Official Gmail Blog
News, tips and tricks from Google's Gmail team and friends.
Assists in Inbox: An extra helping hand for your Reminders
December 17, 2014
Posted by Tim Sohn, Software Engineer
During the busy holidays, who can say no to a little extra help? Inbox makes it easy to focus on your priorities by adding
right to the top of your inbox, but we all know how easy it is to "save" to-dos for later. This is why Inbox provides over
different types of Assists–handy pieces of info to help you with the next step. Below are a few ways to give them a try, as well as a quick look behind the scenes.
To start, simply add an email address, phone number or link to a reminder.
Next, you could add a reminder to pick up your friend at the airport, pack for your trip to New York or watch a video. Assists may provide your friend's flight status, a weather report for the Big Apple or a link to that video.
There's actually a lot going on behind the scenes to make Assists work. For example, phone numbers and business hours come from Google Maps and customer support numbers from Google's
. Your contacts and other emails (like flight confirmations, purchase receipts or bill notifications) also help Inbox provide Assists.
Some Assists even combine information from multiple sources to give you what you need. For example, when you create a reminder to return a product you purchased, the purchase date and business from your confirmation email, the business's return policy from the Knowledge Graph, and the current date all combine to give you a countdown of how many days you have left to return your purchase.
Another category of Assists are questions that, when answered, lead to another Assist. For example, if you want to call your dentist, Inbox will ask you who your dentist is and once answered, provide a link to call them.
And starting today, Assists are getting even better based on your requests to make them easier to discover. Assists now help you create Reminders faster by providing smart suggestions as you type (or tap!). If a suggestion has an icon next to it, that means you're guaranteed an assist.
We hope Assists will save you a bit of time over the holidays. As always, if you aren't using Inbox yet and would like an invite, email
and we'll email you as soon as more invites are available.
PS: In the spirit of saving time,
Inbox on Android
now works with Android Wear. You can now view messages, mark as done and reply without taking out your phone.
Inbox by Gmail
Reject the unexpected - Content Security Policy in Gmail
December 16, 2014
Posted by Danesh Irani, Software Engineer, Gmail Security
We know that the safety and reliability of your Gmail is super important to you, which is why we’re always working on security improvements like
serving images through secure proxy servers
. Today, Gmail on the desktop is becoming more secure with support for Content Security Policy (CSP). CSP helps provide a layer of defense against a common class of security vulnerabilities known as cross-site scripting (XSS).
There are many great extensions for Gmail. Unfortunately, there are also some extensions that behave badly, loading code which interferes with your Gmail session, or which compromises your email’s security. Gmail’s CSP helps protect you, by making it more difficult to load unsafe code into Gmail.
Most popular (and well-behaved) extensions have already been updated to work with the CSP standard, but if you happen to have any trouble with an extension, try installing its latest version from your browser’s web store (for example, the
Chrome Web Store
for Chrome users).
CSP is just another example of how Gmail can help make your email experience safer. For advice and tools that help keep you safe across the web, you can always visit the
Google Security Center
This post was updated on December 18th to add a description of the XSS defense benefit of CSP, and to more precisely define the interaction with extensions.
Use your cúpla focal on Gmail, now in Irish
December 11, 2014
Posted by Laura Brassil, Google Localization
Language. It’s the foundation for communication, and an important part of cultural identity. And it’s for these reasons that we’ve made Gmail available in
71 different languages
so far—about 95 percent of the world’s internet population. We’re always working to support more languages and the cultures they represent—from
—so today we’re proud to add
Irish, in case you didn’t know, is the national and first language of the Republic of Ireland. It’s taught to all schoolchildren, and it’s spoken daily in the
, so for many Irish people it sparks memories of a shared history—from summers on the Western coast to the story of
and the Blasket Islands.
