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VodaBot
12-29-2005, 11:05 PM
Google's Gmail program is now in the beta stage, but the company plans on releasing the full version later this year to compete with Hotmail, Yahoo or any other email service.

Google defines Gmail as "a free, search-based web mail service that combines the best features of traditional email with Google's search technology to make finding all of your important messages so easy you won't waste time organizing your inbox anymore." Additionally, each account gets 1,000 megabytes -- an entire gigabyte of storage space.

1. Search Features
According to Google, Gmail includes the full functionality of Google's search technology: "You don't have to spend time filing or creating an elaborate folder system to keep yourself organized. Choose your search terms, and Google will do the rest for you."

The search feature lets you look for conversations just by entering the sender's name. If you remember specific details about the message, or if you have archived a large amount of mail, Gmail offers more search options to help you locate messages.

The simplest type of search involves entering a word (or multiple words) that appears anywhere within the message for which you're searching. For example, if you're looking for a message from a friend that contains the word shopping, then simply type in the search query shopping.
When you search, you'll also see a summary snippet that indicates a place where your search terms occurred in the message.
(The contents of your email, however, will never be included as Google Search results.)

Since you'll have 1,000 megabytes of storage, Google recommends that you archive rather than delete. In fact, with Gmail, you have enough storage space to last for years without having to delete a single message. Just archive everything and all your messages will be searchable and easily accessible.

2. Archiving
To take advantage of Google Search and reduce the time you spend organizing your inbox, you can archive your emails in a series of "conversations." You can also "label" a message, and find it later by searching for the specific label.
If you archive messages rather than delete, you can still retrieve them later by doing a search. Emails you decide to archive are removed from your inbox, but remain in an 'All Mail' folder.

3. "Conversations"
Your messages can be grouped together into "conversations" so that all related messages will appear as a single line in your inbox.
The "old way" of grouping messages is to group each message you send with all the responses you receive.

However, when you open a message in a conversation, all of your messages will be neatly stacked on top of each other, like a deck of cards. As new replies arrive, your stack of cards grows. Grouping messages this way allows you to quickly retrieve related messages and view all your messages in context.

You can use the checkbox to select and highlight one or more conversations. Conversations must be highlighted in order to archive them, add a label to them, or change their status. You can add as many labels as you'd like to a conversation. That way, if a conversation covers more than one topic, you can retrieve it with any of the labels that you've applied to it.

4. "Labels"
Instead of folders, Gmail uses labels to order your emails. In Gmail, a single conversation can have several labels, so you're not forced to choose one particular folder for each message you receive. That way, if a conversation covers more than one topic, you can retrieve it with any of the labels that you've applied to it.

You can apply more than one label to a conversation. Instead of being forced to put a message in only one folder, your labeled messages can simultaneously exist in your inbox.

You can add multiple labels to a conversation -- something you can't do with folders. Once you've created a label, you can view all the conversations with that label by searching or by selecting the label in the navigation bar.

To restrict an advanced search to a specific label, you use the 'label:' operator. For example, if you want to search for all messages from Bob in the label 'My Friends', you would use the following search query: from:Bob label:my-friends.

Google contrasts this method with the usual method of having to create an elaborate filing system of folders, and then having to decide where to file a single message. With labels, in other words, you don't have to search and dig through your folders and still not find messages you know are there.
Now you can just stick a label or two on a conversation and search by label, keyword, date range or a host of other options.

5. Google Ads
Like most "free" services on the Web, Gmail displays ads. In fact, Google reserves the right to include targeted information to create the ads. This is similar to the way Adsense works. Advertisers then receive a record of the total number of impressions and clicks for each ad.

6. Privacy
The ads of course bring up questions of security and privacy, but Google assures its users that the advertisers do not receive any personal information about the person who viewed the ad.

However, Google does collect personal information about Gmail users - mostly login information for use on its cookies. Most of this is information contained in the header of your request to access the Gmail page; i.e., browser type, IP address, date and time of day.

Says Google: "This information helps us determine how well our services are working so we can continually improve the quality of Gmail. [It is] also important for security, audit, quality improvement, and other internal business purposes."

Google also reserves the right to store this information on any of their servers, some of which are outside the USA. Secondly, they reserve the right to "transfer your information in the event of a transfer of ownership of Google, such as acquisition by merger with another company." Google will notify any Gmail users however when this is being done. Beyond this, the policy adds, "Google, will never sell, rent or share your personal information, including your Gmail address or email content, with any third parties for marketing purposes without your express permission."

Additionally, backup copies of your Gmail might be kept on Google's servers for some time, even after you have deleted them and/or cancelled your account.

How does Google propose to safeguard your information? To begin with, only "a limited set of employees" are contractually authorized to access user accounts and then only for security and auditing purposes. Google will also implement technology to ensure that no external parties can access user information.

Last but not least, Google expects users to take security responsibilities as well. Users must agree not to post obscene or hate mail or upload viruses or conduct business frauds. (That makes sense.)

