Sunday, November 23, 2008

New Gmail Themes

From minimalist grays to dynamic mountain landscapes, choose from over 30 options to personalize the look and feel of your Gmail account. To get started, check out the Themes tab under Settings.

Gmail fans have been building unofficial extensions to spice up their inboxes for a while, but up til now themes haven't been an integral part of Gmail. We wanted to go beyond simple color customization, so out of the 30 odd themes we're launching today, there's a shiny theme with chrome styling, another one that turns your inbox into a retro notepad, nature themes that change scenery over time, weather driven themes that can rain on your mailbox, and fun characters to keep you in good company. There's even an old school ascii theme (Terminal) which was the result of a bet between two engineers -- it's not exactly practical, but it's great for testing out your geek cred. We've also done a minor facelift to Gmail's default look to make it crisper and cleaner -- you might notice a few colors and pixels shifted around here and there.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Voice and video issues & Solution

Please select your issue below to see troubleshooting information.

I can't call contacts from Gmail

Video calls are only available between Gmail chat users with a Gmail voice and video chat plug-in enabled browser. If you and your friend are both signed in to Gmail, download the Gmail voice and video plug-in by clicking 'Video & More' or 'Options' at the bottom of a chat window. From this menu, click 'Add voice/video chat' and follow the instructions to install the plug-in.

Voice calls are only available to those using Gmail chat or the Google Talk client. If you're using Gmail's chat feature, you'll need to download the Gmail voice and video plug-in by clicking 'Video & More' or 'Options' at the bottom of a chat window. From this menu, click 'Add voice/video chat' and follow the instructions to install the Google Talk plug-in.

Why isn't there a camera next to my friend's name in my 'Chat' list?

If your friend is signed into chat, but does not have a camera icon next to his or her name in your 'Chat' list, he or she isn't available for voice and video calls. If your friend is using Gmail, they may not have installed the Gmail voice and video plug-in. You can invite your friend to install the plug-in by opening a chat window with them and selecting 'Invite to voice/video chat' in the 'Video & more' menu. If your friend doesn't have a camera but has installed the plug-in, you can still make one-way video calls or voice calls.

Friends signed in to chat with the Google Talk client will be able to receive voice calls, but will not be able to place or receive video calls and will not have a camera icon in your chat list. Other friends who access chat with 3rd party IM clients and services or friends who are signed in using the Google Talk Gadget, instead of Gmail's chat feature, won't be available for calls.

I can't see/hear my friend

If you are unable to see or hear your friend, please ask them to check that their webcam and microphone are properly connected to their computer and are not being used by any other open programs. They can also check that their settings are correctly enabled by visiting the 'Chat' tab of their Gmail account settings. Just expand the 'Verify settings' section and check if their webcam's video appears, their microphone is picking up sound, and their speakers can play the test sound.

If you are unable to hear your friend but their microphone works when they test it, there are a few common reasons why you might not hear your friends when using voice and video chat in Gmail. Please make sure that your speakers are enabled and the volume is turned on. If you're using external speakers, check that they're properly connected to your computer.

My friend can't see/hear me

To test if your microphone, speakers, and webcam are working properly with Gmail voice and video, please visit the 'Chat' tab in your Gmail account settings. In the 'Voice and video settings' section, expand the 'Verify settings' option and check that you are able to see your webcam's video, your microphone is picking up sound, and your speakers can play the test sound.

If your microphone isn't working, please make sure that your microphone is plugged in and the volume is turned on. Here's how to turn on your microphone with Windows XP:

  1. Click the 'Start' menu in your taskbar, and highlight 'Settings.'
  2. Select 'Control Panel.'
  3. Locate 'Sounds and Audio Devices' in the Control Panel, and double-click the icon.
  4. Open the 'Volume' tab, and click 'Advanced...' in the 'Device volume' section.
  5. Look for 'Microphone' in the 'Volume Control' box that opens, and make sure your microphone is enabled and the volume is high enough.
  6. Close the 'Volume Control' box, and then click 'OK.'