Gmail as Gaeilge
we’re honored to help bring this Irish tradition online. So whether you’re a committed
, or you just want to experience a
(a few words of Irish), you can select Irish today in your
Gmail language settings
Reminders in Inbox: Your to-dos on your own terms
December 4, 2014
Posted by Vijay Umapathy, Product Manager
The holiday season is chock full of to-dos. Instead of having to keep a separate to-do list, Inbox makes it easy to focus on your priorities by letting you add Reminders right to the top of your inbox. In fact, Reminders go beyond your typical task list by actually helping you get stuff done. Here are just a few examples:
Inbox helps you cross items off your to-do list faster by providing Assists–handy pieces of information to help you get started, like customer service phone numbers, countdowns to important deadlines, and more.
And sometimes–who are we kidding, all the time–friends and family email you with things they want you to do. With Inbox you can add Reminders to emails: just pin the email, and you'll see a field where you can add a Reminder. Never re-read that to-do, disguised as an email, again!
Of course, it's safe to put off some to-dos. Whether you're dreading that call to your talkative Uncle or simply need to focus on something else first, you can snooze Reminders just like email. You can even set up repeating Reminders for to-dos that happen on a regular basis such as taking medication or paying rent.
Reminders go beyond your inbox. If you use Google Now and want to quickly set a reminder, you can simply say "Remind me to..." and it will appear in your inbox. And if you're using the new Google Calendar app, any reminder you snooze to a specific day and time will appear in your calendar automatically.
No matter what you need to remember, with Reminders, your inbox becomes a centralized place to keep track of the the things you need to get back to, and that's especially helpful during the holidays. As always, if you aren't using Inbox yet, you can email
to request an invite and we'll email you an invite as soon as more become available.
Highlights in Inbox: Help during the holidays
November 25, 2014
Posted by Clarence Yung, Designer
The holiday season is a busy time and your email is no different, with photos from friends and family, gift purchases and travel plans completely taking over. You find yourself with less time for email but lots more of it, and this is exactly where Highlights in Inbox can help. Highlights work together with
to show you key information and actions at a glance — saving you time, and keeping you (mostly) sane this time of year :). For example:
Highlights surface quick actions like “Track package” and “RSVP” before you even open a message. This way you can actually do stuff, and not just view stuff with Inbox.
, Highlights also include useful info from the web — like real-time flight status and package deliveries — even if it’s not in the original email.
And if you’re using the new
app, your holiday travel will be highlighted by Inbox, as well as get added to your calendar automatically.
We hope Highlights help you stay on top of your email during the holidays and beyond. If you're a developer interested in Highlights, learn how to create emails with structured data on the
. If you aren't using Inbox by Gmail yet, look for an invite from a friend or email us at
to get an invitation as soon as more become available.
Going under the hood of Inbox
November 20, 2014
Posted by Garrick Toubassi, Engineering Director
Be forewarned that the following post has much more technical mumbo-jumbo than our normal fare, taking you behind-the-scenes of the development of
. So if you’re a practicing engineer, an aspiring hacker, or just plain interested in knowing how the sausage is made (mmmm sausage), read on!
But in those same 10 years, a lot has changed. The capabilities and diversity of devices has exploded. Users expect to be able to move from a laptop to a phone and have their apps work flawlessly. As a result, developers are facing a new challenge: how to build a high-quality app across platforms, such as Android, the web, and iOS, without sacrificing quality or execution velocity. As a developer, maybe you’ve asked yourself, do you rewrite your app three times to optimize it for each platform, wringing out every last bit of performance and polish? Or do you aim to get the app to market sooner by building a web-based “hybrid” app that leverages the same technologies across platforms (but potentially sacrifices integration and user experience)?
Facing the challenge
Of course, there are a number of elements of Inbox that are shared across the three platforms: code for managing network communication, caching objects, local persistent storage, managing user edits both locally and remotely, and supporting it all while offline. This logic must be faithfully and correctly implemented and kept up to date on all three clients. Rewriting it three times in three different languages would soak up substantial engineering resources and slow down how quickly we make improvements to Inbox.
Cutting the Gordian Knot
In order to address this challenge we took a novel approach in which data model and application logic (conceptually the “Model” in “Model-View-Controller”) is written once in Java. This data model abstracts concepts unique to Inbox like Conversations, Reminders, Contacts, and Labels, and provides a fully observable data model for convenient binding to the user interface (UI) layer. We built the Inbox app for Android directly on top of this Java data model.
