How to Set Unique Ringtones for Gmail Labels

Ever wanted to set unique ringers for different labels in Gmail just like you can set different ringtones for when people call? If you’re like me and would like to know instantly whether the email is something important from work or another mailing list message from some random Web site, follow along to see how to set up unique ringtones for labels in Gmail.
The first thing you’ll want to do is set up filters in Gmail to auto-label your messages. On the Gmail settings page, select Filters and then Create a New Filter. Gmail will walk you through the process of creating a filter, which allows you do auto-assign a label to messages based on sender, content, subject, etc. Set up as many filters and labels as you like, because next we’re going to show you how to give those labels unique ringtones.
How to Set Unique Ringtones for Gmail LabelsNow, go to the Gmail app on your phone, go into the account you’d like to set up the ring ones for, hit the menu button and select Settings. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the first settings page and then select Sync Inboxes and Labels. Find the label you want, and make sure that the label(s) you want are set to sync to your phone.
Next, go back to the Account Settings page in the app and tap Labels to Notify – Notification Preferences for Synced Labels. This will pull up a page that allows you to choose an individual label to apply settings to. Select the label you’d like to use and you will get a pop-up that you can choose a variety of settings in. You can select whether or not to be notified at all for new email in the label, as well as select a ringtone and whether or not your phone vibrates. Make all the changes you want to this label’s settings, then repeat the process for each label you to which you want to add a custom ringtone.
How to Set Unique Ringtones for Gmail Labels
Ta-da! You have custom label ringtones, and now you will never have to worry whether or not that email is important or totally useless. With good labeling and ringtones, you can make your email management much more efficient.

How to Protect Your Gmail Account with Additional Recovery Options

About three years ago I was locked out of my Gmail account, which was an experience I do not want repeated. Apparently someone tried to access my account on numerous occasions, so in order to protect my account, Google locked the account. During the time I was unable to access my Gmail, I had to go through a bunch of hoops before I could regain access to my mail. I will never forget the exasperation I felt, since the process took almost five days and involved an email exchange from myself, via my primary email, to Google, before the problem was resolved.

That was then and this is now. Thankfully, the process for recovering access to your Gmail account has been improved with advances in technology. In order to take advantage of some additional reset options for your Gmail account, do the following:

Open your Gmail and select Accounts. Click on the option: Change Password Recovery Options.

Once you access this area, you can add additional email accounts where password reset options can be sent. You can even set more than one email recovery address. You can choose to have a text message sent to your mobile phone. You can also choose a voice message to be sent to your landline telephone. In addition, you can reset your security question as well as reset your account password to one that is more secure.

During the setup process, you will receive a text message or voice message with a verification code. The process of recovering your account can further be accessed by a set of ten additional unlock codes that you print out as a further precaution, so that you can access your account even if your mobile phone is not available.

I would highly recommend that if you have a Gmail account you take advantage of these additional recovery options. This could save you a lot of time some way down the road if your account is locked because of unauthorized attempts to access it.

Comments welcome.

Google Restores Lost Gmail Accounts – Could This Incident Hurt Cloud Computing?

There are things that we experience in life that we never forget. When I was a senior in high school our history teacher mentioned something that I never forgot. As a youngster he recalled newspaper articles that covered the Korean war, which stated that only [fill in the blank] American troops were killed. He went on to state that the number didn’t really matter, especially if you were one of the ones that was killed.

Google Gmail suffered an outage for some 39,000 Gmail account holders, which was, the company was quick to point out, less than 0.02% of its entire account base of some 150 million users. The company also was quick to point out that its Gmail services were spread over multiple data centers and that the Gmail accounts were not lost, just misplaced. Google also stated that all of the information would be restored and every user would have their information returned.

I couldn’t even imagine waking up yesterday morning to have your Google Gmail stuff gone. My first thought would be, who do I call? Google has been criticized for a lack of phone technical support services and I recalled the problem I had when my own personal account was disabled several years ago. It took me four days of emails to get my account restored fully, which was a giant pain in the butt.

Many of you know that I have been beta testing Google’s Chrome OS Cr-48. When I had issues not being able to connect to the Verizon 3G, I posted a bug report and I was contacted by a Google representative. The problem was resolved and I felt like I had received special treatment from the Google Chrome OS team. But others who have had issues with their Gmail accounts have expressed the lack of support as a real concern.