Here's how to turn on your microphone on a Mac:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of your screen and select 'System Preferences...'
  2. Click the 'Sound' icon.
  3. Select the 'Input' tab.
  4. Look for 'Input volume:' and set your volume so that the meter sound meter moves when you speak.
  5. Close the sound preferences window.

If you can't see your webcam's video, please make sure that your webcam is properly plugged in to your computer and no other open programs are using the camera.

Please also check that Gmail is using the correct webcam, microphone, and speakers. On the 'Chat' tab in your Gmail account settings, select the appropriate devices from the 'Camera:,' 'Microphone:' and 'Speakers: drop-down menus.

My webcam isn't working with Gmail

If Gmail doesn't seem to be capturing your webcam, please check that it is properly plugged in to your computer and that no other open programs are using the camera.

To test your webcam, visit the 'Chat' tab in your Gmail account settings. Expand the 'Verify settings' option next to 'Voice and video settings:' and check to see if you are able to see your webcam's video. If not, verfiy that the correct webcam is selected in the 'Camera:' drop-down menu.

Poor video quality

If you're experiencing poor video quality during a call, please make sure that no other programs are attempting to use your webcam. Closing other open applications or downloads may also improve the quality of your video.

If your webcam is plugged in to a USB hub, please try plugging your webcam directly into your computer.

Please also note that if you are using a DSL modem with a slow uplink, a 3G wireless modem, or a network with some types of proxies to make video calls, your call quality may suffer.

Gmail isn't using the right microphone, speaker, or webcam device

If Gmail isn't using the correct microphone, speaker, or webcam device, follow the steps below to change your settings:

  • Click 'Settings' at the top-right of your Gmail account.
  • Select the 'Chat' tab.
  • In the 'Voice and video chat:' section, adjust the selections in the drop-down menus for your camera, microphone, and speakers.

There's an echo

If you are experiencing an echo when voice or video chatting, your microphone or speaker volume might be set too high. Please try turning down your volume or using headphones on both ends of the call.

Create or Join Chat Rooms to Google Talk

Chat Rooms is very common feature of Yahoo Messenger, hey… but what about Google Talk. Well, it seems Google is not interested in adding new features or update Gtalk.

But, there is an alternative way to add chatroom to Google Talk and enjoy Chatting. This can be easily done using ‘PartyChat’

PartyChat is like a group chat, a persistent chat-rooming for Google Talk. Here is the procedure for the same:

1. Login into Google Talk.
2. Add any of this to contact list: or (N can be a number from 0 to 9 )
3. Now you need to create a chat group using command: /create movies
4. For others to join this, use command: /enter movies To exit from this use command: /exit movies

You can be in as many as 11 chats, one for each chat username. If 11 is too few for you, then let me know. You can also password protect chat group, here is command to be used while creating group: create/ movies password

You can read FAQs about this great feature. If you feel lost, type command for help: /help


  1. /create chat_name [optional_password] - creates a new party chat. If you provide a password, then other users must give this password to enter the chat.
  2. join chat_name [password] - join an existing party chat. If the chat has a password, you must give the password to enter.
  3. /status - display the party chat name and your alias
  4. /list - list the current members of the party chat you are in
  5. /exit - leave the party chat you are currently in
  6. /whisper name message - send a private message to another user
  7. /help - offer some instructions on how to use PartyChat and directs users to /commands
  8. /commands - displays this menu

For Example

1. add to ur contact list.

2. then type command /join umarfaruk

3. and ur now in umarfaruk's chat room

New Gmail Voice and video chat

It's free and installs in seconds

System requirements: Windows XP or later

  • Chat more ways than ever from within Gmail
  • Look and sound your best with high quality audio and video
  • Get started easily -- all you need is a webcam

Talk face to face with Gmail voice and video chat

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Google Maps In Orkut (New Feature)

The boys and girls at Google have been working hard tweaking the new servers, and upon logging in users will notice a new feature inside Orkut--Google Maps!!!

Upon logging into their home page, users should see an alert box (what else would you call it?) informing them of the new Orkut feature.

Upon clicking on the link you will be able to see where your friends are located around the world, provided they filled out their address details correctly.