The plot thickens
On the web, the story gets more interesting. We use the open sourced
For iOS we developed the now open source
cross compiler to translate our Java data model to Objective-C, and again we get a natural API on which to build our native iOS Inbox app (complete with -[Reminder snooze]). The astute reader may wonder how we deal with the impedance mismatch when translating from a garbage collected language (Java) to a reference counted one (Objective-C). Generally, J2ObjC relies on Objective-C autorelease pools, so objects normally garbage-collected are instead freed when a pool drains. One problem with this approach is reference cycles; in places that cycles exist in our Java data model, we use a Java annotation to identify the @WeakReference. When transpiled, the corresponding property in Objective-C will have the __weak modifier, thus breaking the retain cycle. In practice we’ve found this to be a relatively minor problem and we have automation tests that flag the rare cases of new cycles creeping into the object model.
If you’re building an application that (a) has significant UI independent client logic, (b) is targeting multiple platforms, (c) must not compromise on user experience and polish, you now have a new option to consider: a shared, cross compiled data model powering fully native application UIs. This has worked well for Inbox, where we are sharing roughly two-thirds of our client code, and have delivered a product with the same functionality and ship date, without having to rewrite the entire thing three times. Want to learn more about the technologies that power Inbox? Check out
A bit about Bundles in Inbox
November 19, 2014
Posted by Shalini Agarwal, Product Manager
One of the first things you'll notice using
is that it feels less cluttered and overwhelming with messages grouped into Bundles.
Bundles, illustrated by Manu Cornet, Software Engineer on Inbox
Bundles expand on Gmail's categories so you can stay organized with less effort and read the most important messages—like those from friends and family—first. You'll also experience less interruptions since bundled messages don't create a notification on your phone by default.
With Bundles, promotions are neatly organized, purchases are in one place, and all your trip information is together all so you can deal with related messages all at once. For example, you can open up a bundle, quickly pin the messages you want to keep in your inbox and sweep away the rest.
Of course that's not the only way you're in control. You can also teach Bundles to adapt to the way you work by choosing which messages you’d like to see grouped together and when they appear in your inbox: as they arrive, once a day, once a week or even skip the inbox entirely.
Try setting your Promos and Social bundles to once a day and see if that helps you focus on other messages first.
Bundles work together with
to give you just the information you need at a glance so stay tuned for a closer look at Highlights next week. If you aren't using Inbox by Gmail yet, look for an invite from a friend or email us at
to get an invitation as soon as more become available.
A more modern Gmail app for Android
November 3, 2014
Posted by Matthew Izatt, Product Manager
Today, the Gmail app for Android is getting updated with a more modern style, sleeker transitions, and a few other handy improvements.
As part of the new design, there’s now a convenient reply button at the bottom of every message, making it quick and easy to continue a conversation when you’re on the go. And if you access the app on your Android tablet, you’ll notice it’s easier to switch between accounts and the different inbox categories.
Lastly, we know some of you have email addresses that aren’t Gmail (it’s okay to admit it). The updated Gmail app now supports all email providers, which means you can now set up a separate inbox for, say, your Yahoo Mail or Outlook.com addresses using POP/IMAP.
The updated Gmail app will support all Android 4.0+ devices, so look for it in Google Play over the next few days and let us know what you think!
A new day for Google Calendar
November 3, 2014
Posted by Ian Leader, Product Manager
Today we’re introducing a brand new Google Calendar app. It’s designed to be a helpful assistant, so you can spend less time managing your day, and more time enjoying it.
It takes a lot of work to stay on top of your schedule, after all. You have to manually enter that hotel or dinner reservation, then update it if your plans change. You have to hunt around for addresses and phone numbers, then add them to your events. And if you’re on a mobile device, you might just give up on these kinds of tasks entirely.
) should do better—especially on phones and tablets—so we set out to build one that’s always at your service. Here are just some of the ways the new Calendar app can help.
