Gmail Android App Gets New Update, Improves Compatibility with 7-Inch Tablets

gmail1 300x300 Gmail Android App Gets New Update, Improves Compatibility with 7 Inch TabletsOne of the more popular and reliable email apps for the Android operating system is the Gmail app. Fortunately, Google (who owns Gmail and also Android) has been hard at work continuously improving their popular email app. The company has announced that it will be implementing new updates for the app, which was finally made available a couple of days ago. [Read more...]

Microsoft Prepares Windows Live Mail for Battle vs. Gmail

windowslivemail 489x274 Microsoft Prepares Windows Live Mail for Battle vs. Gmail

When was the last time you checked out your Windows Live Mail account? Common, don’t be shy, I’m pretty sure you have one, like I do.  Either your using Windows Live Mail as a primary webmail or just a dumping ground for your “graymails.” Either ways, you’d be excited to know that Microsoft is sort of re-engineering its webmail service to, well obviously battle it up against Yahoo! Mail and Gmail.

In fact, while I was reading about the new features of Windows Live Mail one by one, I can’t help but notice that most of these features were either standard webmail features or copied from Gmail and Yahoo! Mail.

So what are the changes that you should expect from the soon to be released new Windows Live Mail. To tell you frankly, quite a lot.

First up is the perennial problem on inbox cluttering. The new Windows Live Mail will feature categorization whereby all your emails from social networking sites, emails from friends and contacts, shipping notices, appointments and more. What’s good about this new feature is that it will give you a sneak peak of what’s new in your Windows Live Mail inbox. You could even post updates to your Facebook accounts or post comments, right on your Inbox preview page. As you go a step inwards to your inbox, you can easily browse through all the emails you’ve received by those categories.

Next, while you’re in you inbox, you can also instantly filter your inbox to free it from spam mails. The new Windows Live Mail will have a “virtual broom” which you can use to sweep away spam mails.

Aside from cleaning up the clutter in your inbox, the new Windows Live Mail Inbox will also let you preview attached photos, view documents via Office Web Apps interface, preview videos from YouTube or Hulu and many other useful features.

The new Windows Live Mail will be rolled out starting next week. Are you excited about it? Will you be ditching Gmail once the new Windows Live Mail comes out?

Survey Shows iPad Early Adopters are Mac Owners

Screen shot 2010 04 05 at 11.14.11 PM 490x163 Survey Shows iPad Early Adopters are Mac Owners

Our apologies for starting this week with yet another iPad-related news. But is there any other significant tech-related news today other than the iPad? Anyway, this news is pretty interesting.  According to Piper Jafray’s Gene Munster, majority of the iPad early adopters are  Apple product users.

Based on the survey of 448 iPad buyers, 74% were also Mac users with 96% of them planning to continue using their Macs despite having the iPad. The survey also revealed that 66% of the iPad buyers are iPhone owners and only 1% of them thought they could replace their iPhone with the iPad. It only goes to show that iPad buyers are aware that their new magical device was not meant to replace the Macs.

Now, here’s another interesting point revealed by the survey – 13% of those who were surveyed owned the Amazon Kindle. And 58% of them are planning to replace their Kindle with the iPad.

Moving on the specific iPad results, the survey also found out that the most popular iPad  was the 16GB Wi-Fi only version, 39% of the respondents bought these model. Only 32% bought the 32GB and 28% bought the 64GB model.

As to  how they are planning their newly bought iPads, 74% of the respondents say for surfing the web, 38% for reading books, 32% for email, 26% for watching video, 18% for playing games and only 8% for listening to music.

Vlingo Updates its BlackBerry App, Adds “SafeReader”

We all know that texting while driving is a big no-no. In fact some countries prohibit doing those two activities at the same time and may get you arrested if found guilty. But what if you’re on the road and you need to check a very important incoming message? Well, you can always pull over and check your phone. But that wouldn’t be unwise to do while you’re driving on the freeway. Thanks to Vlingo’s BlackBerry app checking your incoming text messages is now possibly while driving and won’t require you to use your hands.

Vlingo just announced version 4.5 of its cool BlackBerry app with an added feature called “SafeReader.” Any guess on what this feature can do? Ok, SafeReader reads all your incoming messages aloud allowing you to digest your incoming email and text messages while you drive. The spoken messages are delivered audibly to ensure that you understand what the email and SMS messages are saying.

In case you’re not using Vlingo on your BlackBerry app yet, now may be the right time to do so. Aside from this cool “SafeReader” feature, the app also features a powerful speech-to-text technology that lets you compose and send text or email messages, call a friend, search the web, update your Facebook status, use instant messaging, add contacts and calendar entries and other nifty features – just by speaking into your phone. The “SafeReader” feature expands this features by reversing speech-to-text to text-to-speech.

Cool, right? To get the app, simply point your BlackBerry’s browser to www.blackberry.com/appworld or www.vlingo.com. Once installed on your BlackBerry device and before driving, simply press a button, speak to the device and say “Start SafeReader” and your incoming messages will be delivered audibly, without fail through spoken words.

Brightkite Offers Free Group Text Service

Screen shot 2010 03 13 at 6.33.11 AM 490x498 Brightkite Offers Free Group Text Service

For whatever it’s worth Brightkite actually pioneered the location-based checked-in with social networking service a couple of years ago. Yes, long before Gowalla and Foursquare started to become popular  it  has been offering the same service. But for no apparent reason Brightkite became silent for quite some time now.

Enter Brightkite’s latest offering called Group Text. Aiming solve the tedious process of organizing gigs and events among your friends through sending of numerous text messages addressed to several people, Brightkite is offering a better, faster and more cost-effective solution through Group Text.

