Gmail will no longer harass you with notifications outside working hours

Gmail is easily among the best email services; it offers safe, reliable, and secure email from one of the internet's largest companies.

But anyone who uses Gmail for work, through Google Workspace, knows the pain of out-of-hours emails from your boss that flash up on the screen and ruin your zen. 

Google is listening, though, and recently announced an update for Gmail that works with Apple's new Focus mode for iOS, one of the best features for getting digital peace and quiet. 

The idea is kind of like notification profiles on Android; you can set specific notifications, apps, and services to be silent in different times of the day, such as when you're at home. 

Gmail can now work with these profiles – either automatically generated by Apple or customized by the user – to make sure that you get the exact notifications you want. Aimless emails? Gone. Important, critical updates? Those get through. 

“You can now specify which Google Chat and Gmail contacts you still want notifications from when your iOS device is in Focus mode,” explained Google. “This is useful in situations where you need to limit screen time, but don’t want to miss an important message when other notifications are silenced.” 

The importance of digital peace 

After the pandemic forced everyone to work from home, or at least partially work from home, getting some digital peace became very important. 

When there is no obvious boundary between the office and home environment, making sure that notifications don't get through during “you” time is vital. 

Managing notifications, especially on iOS before the latest update, was a bit of a pain. You either had to silence them all or dive into Settings every single time. 

Apple made the process a lot easier with iOS 15 and we really recommend setting up some different Focus profiles to get the ball rolling, especially if you don't have a work phone that can just be switched off. 

The set-up can be a bit of a faff, but once you get past that it's really simple – and perfect for keeping digital peace of mind without missing important updates. 

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Gmail on Android notifications are getting a whole new look that might divide users

Android users will soon be able to quickly see whether they have a notification from Google Chat or Spaces right from the status bar as a new update is now rolling out to Gmail.

As Hangouts will soon be replaced by Google Chat for Google Workspace users, the search giant has added new status bar icons that make it easier to differentiate between Google Chat and Spaces notifications.

Up until now, Google's messaging app Chat and its Slack and Microsoft Teams competitor Spaces have both used a filled-in message bubble with another one behind it as their status bar icon. This made it difficult for users to determine whether they had a message from a single co-worker or if someone had said something in a group chat.

Thankfully, this will no longer be the case once Google's latest update for Gmail becomes widely available.

New status bar icons

As spotted by 9to5Google, Gmail for Android is currently in the process of rolling out separate icons for both Chat and Spaces notifications.

The new Chat icon is a single message bubble that's outlined and has an empty interior while the new Spaces icon depicts three people next to each other. If either of these new icons look familiar, that is because they're currently being used on Google's email client for desktop.

While the new Google Chat icon makes sense, some users might be confused by the new Spaces icon at first since it looks more like a social networking app than a workplace chat app.

According to 9to5Google, the publication has only seen these new status bar icons appear on a single Android smartphone running Gmail version 2022.02.20. However, Google will likely roll them out to more Android devices soon.

Via 9to5Google

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Gmail on Android notifications are getting a whole new look that might divide users

Android users will soon be able to quickly see whether they have a notification from Google Chat or Spaces right from the status bar as a new update is now rolling out to Gmail.

As Hangouts will soon be replaced by Google Chat for Google Workspace users, the search giant has added new status bar icons that make it easier to differentiate between Google Chat and Spaces notifications.

Up until now, Google's messaging app Chat and its Slack and Microsoft Teams competitor Spaces have both used a filled-in message bubble with another one behind it as their status bar icon. This made it difficult for users to determine whether they had a message from a single co-worker or if someone had said something in a group chat.

Thankfully, this will no longer be the case once Google's latest update for Gmail becomes widely available.

New status bar icons

As spotted by 9to5Google, Gmail for Android is currently in the process of rolling out separate icons for both Chat and Spaces notifications.

The new Chat icon is a single message bubble that's outlined and has an empty interior while the new Spaces icon depicts three people next to each other. If either of these new icons look familiar, that is because they're currently being used on Google's email client for desktop.

While the new Google Chat icon makes sense, some users might be confused by the new Spaces icon at first since it looks more like a social networking app than a workplace chat app.

According to 9to5Google, the publication has only seen these new status bar icons appear on a single Android smartphone running Gmail version 2022.02.20. However, Google will likely roll them out to more Android devices soon.

Via 9to5Google

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Google Docs can now help write your Gmail messages for you

Google has added a new feature to its word processing software, Docs, that it hopes will make collaborating on important business emails easier than ever.