Events from Gmail: now emails can turn into Calendar events automatically
Every time you book a flight, buy concert tickets, or make a hotel reservation, odds are you get an email with dates, times and other important details. But who has the time (or patience) to copy and paste all this into their calendar? In the new Calendar app these kinds of emails become events automatically, complete with things like flight numbers and check-in times. They’ll even stay updated in real time if your flight's delayed, or you receive another email update.
Assists: suggestions that save you time
Of course, not all event info arrives in your inbox. You often have to piece together phone numbers, addresses and attendees from lots of different sources, then add them to your calendar manually. With Assists, Calendar can suggest titles, people and places as you type, as well as adapt to your preferences over time. For example, if you often go running with Peter in Central Park, Calendar can quickly suggest that entire event when you type ‘r-u-n.’
Schedule View: easy to scan and lovely to look at
Your calendar is more than just a list of dates and times—it’s your life! So Calendar’s new Schedule view includes photos and maps of the places you’re going, cityscapes of travel destinations, and illustrations of everyday events like dinner, drinks and yoga. These images will bring a little extra beauty to your day, and make it easy to see what’s going on at a glance—perfect for when you’re checking in from your phone or tablet.
The new Google Calendar will work on all Android 4.1+ devices. It’s available today on all devices running Android 5.0 Lollipop, and you’ll be able to download the update from Google Play in the coming weeks. (And yes, we’re also working on a version for iPhone!) Learn more on
An inbox that works for you
October 22, 2014
Posted by Sundar Pichai, SVP, Android, Chrome & Apps
Cross-posted on the
Official Google Blog
Today, we’re introducing something new. It’s called
. Years in the making, Inbox is by the same people who brought you Gmail, but it’s not Gmail: it’s a completely different type of inbox, designed to focus on what really matters.
Email started simply as a way to send digital notes around the office. But fast-forward 30 years and with just the phone in your pocket, you can use email to contact virtually anyone in the world…from your best friend to the owner of that bagel shop you discovered last week.
With this evolution comes new challenges: we get more email now than ever, important information is buried inside messages, and our most important tasks can slip through the cracks—especially when we’re working on our phones. For many of us, dealing with email has become a daily chore that distracts from what we really need to do—rather than helping us get those things done.
If this all sounds familiar, then Inbox is for you. Or more accurately, Inbox works for you. Here are some of the ways Inbox is at your service:
Bundles: stay organized automatically
Inbox expands upon the categories we introduced in Gmail last year, making it easy to deal with similar types of mail all at once. For example, all your purchase receipts or bank statements are neatly grouped together so that you can quickly review and then swipe them out of the way. You can even teach Inbox to adapt to the way you work by choosing which emails you’d like to see grouped together.
Highlights: the important info at a glance
Inbox highlights the key information from important messages, such as flight itineraries, event information, and photos and documents emailed to you by friends and family. Inbox will even display useful information from the web that wasn’t in the original email, such as the real-time status of your flights and package deliveries. Highlights and Bundles work together to give you just the information you need at a glance.
Reminders, Assists, and Snooze: your to-do’s on your own terms
Inbox makes it easy to focus on your priorities by letting you add your own Reminders, from picking up the dry cleaning to giving your parents a call. No matter what you need to remember, your inbox becomes a centralized place to keep track of the things you need to get back to.
A sampling of Assists
And speaking of to-do’s, Inbox helps you cross those off your list by providing Assists—handy pieces of information you may need to get the job done. For example, if you write a Reminder to call the hardware store, Inbox will supply the store’s phone number and tell you if it's open. Assists work for your email, too. If you make a restaurant reservation online, Inbox adds a map to your confirmation email. Book a flight online, and Inbox gives a link to check-in.
Of course, not everything needs to be done right now. Whether you’re in an inconvenient place or simply need to focus on something else first, Inbox lets you Snooze away emails and Reminders. You can set them to come back at another time or when you get to a specific location, like your home or your office.