7. Spam
So far, Gmail has no innovative spam controls. To clean spam from your inbox, you check a box next to the offending message and click the "Report Spam" button. This is the same method already used by many spam-ridden ISPs, like Comcast.

Additionally, filters allow you to manage the flow of your email before the messages actually reach your inbox. You can set up to 20 filters. Incoming messages that match your filter rules can bypass the inbox or be automatically labeled, or both. Filtered messages will also remain archived and searchable. You can create a filter under the search box at the top of any Gmail page, to block emails from specific senders.

8. Beta Bugs
Google admits that since they are still testing Gmail, the app still has some bugs. For example, it doesn't work well in some languages and it sometimes rejects legitimate messages or marks them as spam. Other problems include not being able to attach large files.

Unlike Google, search results do not include matches to partial strings or matches that are 'similar' to your query, including plurals and misspellings. For example, if you search for 'vacation,' Gmail returns emails containing instances of 'vacation,' but does not return emails including 'vacations' or 'vaccations.' In contrast, the Google search engine frequently asks "Did you mean...?" if it thinks you have misspelled something.

Also, Gmail does not search email attachments, either for filenames or text. (This should really be a feature, and maybe it will be in later versions.)
At this time, it is possible to search only in English. However, Google is also developing a feature for translating email and, in fact, is currently recruiting skilled translators (to work for free). The company advises its translators to capture the essence of the message, instead of translating word-for-word. "Don't use a heavy, staid, or arrogant tone," Google advises. "Translations should be upbeat and friendly."

Google further advises that you might have to adjust some of the security settings in ZoneAlarm Pro to get Gmail to function properly. Also, in order to use the app with Norton products, you may have to create a rule allowing pop-ups specifically for the Gmail website.

Conclusion
Aside from the labeling and conversation features, Gmail, at this time, isn't offering anything that Netscape, Outlook or a half-dozen other email programs don't already offer. Google's search engine isn't being used to its fullest ability because Gmail doesn't compensate for misspellings or other errors. Also, its anti-spam features aren't anything special. So, if you're expecting a "killer app", this isn't it.

On the other hand, Gmail is still in the beta stage, so there might be more features to come. If you have an "invite" from Google to test Gmail, I think you should do so, and then send them your feedback.

Article By: Roy Troxel

racefan20
02-18-2006, 07:04 AM
In a nutshell, Gmail rocks! I've had four accounts with them for a while now and the functionality is terrific. The best spam filter I've seen in a free email account by far, the way it converts messages to conversations, the search feature and the constantly growing storage space are enough to give it an A+, but they've now added a chat feature that can be used from within your account - no additional software needed. In my opinion, email doesn't get any better (or easier).

If anyone wants to give Gmail a "test drive", just let me know and I'll send you an invitation to check it out.

kenhansen
09-02-2006, 04:44 PM
I have a Gmail account already and would find it most usefull if I could only configure it to have my host site email retrieved by it. I can set up Thunderbird, Outlook Express etc. for retrieval, but I really need a way to grab my messages from my web sites email address from a remote location. I looked in the Gmail settings and I can easily change my outgoing address to display the account, but I can't find how to setup POP3 retrieval. Were you able to do that? If so, how?

Thanx

-Ken

FPRob
09-02-2006, 04:47 PM
GMail is GoogleMail in the UK because of a copyright problem with the GMail name but yup, I like it, good features and the thing about having almost limitless space and never having to delete anything is excellent!!

Ken, you should be able to set up all of your POP3 info by clicking SETTINGS, then click FORWARDING/POP3

kenhansen
09-02-2006, 05:04 PM
Nope, Gmail settings does not seem to provide for that. I may be asking for something that can't be done. I want to use the Gmail as an email client to handle mail from other email addresses, like the one I have on my Vodahost site.

The goal is to access my Vodahost site's email from any PC via the web. I suppose I could use Thunderbird portable on a thumb drive, but I am trying to keep this simple. Seems I may be doing the opposite!

FPRob
09-02-2006, 05:11 PM
My Googlemail which I believe is exactly the same program definitely handles other email accounts via POP3 or you can just choose forwarding options.

Lets see if they are the same program though...

you should have a button called SETTINGS in the top right corner next to the LOGOUT button. When you go into settings the screen you should get this.... click to enlarge

http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e299/csnaps/gmailtest.jpg

kenhansen
09-02-2006, 05:31 PM
It appears we have the same program. When I go into the POP3 settings I have the option of forwarding my Gmail messages to another site or having them downloaded to a client like Outlook. I do not see any option to have other POP3 emails retrieved into Gmail.

Do you have something different?

BTW- Thanx for the help today

FPRob
09-02-2006, 07:39 PM
I will check later Ken, things to do right now but I will definitely look into it further. I might have misunderstood and you may very well be completely correct. We were both talking about the same thing from different angles. You want incoming and I was talking about outgoing but I will check again and let you know if I can.

:)

VodaHost
09-02-2006, 07:58 PM
moving to review section.