Though I realize that the services Google offers are free, it needs to address the lack of technical support and the concerns users have. Since Google is trying to convince users to store their personal files online in its Cloud, what happens if your stuff is unavailable one day? What are we users supposed to do? Who do we call?

If Google is to convince us to buy its Chrome OS computers and trust all of our important documents to it and it alone, Google will need to change its current support system. I want someone to call and I want to speak to a real person. I would also prefer to speak to someone who speaks English as their primary language.

Is this asking too much? What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – Google Gmail Blog

Are Ads Coming To Your Google Gmail Account?

I have been using Google’s Gmail for about five years and have always found it very reliable. I mainly use my Gmail account to receive Gmail alerts and to also receive emails when I do not wish to give out my primary email address. The thing I like about Gmail is that it seems to have a semi-efficient spam stopper, which I use when spam does sneak through occasionally. Overall, I like Gmail and will continue to use the free email program. But Google has been experimenting with adding ads to the Gmail you receive, though you may have not have experienced the ads as of yet. The ads from Google are still in the experimental stages and not every Gmail account can see the ads.

One article states:

Ads in Gmail have always been related to e-mail messages. For instance, if Gmail users are corresponding with friends about planning a vacation to Mexico, ads for flights or hotels in Mexico might appear. The display ads will show up according to the same formula, Mr. Shilkin said.

The placement of the advertisments will not be done by humans and instead will be automated so no one reads your emails.

I went looking through my emails for the past few days and I did not have any ads. In fact, I went back as far as the 21st and, again, no ads at all. I would imagine that Google has some type of secret formula it is using to determine who gets the ads and who does not.

Google also assures us that the ads will be inserted into the emails by machines and that no human eyes will view your emails.

So with the ads most likely coming our way, will you continue to use Gmail?

Source – NY Times

Print From Your Phone With Google Cloud Print

Google’s big announcement today covered printing from you phone to your printer. The announcement of the launch is also to feature a new project called Cloud Print on mobile devices. The new service enables users to print documents and emails directly from GMail’s mobile interface.

“With Gmail for mobile and Google Cloud Print — a service that allows printing from any app on any device, OS or browser without the need to install drivers — you can.” Like Apple’s AirPrint service, Cloud Print will not only allow iOS users but any smart phone user to print from their mobile device. The advantage over AirPrint is the ability to print your document while not connected to the same network as your printer.

The new feature that is rolling out today and tomorrow will need the user to download the latest beta version of Google Chrome and enable the Cloud Print feature which is only available on Windows computers at the moment. Google does note that it will support Mac and Linux in the future.

Google Chrome CR-48 Netbook First Day Review

When I signed up to test the new Chrome netbook, I agreed to use the computer for my daily activities. This may prove to be a problem for me. After getting the computer setup and becoming familiar with how it works, I dropped over to both of my Lockergnome blog sites. I logged in expecting a similar experience I normally have with writing, posting my blog and answering comments. What I found was a slow, like in molasses, response time. My blog sites are where I spent a good deal of my time when on the Internet and I need the sites to work properly. Instead I found that trying to refresh a page was painful. Painful in that it either took forever to refresh or I got an error saying the webpage could not load.

Over at the Chrome OS web site it states:

Fast: No more waiting around. Chrome notebooks start-up in seconds and webpages load in a snap.

I went to check my Gmail and the page loaded slow as well. I do realize that both the software and hardware are new, but this is painful folks. That is when I recalled reading this:

The Pilot program is not for the faint of heart.

I won’t give up.

I tried blocking Flash and the system seems to be working better. I’ll report about this in a follow-up review.

As previous reviewer have reported the beauty part about Google Chrome OS is that it starts quickly. If you close the lid it the computer goes into standby mode and the system instantly comes to life when you reopen the lid. This morning when I got up I tried this and everything, including all of my open tabs, came to life immediately,

What has become obvious to me is how much of what I do on a computer is Internet-based. Chrome satisfies about 90% of my computing needs. This is the market where Google is aiming at. You don’t even need Google Chrome to determine your computer habits.