Get started with Inbox
Starting today, we’re sending out the first round of invitations to give Inbox a try, and each new user will be able to invite their friends. If Inbox can’t arrive soon enough for you, you can email us at
to get an invitation as soon as more become available.
When you start using Inbox, you’ll quickly see that it doesn’t feel the same as Gmail—and that’s the point. Gmail’s still there for you, but
Inbox is something new
. It’s a better way to get back to what matters, and we can’t wait to share it with you.
A first step toward more global email
August 5, 2014
Posted by Pedro Chaparro Monferrer, Software Engineer
Cross-posted on the
Official Google Blog
Whether your email address is firstname.lastname@ or something more expressive like corgicrazy@, an email address says something about who you are. But from the start, email addresses have always required you to use non-accented Latin characters when signing up. Less than half of the world’s population has a mother tongue that uses the Latin alphabet. And even fewer people use only the letters A-Z. So if your name (or that of your favorite pet) contains accented characters (like “José Ramón”) or is written in another script like Chinese or Devanagari, your email address options are limited.
But all that could change. In 2012, an organization called the
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
created a new email
that supports addresses with non-Latin and accented Latin characters (e.g. 武＠メール.グーグル). In order for this standard to become a reality, every email provider and every website that asks you for your email address must adopt it. That’s obviously a tough hill to climb. The technology is there, but someone has to take the first step.
Today we're ready to be that someone. Starting now, Gmail (and shortly, Calendar) will recognize addresses that contain accented or non-Latin characters. This means Gmail users can send emails to, and receive emails from, people who have these characters in their email addresses. Of course, this is just a first step and there’s still a ways to go. In the future, we want to make it possible for you to use them to create Gmail accounts.
Last month, we
announced the addition of 13 new languages
in Gmail. Language should never be a barrier when it comes to connecting with others and with this step forward, truly global email is now even closer to becoming a reality.
Gmail and Google Drive — working better together while you’re on-the-go
July 24, 2014
Posted by Simon Forsyth, Software Engineer
Important stuff doesn't always happen when you’re conveniently sitting at your desk. Maybe you're out to dinner when your boss tells you that she needs the latest project proposal ASAP, or your daughter calls you on your commute home to ask you to proofread her college essay (that’s of course due that night!). While we can't make your life more predictable, today's update to the Gmail iOS app, along with
to the Gmail Android app, makes it easier to get stuff done on-the-go.
Just like with
Gmail on the web
, you can now insert files from Google Drive directly into an email on your phone or tablet.
The apps will even tell you if your file isn’t shared with the person you’re sending it to so you can change the sharing settings before you send it. And to help you store all your files in a single place, if someone sends you an email attachment, you can save it directly to Drive with one tap.
On iOS, you can now also change your profile picture right from your Settings. So the next time you take that
, you can make it your profile picture right away, all while out with friends. Lastly, if you have multiple Gmail accounts, you can choose which signed-in accounts you want visible in the app.
You can give these features a try by downloading the updated Gmail iOS app from the
, and if you’re using an Android phone or tablet, you can get the latest version of the Gmail Android app from the
Google Play Store
Thirteen new languages for Gmail
July 7, 2014
Posted by Ian Hill, Senior Project Manager, Google Localization
Email 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 we’re 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 we 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.
The photos from your phone, now one click away
April 15, 2014
Posted by Thijs van As, Product Manager
Unless you’re a budding
, odds are you take most of your photos using your phone. And whether it’s photos of your hiking trip or a night out, sending photos to friends and family just got easier. Starting today, you can save time and insert your
photos from your phone into Gmail messages on the web using the new
When you click the button, you'll instantly access all the photos that are backed up from your mobile devices, starting with the most recent.
If you upload and organize your photos into albums on
, you can also share entire albums. Plus, you can now resize images while composing messages by dragging on any corner to make your snapshot picture perfect.
These new features will be rolling out today in Gmail on the web. If you haven’t already,
turn on Auto Backup
so you can easily include photos from your latest adventures in emails to family and friends.