Upon clicking on either a group or a person, you will be able to see your friends address, profile link as well as a pretty photo (that is if they have provided one).

The good thing about this feature is that it will help out businesses as they network their goods and services around the world (which is becoming more common, especially around Asian, Pakistani and Indian businesses).

The bad thing about this is that stalkers can know where you reside, so unless you do not mind showing off your physical address to "your friends," you may want to adjust your privacy settings (or simply delete that info on your profile).

I wonder what services they will introduce next? (=

Update (6:28 pm): I am having way to much fun with this, although I wonder if Google could provide something similar for the forums as it would be a great way for members to connect.

Here is another screen shot below.

Monday, November 3, 2008

New from Gmail (Labs)

A picture is worth a thousand words

Here on the Gmail team, we're always thinking of ways to help you communicate. Back in the day, we put chat right inside Gmail. Then along came group chat and more emoticons. And when we realized that late night communication had its downsides, we created a state-of-the-art lucidity test for after-hours email. Anyway, the black and white days of text-based emails have had their day. Following the evolutionary path blazed by colored labels, we present, in all their technicolor glory, emoticons in your mail.

No more will you have to settle for a ;) when you can have a. Out with the "XOXO" and in with the. And of course, when the bad news smells really bad, transcends all words.

So raise yourand welcome in the colorful new world of Gmail

P.S. For those of you who love our chat smileys,
we've also added a whole new set for your enjoyment.

Gmail for mobile: faster, smoother, and now in more languages

When I joined the Gmail for mobile team a year ago, the mobile client worked like a web application designed for networks that were always available. This was fine on a fast and reliable network, but when you hopped on the subway, network reliability could be a big problem. Today, we're happy to announce Gmail for mobile 2.0 for J2ME-supported and BlackBerry phones. For this version, we changed our fundamental assumption about the network. We re-thought every action that you might perform with the app and tried to solve for the case where there is no signal. We wanted to make the mobile client faster and more reliable and added some other new features along the way.

If you haven't tried Gmail on your phone in a while, try this new version and let us know what you think. Gmail for mobile 2.0 is designed to be more reliable in low signal areas and provides basic offline support for phones like the Nokia N95, Sony Ericsson W910i, and BlackBerry Curve. You can now log into multiple accounts (including both Gmail and Google Apps email accounts) at the same time. Switching between them is as easy as a few button clicks or just hitting + j on phones that have a QWERTY keyboard. We've also added support for multiple mobile drafts, undo (using the menu or the z shortcut), and sending mail in the background (no more staring at the "Sending..." dialog until it finally gets sent). Be sure to check the help page from Gmail for mobile's main menu for a list of all keyboard shortcuts.

To download Gmail for mobile version 2.0, just go to in your mobile browser.

Parlez-vous français? ¿Habla usted español? Gmail for mobile 2.0 supports over 35 languages, and the application language will automatically match your phone's language setting.

New in Labs: Canned Responses

Hello, you've reached Chad's mailbox. Thanks for your email about the latest Labs feature: Canned Responses, or email for the truly lazy. I'm on paternity leave so I won't be able to respond personally. Instead, I hope you'll enjoy this automated message.

If you're sick of typing out the same reply every time someone emails you with a common question, now you can compose your reply once and save the message text with the "Canned responses" button. Later, you can open that same message and send it again and again.

It couldn't get any easier unless Gmail automatically pushed the Send button. If you're lazy enough to think that would be a good idea, then read on, friend.

Gmail already lets you create filters based on a combination of keywords, sender, recipients, and more in your incoming messages. Turn on Canned Responses in Labs, and you can set a filter to grab one of your saved responses, create an automated reply, and hit the Send button for you.

You can set up different automated messages for different keywords, just like you said you wanted. (We're friends, so I trust you to use this power responsibly.)

More changes to Gmail contact manager

After hearing consistent feedback that you wanted more control over your contacts, we've changed the way Gmail suggests contacts to you. Up to this point, if you emailed someone five times, we'd automatically move them into My Contacts. Now, we'll no longer automatically add contacts to your My Contacts group. Instead, you can go to Suggested Contacts, select the contacts you'd like and move them into My Contacts. All of your contacts -- whether they're in My Contacts or Suggested Contacts -- will continue to show in auto-complete as you're composing messages.