So, how does Group Text actually works?  You create a group, enter your contacts and then send out a text to the group. The fun begins when your friends start receiving your messages via text, push notifications, mobile web or from the web itself.  Then when anyone replies to your message, everyone in the conversation thread will receive the message as well. Basically, it’s like having email groups, only this time the main activity is done through text messaging.

Brightkite Group Text allows you to create groups with up to 25 members. Once you’ve created a group, you can easily ping them, introduce new members or start any conversation with all the members of the group. The service is free, so that answers your question on possible mobile data service cost.

Group Text also lets you send photos and locations to your group. You can also send messages directly from your desktop’s web browser.

And finally, Brighkite has submitted an updated version of its iPhone app to Apple. Once approved the new Brightkite iPhone app will have the group text messaging feature.

Yahoo! Contacts Now Lets You Connect with Facebook Easily

Screen shot 2010 03 05 at 5.05.45 AM 490x277 Yahoo! Contacts Now Lets You Connect with Facebook Easily

While waiting for the full implementation of Yahoo’s planned integration with Facebook Connect which was announced in December last year, Yahoo wants to give you a sampler of how this will be  integrated across its sites and services. So in case you’re still maintaining and using Yahoo Mail, you can now easily add your Facebook friend’s email addresses to Yahoo Contacts.

Of course, integrating these two Contact lists will enable you to quickly communicate with your contacts where ever you may be at this very moment. Whether you’re  browsing Yahoo Sports and you find something which a Facebook contact would find interesting, you can do so now in just one click. In fact, you simply type the first letter of your contact’s name inside Yahoo! Mail and it will quickly suggest contact names that start with that letter.

To connect your Facebook friends’ email addresses to your Yahoo Contacts’ account, simply go to the Import Contacts landing page, select Facebook, enter your Facebook login credentials and then Yahoo will authenticate your account and starts integrating the two email addresses lists.

Then,  you can check out which of your Facebook friends were added to your Yahoo Contacts. What’s good about this feature is that it won’t create duplicate entries for your contacts.

So there. Are you going to integrate your Facebook friends’ email addresses to your Yahoo Contacts?

LinkedIn Connects with Microsoft Outlook

What would you get if two of the major players  in business communication – one a desktop email tool and the other the most popular business social networking site join forces?  The possibility could be endless and most definitely fruitful for both parties. That’s what was just announced by LinkedIn as they’ve partner up with Microsoft Outlook.

The result of the deal could be more productive whether you are a LinkedIn or Microsoft Outlook user. Better if you use both since with LinkedIn connected to your Microsoft Outlook, you’d be able to do the following:

Keep track of what your LinkedIn connections are working on and thinking about - this include information on who they are connecting with, articles they are reading and sharing, questions they are asking and answering.

Get the latest contact information for your professional connections – this include email addresses, profile details and photos appearing in an Outlook Contacts folder. It will also allow you to email your LinkedIn connections just by typing their name into your Outlook “To:” box as you let LinkedIn auto-fill it up for you.

Grow your LinkedIn network easily – this is my favorite feature brought about by the partnership. You can now easily add an email sender who is not yet on your LinkedIn network just by simply clicking on the green “Add” icon next to their name. Easy way to build your LinkedIn contacts.

To use this new feature, you need to follow these simple steps – download Outlook Social Connector from Microsoft, download the LinkedIn Outlook Connector, restart your Outlook and follow the instructions for connecting your two accounts.

Once connected, Outlook will start pushing your LinkedIn network information into Outlook.

LA Equips City Employees with Google Apps

Google just got a huge userbase with the city of Los Angeles equipping its employees with Google Apps which they can use for email  and collaboration in the cloud.  Starting today, more than 34,000 city employees will have access to various Google tools and services provided by Google Apps’ suite of collaborative technologies.

The decision to adapt Google Apps was made by the city’s CTO Randi Levin and her team at the city’s Information Technology Agency. The group evaluated 14 proposals but found Google Apps to be the most practical and most suited for the employees needs.

True enough, Google Apps cloud computing service may actually improve the city’s email system secutiry and reliability – something all govenment agencies should pay close attention to.

Employees will also have access to collaboration technology including facility to share docs, sites and videos which employees can edit simulataneously in the cloud.  The City is hoping that the use of Google Apps will help the employees run the City smoothly and efficiently.

But the bottomline of course is the fact that aside from  implementing a robust information technology strategy, it actually lessens the cost the City will be spending on its IT infrastructure. And consistent uptime is almost assured being hosted in Google’s cloud.

Google Cuts Prices on Extra Gmail and Picasa Storage

gmail Google Cuts Prices on Extra Gmail and Picasa StorageWhen Gmail introduced free multigigabyte mailboxes for the masses, a lot of us suddenly got spoiled about storing years of email with enormous attachments, without deletion. Five years later, power Gmail users find themselves approaching their free storage limit.

If you’re one of those users, fear not. Google has slashed prices on extra storage for Gmail and Picasa. Now you can get 20 gigabytes for five dollars a year. If you need even more than that — say, if you send and receive dozens of enormous files via email every day, or if you store millions of high-resolution raw photos online — packages scale all the way up to an amazing 16 terabytes for $4,096 annually. Cloud storage pack rats rejoice!

Hitler on Hotmail Scam

New media news meets new media memetics as Hitler is informed that his Hotmail password has been leaked.

Anyone who underestimates the social value of Net savvy should learn something from this video: the social consequences of making bad online media recommendations. I wouldn’t want to be Fegelein right now.