Gmail Shelfies are so yesterday. Share your custom theme instead
April 2, 2014
Posted by Greg Bullock, Software Engineer
yesterday, so we’re saying goodbye to
. That said, many of you told us that you loved the concepts of themes and sharing together, so we worked through the night to update this feature into something even better. Today, we’re excited to announce that you can now share any custom theme—your favorite vacation spot, pet, family photo or even, yes, a selfie—with friends, loved ones or anyone.
If you’re using a custom theme that you want shared, simply click on “Share your theme” under
Themes in Settings
And if you opted into Gmail's top trending Shelfies theme, then you can either update to your own custom theme or follow the
Gmail Google+ page
where we’ll be sharing some of our favorites on “Theme Thursdays.”
Introducing Gmail Shelfie
April 1, 2014
Posted by Greg Bullock, Software Engineer
Today, Gmail hits the double digits. Over the last 10 years, you—our users—have been our biggest inspiration. You've sent us ideas for features you want, and told us what you like (and didn't like...). So while it may be
birthday, we want to say thank you to
with a gift that is, well, all about you.
launched back in 2012, we urged you to find “your perfect image and make Gmail your own.” And you did. Many of you rushed to take photos of yourselves to upload as your Gmail custom theme, which you started referring to as
An early selfie in Gmail
As you undoubtedly recall, this term quickly spread beyond email themes and has permeated our culture so thoroughly that the Oxford Dictionaries named it
Word of the Year in 2013
Custom themes catalyzed selfie generation
You all love setting selfies as your custom theme in Gmail, but you’ve told us there’s one major problem: there isn’t a way to share your selfie with others. As the pioneering platform for selfies, Gmail is committed to being at the forefront of innovation in the selfie space. And we think it's a tragedy that your handsome hair, luscious lashes and beautiful brows have been trapped in your own inbox. Until now, that is. Today, we’re proud to free your selfies by launching
Gmail Shelfie is built on the idea that you shouldn’t be selfish with your selfie. With just a few clicks, your mom, your aunt, or that girl you have a crush on can set your Shelfie as their Gmail theme so they can enjoy checking, reading, and writing emails while seeing
friendly face in the background.
Got an awesome selfie? Upgrade it to a Shelfie! Simply open or refresh Gmail on the desktop and share it with your friends. If you're looking for inspiration,
set your theme to Gmail's top trending Shelfies
. You can also see who's currently trending on our
Spoiler alert: Word of the Year 2014 will be Shelfie... clearly.
A new, more visual way to view your Promotions tab
March 25, 2014
Posted by Aaron Rothman, Product Manager
Promotional mail has a lot of images, from pictures of snazzy new shoes to photos of that rock-climbing gym you’ve been wanting to try. But right now, those images are buried inside your messages—and with only subject lines to go on, it can be a challenge to quickly pick out the deals and offers that interest you most. To help you find what you’re looking for faster, you can now sign up for a new
for Gmail that lets you view the Promotions tab in a more visual way.
To take part in this field trial, you can sign up at
and if you’re selected, a new grid view will bring to the top of your inbox key images from deals, offers, and other marketing emails if you
have the Promotions tab enabled
. Grid view also comes with infinite scrolling, making it easy to quickly scan through your messages and find the ones that look interesting.
You’ll be able to toggle between the new visual grid view and the standard list view by clicking a button at the top of the tab. We’re just experimenting for now, but we hope this view will make it a little bit easier for you to get things done. Sign up at
and if you're selected, we’ll follow up for your feedback!
Note: If you send promotional emails, check out the
Gmail Developers site
to learn how you can give your readers a better experience in Gmail using this feature.
Staying at the forefront of email security and reliability: HTTPS-only and 99.978% availability
March 20, 2014
Posted by Nicolas Lidzborski, Gmail Security Engineering Lead
Cross-posted on the
Official Google Blog
Your email is important to you, and making sure it stays safe and always available is important to us. As you go about your day reading, writing, and checking messages, there are tons of security measures running behind the scenes to keep your email safe, secure, and there whenever you need it.