That is about all for now. Except for the slowness on the Internet, which may be attributed to Flash, my overall experience has been positive. I believe that Google Chrome, Android or whatever Google calls it, will satisfy your computing needs if you spend a lot of time on the Internet.

I hooked up a USB mice to the netbook which made using the system easier for me. I am not a huge fan of track-pads.

Comments welcome.

PS I will report back in a week with another review.

An Inquiring Mind Asks – Is Thunderbird Getting Harder To Use?

In my quest locating articles of significant interest that will keep my readership in tact, one reader sent me a list of potential topics he thought I should tackle. Being the humble man he his, he has chosen to remain anonymous , so I promised not to mention Richard Krohn by name. LOL

I was kind of surprised when Dick brought up the subject about Thunderbird getting harder to use. I actually think it is easy to use and is one of the better email programs.

I use two email software programs on my personal computer. I use Microsoft Outlook for both my personal account from my ISP and also a MSN account I must have as a requirement from Microsoft as a MVP. I use Thunderbird for my Google Gmail account in which I received and monitor Gmail alerts throughout the day. On average I receive approximately 250 emails a day from my Gmail account and Thunderbird handles the flow perfectly.

I started using Thunderbird after I upgraded my laptop from Vista to Windows 7. After the upgrade I was required to add an email program, because for some strange reason, Microsoft no longer thought it was necessary to keep Outlook Express as a part of Windows 7. In fact they changed the name of their email program to Windows Live Mail which I personally didn’t like. So I downloaded a copy of Thunderbird and have been using it now for well over a year.

I personally found Thunderbird easy to install and configure. I also like the uncomplicated user interface that is very similar to what I had previously used in Outlook Express. I don’t need a lot to monitor my Gmail account and only need the basics.

But there is one reason that I like Thunderbird and that is because it is free.

Comments welcome.

OK, Dick. Your turn.

Microsoft Hotmail – Why Can’t Microsoft Compete Against Google Gmail?

Microsoft is still struggling trying to get users to switch from the very popular Google Gmail over to Hotmail. The company which has struggled with their search engine endeavors such as Bing, also struggles getting the public to be aware of their Hotmail services. But when the Hotmail team decided to answer question from the news aggregation site Reddit, they received more than they bargained for. The tech savvy group took the Hotmail team to task and put them on the offensive.

So what caused the Hotmail team to try to defend themselves?

In a recent article it states that:

But leave it to the tech- and Internet-savvy Reddit community to ask the hardest question. The top-rated question in the thread is why users should abandon their Gmail accounts and head over to Hotmail. The comments immediately put the Hotmail on the defensive, with Reddit users wondering why the service didn’t use some of the most popular email protocols that sync up to mobile devices and external email programs.

Though Hotmail commands some 361 million users compared to Gmail at 193 million according to comScore, Google commands a lead of business users. Google has signed up 3 million business customers to their Gmail service which can syn to applications such as Google Calendar.

I believe there is also a trust issue. Though privacy is a concern to everyone who uses either Hotmail or Gmail, I think Google has the better reputation. Just my two cents.

What do you think? Would you trust Microsoft with your precious emails over Google?

Comments welcome.

Source – VentureBeat

Gmail Conversation View Changes Coming

There should be an image here!Like any Web-based email setup, Gmail has its ups and downs. But one thing about Gmail that I think has irritated people who use it has been the inability to choose how conversations appear to them. Google had decided that controlling conversation views wasn’t all that important. Well that is about to change, it would seem.

Google has announced that it will be rolling out the option of changing your conversation view per your needs. Obviously a needed feature for some time now, but better late than never I suppose. It should be interesting to see how quickly Google opts to release this for everyone.

What do you think? Does Google offering this new functionality for Gmail users make sense? Perhaps, more important, does this make existing users more inclined to recommend Gmail to others? Hit the comments; I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

[Photo above by _Superbeast_ / CC BY-ND 2.0]

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Turn Off Conversation View In Your Gmail Account – Coming Soon

Today the folks at Google announced a feature that I personally look forward to using.Currently Google stores your incoming mails in what they call ‘conversations’. I look at this feature like storing all messages from the same source into one single folder. To me this is a hassle when I am looking for one single message from one single source.