As part of this change, we're moving previously auto-added contacts back into Suggested Contacts. Only contacts that you've edited, imported or added to a group will remain in My Contacts. This will provide everyone with a clean slate and, we hope, a better point for syncing contacts with mobile devices (for example with Android). We'll be rolling this change out to everyone over the next few days.

We realize there's a lot we can do to make Gmail contacts even more useful, and the feedback we received last time we updated the contact manager was helpful, so keep letting us know what you think.

A sneak peek at Gmail on Android

The first Android-powered phone, the T-Mobile G1, is coming out on Wednesday. My friends know that I work on Android, and as you can imagine, I get asked about it all the time. I have a lot to say about the G1, but I always begin by telling them that lots of Google products, including Gmail, are available for free, on several mobile devices.

I've been using Gmail on the go for more than a year now and it's difficult to imagine my life without ubiquitous email access. It proves handy every day -- whether for keeping a close eye on a (very) busy inbox, finding the address of a party while already in the taxi, or sending out a spontaneous dinner plan while on the bus back home.

If you like using Gmail on your computer you'll feel very much at ease with Gmail on Android-powered phones. You can download documents and MP3s, manage and view labels, star and archive messages, save drafts and even report spam.

I check my email frequently and have two Gmail accounts -- one for work and one for personal life. Before I started using Gmail on the T-Mobile G1, I used to check my mail by actively reloading or refreshing my inbox on one of my other mobile devices. And with two email accounts, I had to repeat this twice each time.

Not anymore. With the combination of push email and notifications on the status-bar, I never have to check for new mail. Whenever a new message arrives, I immediately get notified (in real time) with a little "@" sign at the top (see image below on the left). With a single swipe I can pull down the notification pane and see my new messages (on the right).

But the best thing, in my mind, about Gmail on Android-powered phones, is the way email is deeply integrated with other applications. For instance, let's say I'm browsing the web, reading my favorite tech blog. When I come across a post that I'd like to share, I can simply press and hold my finger down on the link and then choose "share" to immediately create an email with that article's web address. The tight integration with Contacts on the device then allows Gmail to suggest contacts based on the first letters I type.

All of your Gmail contacts are immediately available on the phone upon first log-in. And whenever you create a new contact on the device it's automatically synced with your Gmail contacts and therefore immediately backed-up, so you never need to worry about losing your contacts if you lose or break your phone.

To learn more about Gmail on the world's first Android-powered phone, check out our Mobile blog post, the Gmail page on, or watch this instructional video:

Tip: Sending empty messages

I often send messages where the subject is the entire message (e.g. "Want to grab lunch at 12:30?"), and Gmail would always prompt me to add in body text.

Now, however, you can add "EOM" or "(EOM)" at the end of the subject line (short for End Of Message), and Gmail will silently send the message without the unnecessary prompt.

New in Labs: Advanced IMAP Controls

From the team that brought you Mail Goggles, here comes...Advanced IMAP Controls, a Labs feature that lets you fine-tune your Gmail IMAP experience. You can choose which labels to sync in IMAP -- useful if you find your mail client choking on a big [Gmail]/All Mail folder.

After enabling this Lab, just go to the Labels tab under Settings. You'll see a new 'Show in IMAP' checkbox next to each of your labels. Uncheck the box and the corresponding folder will disappear from IMAP.

There are also some more obscure options for those of you who want to make Gmail's IMAP work more like traditional IMAP providers: you can turn off auto-expunge or trash messages when they're no longer visible through IMAP.

The IMAP protocol allows messages to be marked for deletion, a sort of limbo state where a message is still present in the folder but slated to be deleted the next time the folder is expunged. In our standard IMAP implementation, when you mark a message as deleted, Gmail doesn't let it linger in that state -- it deletes (or auto-expunges) it from the folder right away. If you want the two-stage delete process, after you've enabled this Lab, just select 'Do not automatically expunge messages' under the 'Forwarding and POP/IMAP' tab in Settings.

