Tag Archives | Gmail

Introspectr Indexes all of your Web Activity

Social networks threw the order of the inbox into disarray. Now, a start-up is seeking to encapsulate every interaction–regardless of where it occurs–into a unified search engine.

A private beta of Introspectr launched last Wednesday following its demo at NYC Tech Meetup that Tuesday night. I was there, and liked what I saw.

Introspectr indexes your Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. It also pulls in content from external URLs such as Bit.ly links embedded in Tweets.

Co-founder Simon Murtha-Smith demonstrated finding a lost apple crisp recipe. The recipe was not named; it was simply referred to as “AC” in a message, followed by a URL. Introspectr still managed to locate the recipe.

The idea is not exactly new, but something like Introspectr could become a necessity for those of us who have an active social life. Gmail solved the e-mail search problem, but e-mail only captures a fragment of today’s conversations.

Google’s Buzz was an attempt to pull social networking into Gmail, but from my perspective it was an oddball addition that didn’t fit. Introspectr is what Google’s inbox should behave like today. It’s simple, and it works.

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Still More Passionate Debate About Gmail Conversation View

Like me, my friend and former colleague Ed Albro has blogged about Gmail’s new option for shutting off Conversation View. Unlike me, he comes down on the side of conversations. Decisively so. You might even say he’s strident on the topic:

From what I can tell from reading through the complaints on the Gmail forum, people don’t like conversation view because they like to keep their inbox tidy and the threaded approach doesn’t let them kill off individual emails in a conversation. In other words, they want to keep their boss’s original email about the monthly budget, but not Joe’s harangue about people using too many pencils.

[snip]

Another common argument from anti-Conversation View crowd is that all those messages they can’t kill are making their inbox too bulky. Come on people: A basic Gmail account now provides 7.5 GB of storage. Unless your threaded conversations include lots of people attaching high-def video files, those individual messages you can’t kill aren’t making a dent in your overall storage.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t have the option to turn off Conversation View – I’m just saying you shouldn’t exercise it.

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Let There Be Much Rejoicing: Gmail Now Lets You Disable Conversation View

It’s been one of Gmail’s defining features since day one. Many people swear by it, and competitors have copied it. But for some of us, it creates more problems than it solves–and now, at long last, we can turn it off.

I speak of Conversation View, which clusters together all the e-mails in a thread, so they occupy only one line in your inbox and you can see the entirety of a discussion in one place. Google is confirming a rumor from June by announcing today that it’s possible to disable conversations, so that messages are displayed discretely in the way that was the norm in the pre-Gmail era. (It sounds like it may take a few days until the option shows up for everybody, and individuals in companies that use the Google Apps version of Gmail will only see the option if their administrators choose to allow the use of pre-release features.)

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Gmail Priority Inbox: A New Clutter-Taming Tool

Google is making one of larger changes to Gmail it’s ever instituted. It’s an clutter-taming feature called Priority Inbox, and the company is apparently pretty sure people will love it: Rather than rolling it out as a Labs experiment, Google is turning on the feature for everyone right away. The company prebriefed me last week and has let me try it out for the past few days.

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Google Mashes Up Gmail and Google Voice, Makes U.S./Canada Calls Free

I try to restrain myself from calling any new tech product or service a killer. But Google just announced that it’s integrating Google Voice into Gmail, turning its e-mail service into a fully Web-based Voice-over-IP system that lets you talk to people with landlines and cell phones all over the world. And…well, it looks like it could be an awfully compelling Skype alternative. Especially since¬†calls to cell phones and landlines in the U.S. and Canada that you’d pay for with Skype are free.

The integration adds a cool new feature to Gmail, but as a long-time Google Voice addict, I’m even more excited about what it does for that service. Now those of us with Google Voice numbers can use it in a new way, and without burning through mobile phone minutes.

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