By being able to turn ‘conversation’ off, every message will be listed by itself, just like a real email program should do it. LOL On the Google site they also state:

This feature will be rolling out over the next few days so if you don’t see it immediately, check back in a bit. And once you try it out, let us know what you think.

I can let you know what I think even before it arrives. Two thumbs up!

Comments welcome.

Source – Google

Microsoft Improves Hotmail Security

There should be an image here!My first Web based email service was Hotmail, long before Microsoft ever bought it out, of course. Back then, it changed the way people accessed email and redefined a lot in that space to be sure. Today, I see that Hotmail is looking to change things up again with something I’d like to see other services like Yahoo! Mail and Gmail doing as well: a serious revamping of how Hotmail handles email passwords.

Now this is not to say that Hotmail’s method is the only way to be considered or even the best out of everything. But the fact that I would be able to recover my lost password or even prove my identity is fairly compelling and worth having other like-minded services taking a serious look I think. What I think will be interesting is to see Hotmail among others combat the growing problem with malicious types creating bogus accounts to fake their way into communities, along with other tasks. It’s annoying and to date, nothing has really been done to stop it.

If Hotmail were among the first to address this, well, that would help put it above the other guys almost overnight when you bundle this along with its recent upgrade to password security. Honestly, I think that Google (Gmail) could stand some heavy updates in this area as well. Because if you lose an account, good luck getting it back as Google gives you limited recourse here. Using SMS is a nice alternative to preventing this from happening.

[Photo above by Mike Licht, / CC BY-ND 2.0]

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Calling All Gmail Users – Seriously, You Can Call Them Now!

There should be an image here!In one of the coolest things to come to Gmail in a very long time, Google’s chat feature just reappeared on my radar thanks in part to the neat feature of being able to call phones from within my email client! But it gets better. Not only does this provide me with the ability to call my friends without a phone, but I can also do video chat now. Best of all, everything is set up cross platform. This means both of my Logitech Web cams and my USB headset all showed up in Chat under the appropriated pull down menus. Everything works, too!

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So now the big question: should Skype be worried? Well, I see it like this. Skype must be installed, versions must be kept on by the end user, and frankly, cross platform support has been spotty with most support going to Windows and Windows in the enterprise. Google, on the other hand, is equal across the board. That is just awesome.

Now as neat as all of this is, Skype has a few things going for it. First, it was first and has already penetrated the mobile world and desktop world heavily. Second, you can get Wi-Fi phones just for Skype today. And finally, I can receive calls from POTs lines onto my Skype app install. Google can match the mobile offerings and, like Skype, offers many of the same features. But lacking the GoogleIn (SkypeIn) feature is not going to help its efforts here. One way calling is not going to woo anyone that soon.

Wait, that’s right… Google does indeed offer a Google phone number that you can be reached with. Oh, boy…

Areas where I see Google destroying Skype here are with two huge benefits. Google voicemail transcription and no software updates needed from the end user. In addition to everything above, it’s these two features that will lead the way for Google calling. But with one stroke of the keypad, does Google put the final bullet into Skype’s already festering efforts? Free calling from within the USA (and Canada). That is right, it costs you ZERO to call folks here in the States from your Gmail account. Now how about that, Skype? It wants 2.1 cents where Google is offering this for free in the States? Sounds like people over at Skype are FREAKING OUT… at least I would be. Guess it’ll have to fight a bit harder now that Google is out to eat its lunch.

[Photo above by StephenMitchell / CC BY-ND 2.0]

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There should be an image here!Even though social networking is a form of communication that’s taking up a sizable piece of our online time, that doesn’t mean that e-mail is somehow a thing of the past. Many of us still live in our inbox, and for better or worse, I know I’m a part of that crowd. Of course, using e-mail doesn’t have to mean that you’re disconnected from everything outside of your inbox. I already use and love Gmail, and a browser add-on from Rapportive makes your Gmail contacts come alive.

This tool really does take your e-mail to the next level because you’re able to learn so much more about the people that you communicate with. Not only can you see things like their picture and profile information from various services, but you can also see their recent tweets and write private notes to help you remember details about the contacts. Suddenly your Gmail inbox will start to feel like a newfangled social tool, which isn’t such a bad thing when you stop and think about it.