, and will be available to all users within a few months.