The office software will now offer a new email template that allows users to draft messages in Google Docs but also see how they would be portrayed as a Gmail email before sending.

Typing @email in the web version of Google Docs will now launch the new template, complete with subject lines, sender and cc fields, and body text box.

Google Docs and Gmail

Once launched, you can tag other Google Workspace users through their email addresses or user names, giving them the chance to review your work and collaborate on the message.

When finished, just click on the email button next to your draft message to see the text transformed into a Gmail compose window, where all the fields will be automatically populated based on your draft text.

Google Docs and Gmail email draft

(Image credit: Google)

The company said in its blog post that the feature has already begun rolling out to Google Docs web users, with the process due to be completed over the next few weeks.

The integration will be enabled by default, and is available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers.

The feature looks to be part of Google's ongoing campaign to make online collaboration a smoother experience as more and more employees embrace hybrid working.

The company revealed its smart canvas initiative in 2021, helping tie together its range of workplace apps such as Gmail, Docs, Sheets and Slides.

Since then, it has also introduced automatically generated summaries in Google Docs, which provide a brief overview of the main points in a document. 

Google has also launched “smart chips“, where users can use @-mentions to tag for peoples, files and meetings, along with inserting additional items such as images, tables and templates.

This was expanded recently after the company launched additional smart chips or clickable objects that pull relevant information directly into the collaboration canvas. For instance, the new maps smart chip allows you to easily preview a Google Maps link directly in Docs.

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Google Docs can now help write your Gmail messages for you

Google has added a new feature to its word processing software, Docs, that it hopes will make collaborating on important business emails easier than ever.

The office software will now offer a new email template that allows users to draft messages in Google Docs but also see how they would be portrayed as a Gmail email before sending.

Typing @email in the web version of Google Docs will now launch the new template, complete with subject lines, sender and cc fields, and body text box.

Google Docs and Gmail

Once launched, you can tag other Google Workspace users through their email addresses or user names, giving them the chance to review your work and collaborate on the message.

When finished, just click on the email button next to your draft message to see the text transformed into a Gmail compose window, where all the fields will be automatically populated based on your draft text.

Google Docs and Gmail email draft

(Image credit: Google)

The company said in its blog post that the feature has already begun rolling out to Google Docs web users, with the process due to be completed over the next few weeks.

The integration will be enabled by default, and is available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers.

The feature looks to be part of Google's ongoing campaign to make online collaboration a smoother experience as more and more employees embrace hybrid working.

The company revealed its smart canvas initiative in 2021, helping tie together its range of workplace apps such as Gmail, Docs, Sheets and Slides.

Since then, it has also introduced automatically generated summaries in Google Docs, which provide a brief overview of the main points in a document. 

Google has also launched “smart chips“, where users can use @-mentions to tag for peoples, files and meetings, along with inserting additional items such as images, tables and templates.

This was expanded recently after the company launched additional smart chips or clickable objects that pull relevant information directly into the collaboration canvas. For instance, the new maps smart chip allows you to easily preview a Google Maps link directly in Docs.

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The most-ignored Gmail tool might not actually be as bad as we all think

Using Google Chat Spaces alongside your Gmail account may actually get to be useful fairly soon thanks to some new updates coming to the tool.

Introduced in 2021 as part of Google Workspace, the replacement for G Suite for Enterprise, Spaces is essentially group conversations for Google Chat users, bringing together groups of co-workers or friends in a single location.

However Spaces has not proved exactly popular so far due to a lack of features or flexibility – at least not until now.

Google Chat Spaces

“We're introducing several improvements for Spaces in Google Chat to help you better organize people, topics, and projects,” the company wrote in a blog post announcing the changes.

Among the new additions is the ability to add “Managers” to look after specific Spaces, acting as an admin over the entire chat. Given to the creator of the Space by default but able to be changed or edited, Managers will be able to oversee the conversations, adding and removing participants if needed.

Google is also offering Managers the ability to add descriptions to Spaces in order to set context or provide information on what will be discussed. Users will also be able to create guidelines so that “safe and effective communication environments” can be created.

“We hope this feature makes it easier to share the purpose and guidelines for a particular space, making it easier for your collaborators to navigate quickly to the appropriate space,” Google added, noting that the new features are rolling out to users now.

The company sees Spaces as a de facto replacement for its little-loved Google Currents tool, which it recently revealed will be gradually shut down over the course of 2022

Starting in 2023, Currents will be found down and its services moved over to Spaces, which Google says offers much better and tighter integration with other tools such as Gmail, Meet and Google Drive.