Jeremy
09-02-2006, 08:39 PM
Hey!

I havn't been able to set up with gMail since you require a mobile phone. The mobile phone carrier's that they have listed do not include any Canadian carrier's. So until then ...

FPRob
09-02-2006, 09:14 PM
It didnt require a mobile number for my set up or I never would have bothered but it does have optional mobile phone access.

Jeremy
09-02-2006, 09:46 PM
Hey!

Will check again soon.

bill2006
09-02-2006, 09:51 PM
Gmail doesn't require a mobile phone, I can't remember if its one of those fill-in-the -blanks that they want to have, the field is not mandatory.

Jeremy
09-02-2006, 09:54 PM
Hey Bill!

Thanks for letting me know! I havn't been in awhile. The first time they came out with the gMail they required me to have a mobile phone for some secuirty reasons, once they confirmed it was mine my account would be activated - not sure if it is because I live in Canada, but I will go check right now.

sheilaemoffatt@yahoo.com
09-04-2006, 04:23 AM
Has anyone figured out to set their website to gmail? Am trying to locate info on this or configuration for yahoo would be helpful to...Info as soon as possible would be greatly appreciated!

racefan20
09-04-2006, 06:26 AM
Has anyone figured out to set their website to gmail? Am trying to locate info on this or configuration for yahoo would be helpful to...Info as soon as possible would be greatly appreciated!

It's very simple, actually. First, log in to your Gmail account and choose (upper right corner) Settings > Accounts. Click "Add another email address" and follow the steps to add the address you want to use. This will allow you to send mail from that address through Gmail.

Then, log in to your Cpanel, go to your webmail and and use the forwarding option to forward mail to your primary Gmail address.

(For instance, on one of my accounts, my primary address is daysofblunder ******.com. I receive mail from other email accounts such as scripts@daysofblunder.com by forwarding them to this address and I'm configured to send mail from that address through my Gmail account.)

The only time I have to log in to my webmail account these days is to add or remove an email address.

spikey
09-14-2006, 06:07 AM
I hope they finnish testing it soon

keith hills
10-17-2006, 01:42 PM
Voda Lounge Forum:

Hi, as of October 2006, i'm one of the new kids on this block. i'm now well past70 and loving it and yes, i celbrated Thansgiving the second monday of October as Canadians do and i am very thankful for a lifetime of blessings.

I'm just about ready to introduce two very exciting projects which would interest many adult and senior volunteers all across Canada and the U.S.

"Why?" From Halifax to Victoria they come. From New York City to a small town in Texas they have come. Last week a lady in Sacremento called who has been here before. This time she wants to bring a friend. What is this project? What is the second project? If you are interested in a little or a lot of volunteering for two good causes why not contact me soon by email.

just read Roy Troxell's review of Google's Gmail. Wondering it you have done a similar review for Netscape, Outlook or the half dozen other email programs which, as you state, offer similar features and benefits?

keith hills
dkeithhills******.ca
10.17.06 @ 6.39 am cst

keith hills
10-17-2006, 01:51 PM
Voda Lounge Forum:

Hi, as of October 2006, i'm one of the new kids on this block. i'm now well past70 and loving it and yes, i celbrated Thansgiving the second monday of October as Canadians do and i am very thankful for a lifetime of blessings.

I'm just about ready to introduce two very exciting projects which would interest many adult and senior volunteers all across Canada and the U.S.

"Why?" From Halifax to Victoria they come. From New York City to a small town in Texas they have come. Last week a lady in Sacremento called who has been here before. This time she wants to bring a friend. What is this project? What is the second project? If you are interested in a little or a lot of volunteering for two good causes why not contact me soon by email.

just read Roy Troxell's review of Google's Gmail. Wondering it you have done a similar review for Netscape, Outlook or the half dozen other email programs which, as you state, offer similar features and benefits?

keith hills
dkeithhills******.ca
10.17.06 @ 6.39 am cst

kenhansen
10-18-2006, 01:59 AM
I have been trying this for awhile without any luck. I setup account on Gmail, no problem. Now, I go to Cpanel and I can forward the domain but I do not want to forward all the site's mail, just my account. Are you able to do that? If so, how?

example: my BV email is ken@chicagocycleconnection.com (BV site)

I want email sent to that address forwarded to chicyclist1******.com.

If you can help, thanx.

pemdas21
10-18-2006, 04:38 AM
actually, did you know that you can have a gmail account that is you@yourdomain.com ? I have admin@electronics4dummies.com with googles new "hosted" thing. Go to http://www.google.com/hosted You do need a google account, but I absolutely adore it. You can have up to 20 email adresses of blank@yourdomain.com All you need to do is get vodahost to chang your mx records to the ones that they supply! Feel free to ask any questions!

pyro01
11-30-2007, 06:05 PM
I have a Gmail account and I've found that the Spam filters work good. My cousins were surprised that I didn't really get any spam though that may be because I had only had the account a few days.