Starting today, Gmail will always use an encrypted HTTPS connection when you check or send email. Gmail
has supported HTTPS
since the day it launched, and in 2010 we made
HTTPS the default
. Today's change means that no one can listen in on your messages as they go back and forth between you and Gmail’s servers—no matter if you're using public WiFi or logging in from your computer, phone or tablet.
In addition, every single email message you send or receive—100% of them—is encrypted while moving internally. This ensures that your messages are safe not only when they move between you and Gmail's servers, but also as they move between Google's data centers—something we made a top priority after last summer’s revelations.
Of course, being able to access your email is just as important as keeping it safe and secure. In 2013, Gmail was available 99.978% of the time, which averages to less than two hours of disruption for a user for the entire year. Our engineering experts look after Google's services 24x7 and if a problem ever arises, they're on the case immediately. We keep you informed by posting updates on the
Apps Status Dashboard
until the issue is fixed, and we always conduct a full analysis on the problem to prevent it from happening again.
Our commitment to the security and reliability of your email is absolute, and we’re constantly working on ways to improve. You can learn about additional ways to keep yourself safe online, like
creating strong passwords
enabling 2-step verification
, by visiting the Security Center:
Get your mail faster on the Gmail iOS app
March 5, 2014
Posted by Melissa Dominguez, Software Engineer
Whether you’re checking your email first thing in the morning or as you’re waiting in line at the grocery store, you want to get your messages as quickly as possible. With today’s update to the
Gmail iOS App
, it’s easier to do just that.
The app now fully supports background app refresh, which means your Gmail messages will be pre-fetched and synced so they’re right there when you open the app—no more annoying pauses while you wait for your inbox to refresh. This feature requires iOS 7, and you’ll also need to
turn on background app refresh
and notifications (badge or any other type) for the Gmail app.
The Gmail app also now supports sign-in across Google iOS apps, including Maps, Drive, YouTube and Chrome. Sign in to one, and you’ll be signed in to all (this also works for signing out). So you won’t have to type in that 27-character password or retrieve your
2-step verification code
every time you navigate to another Google app. You may need to re-login after you update the app, but then you’ll be all set.
Head over to the
now to download the updated app so you can save a bit more time each day.
New holiday calendars
February 3, 2014
Posted by Ronnie Falcon, Associate Product Manager Intern
Interested in celebrating Carnival with your cousin in Argentina, or not sure when your friend in Zurich is off for the Swiss National Day holiday? You can now choose from 30 additional country
in Google Calendar to help keep track of special occasions in different countries so there’ll be even more to celebrate.
The calendars, which will be rolled out over the next few days, also contain a wider variety of holidays and display dates for holidays further into the future, so you can have enough time to book a flight to Buenos Aires to join your cousin for the
, or ask your friend to send you a dozen
Reach the people you know more easily
January 9, 2014
Posted by David Nachum, Product Manager
Have you ever started typing an email to someone only to realize halfway through the draft that you haven't actually exchanged email addresses? If you are nodding your head 'yes' and already have a Google+ profile, then you’re in luck, because now it's easier for people using Gmail and Google+ to connect over email. As an extension of
some earlier improvements
that keep Gmail contacts automatically up to date using Google+, Gmail will suggest your Google+ connections as recipients when you are composing a new email.
How it works
As you can tell from the example above, these emails work a bit differently so that your email address is only shared with the people you want. Your email address isn't visible to a Google+ connection unless you send that person an email, and likewise, that person’s email address isn’t visible to you unless they send you an email.
You're in control
You control whether people can reach you this way with a new setting in Gmail.
Emailing Google+ connections also takes advantage of Gmail's
's categories. When someone in your circles emails you, the email will appear in the
category. But if you don't have them in your circles, it will be filtered into the
category (if enabled) and they'll only be able start another conversation with you if you respond or add them to your circles.
Diana has sent an email to Peter and Peter decides if he wants to add Diana to his circles or reply.
This feature is rolling out over the next couple of days to everyone that uses Gmail and Google+. You'll get an email with information and a link to the setting when the feature is available.
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