Similarly, most IMAP systems don't share Gmail's concept of archiving messages (sending messages to the [Gmail]/All Mail folder rather than [Gmail]/Trash). If you'd prefer that deleted messages not remaining in any other visible IMAP folders are sent to [Gmail]/Trash instead, Advanced IMAP Controls lets you set your preferences this way. In the 'IMAP Access:' section of the 'Forwarding and POP/IMAP' tab, find the 'When a message is deleted from the last visible IMAP folder:' option. Select 'Move the message to the Gmail Trash.' If you want to take it one step further, you can select 'Immediately delete the message forever.'

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Google Campus - Mountain View

Post to a Blog from Google Docs

While most of you would have been using Google Docs for quite a long time now, perhaps many of you would still be unaware that Google Docs lets you post to a blog

just like Microsoft Word 2007. There are many benefits of using a blog publishing tool which I will mention in the end of the post.

For now I will simply teach you how to post to your blog via Google Docs.

Lets assume you have a document called “Blog Post” in your Google Docs account. First of all open the document and click the share button on the top right of your screen.

Click “publish as web page” and on the following screen click “change your blog site settings”.

Now a pop-up will open asking you to configure different settings for your blog.

For Wordpress, select “My own server/custom” and in the API select “MovableType API” and the rest of the fields are self-explained. Once you are done you can simply click the “Post to Blog” button and the post will be published right away.

The benefit of using a blog publishing tool is that you always have a backup

of your posts externally. Like if you use Google Docs as a blog publishing medium and later on something bad happens, you can always access the back-up posts in their original form on Google Docs.

Use Gmail Space as Google Drive - Longer Ago


Gmail is really famous among users of all the email clients available on the web and that is not because it has a cool interface rather it is famous for its reliability and huge space (3GB now thats something). Google doesn’t stop here and recently Google announced that users can now buy more online storage for Google services just by paying a little amount. So why not use this online storage space and use it externally (Probably as a network drive or one of your own computer hard drives).

Use Google Storage Space as Google Drive

Here I have some great little utilities (3 softwares

and 2 web scripts) that you can try to use your Gmail account space as your external hard drive. You will be able to download (or should I say copy) attachments from your Gmail account to your computer just as you would do from a drive on your computer. You can also use this space to upload content direct from your computer and save it online in your Gmail account.

1. GMail Drive

Gmail Drive

GMail Drive is third party addon for Windows that lets you use your Gmail account space as an extra drive on your computer. It allows a user to access a virtual drive stored in a Gmail e-mail account by causing the contents of the Gmail account to appear as a new network share on the user’s workstation. In order to use this add-on, the user needs a Gmail e-mail account. The add-on enables the user to use the standard Windows

desktop file copy and paste commands to transfer files to and from the Gmail account as if it was a drive on the user’s computer.

Download GMail Drive

2. GSpace


GSpace is a firefox extension that turns your 3GB of your Gmail account into free online storage. With Gspace you can manage unlimited Gmail accounts to store all type of files within its simple, user friendly interface. You can also listen your favourite stored music directly from your Gspace, view your collections of pictures and manage your Gdrive files as well.

Download GSpace

3. GmailFS

GmailFS or Gmail File System is a virtual file system developed by Richard Jones which allows users to mount and use their Gmail email account’s storage as a local disk drive. GmailFS is written for Linux, but Windows and Mac OS X ports do exist. Using GmailFS will provide the user with roughly three gigabytes of online storage. The speed of this filesystem is limited by the speed of the user’s Internet connection, and the upload/download speed of the Gmail server. Files can be any size, and are stored as (segmented) attachments.

Download GmailFS

4. G-Share

G Share

G-Share is a PHP script that allows you to share your gmail attachments in a webpage, it is a download center with files stored in your Gmail account. You need a MySQL database to store data such as download counters, visitors, etc

Download G-Share

5. PHP Gmail Drive


PhpGmailDrive, also known as PGD, is an open source software program written in PHP to share Gmail file attachments on the web. PGD is based on GmailFS, a Gmail attachment file system that uses email subjects for organization.

Download PGD