Via 9to5Google

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Gmail may have solved one of its most annoying flaws

Being plagued with annoying Gmail notifications could soon be a thing of the past if a new feature being tested by Google comes to fruition.

9to5Google has spotted a new addition to Google's email service that allows users to pause mobile notifications while the Gmail desktop client is being actively used.

This should mean that users won't get pinged for every new email message they receive if they have Gmail running on a desktop PC somewhere.

Gmail silence

The site reported seeing the feature on a test account, where it was advertised in a pop-up alert.

The feature would allow your browser to “detect if you're active or away”, meaning Gmail would be able to identify when a user is actively using the service.

9to5Google notes that it doesn't appear that the service can be enabled or disabled through Gmail settings, but instead has to be accessed through the Google Chrome settings menu itself, potentially meaning it is a closely-linked tool between the company's browser and email platforms.

The tool doesn't appear to be rolling out publicly as of yet, with no sign in the Google support pages, so it may be part of a beta test ahead of a wider launch later this year.

The news comes as Google is in the midst of rolling out a major overhaul for Gmail which brings together Google Chat, Spaces and Meet into a new, integrated view to provide users with a one-stop shop for all their communication needs.

As well as this integrated view, the new Gmail will allow users to view specific app menus in a collapsible panel, and get alerts for new Chat and Space messages through notification bubbles. 

Going forward, all Google apps in Gmail will be situated in a single menu on the left of the screen. Users can switch between them by clicking on an app's menu, or point to an icon to see a preview, with the new collapsible panel able to be hidden or displayed with a click at any time.

Google also notes that individual and group chat messages can be accessed from the Chat tab, including opening into a small pop-up window at the bottom of your screen.

Google is currently rolling out the updated Gmail to select users now, with a wider rollout taking place over the next few weeks. Scheduled Release domains will reportedly begin receiving the new look from February 28.

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The new-look Gmail has landed – here’s all you need to know

Google has given users their first proper view of the new-look Gmail as the company looks to bring a host of its top products into one place.

The company recently revealed that Gmail was set for a major makeover that would provide users with a one-stop shop for all their communication needs – whether via email, video conferencing, or instant messaging – without them having to open up extra tabs or windows.

The rollout of the new Gmail appears to have already begun, with the company saying that users with personal Google accounts and those on Rapid Release domains are able to access it now.

Gmail update

This new-look Gmail brings the likes of Google Chat, Spaces and Meet into a new, integrated view, the company revealed in a guide on its Gmail Help blog.

As well as this integrated view, the new Gmail will allow users to view specific app menus in a collapsible panel, and get alerts for new Chat and Space messages through notification bubbles. 

Gmail integrated view

(Image credit: Google)

Going forward, all Google apps in Gmail will be situated in a single menu on the left of the screen. Users can switch between them by clicking on an app's menu, or point to an icon to see a preview, with the new collapsible panel able to be hidden or displayed with a click at any time.

Google also notes that individual and group chat messages can be accessed from the Chat tab, including opening into a small pop-up window at the bottom of your screen.

Finally, notifications will now appear on the bottom left corner as a bubble whenever you get a new chat or space message, with a preview displaying when you point at the bubble. Clicking on the bubble will allow users to open the message and reply directly from the chat or spaces tab, or open up a small pop-up window for a more concrete view.

Or if you'd rather just forget this method of communicating, notification bubbles can be turned off with a few clicks.

Google says it is now preparing a wider rollout over the next few weeks, with Scheduled Release domains next to begin receiving the new look on February 28.

Once launched, users will be able to enable the new view by navigating to Settings > Quick Settings > Try out the new Gmail view, then in the new window, clicking Reload.

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Gmail is getting a sleek new look – but you may not like it

Your work Gmail client is set for a major makeover within the next few weeks as Google begins to roll out its new view of the future of working.

The company has announced that its new approach to email will be available for users to experience from the end of February 2022, ahead of a wider release by April 2022.

The approach looks to provide users with a one-stop shop for all their communication needs – whether via email, video conferencing, or just good old-fashioned instant messaging – without them having to open up extra tabs or windows.

Gmail integrated view

“We’re introducing a new, integrated view for Gmail, making it easy to move between critical applications like Gmail, Chat and Meet in one unified location,” a Google Workspace update blog noted.

When logged in, users will still see emails displayed front and centre, but shifted significantly over to the right-hand side of the display. This is to make way for a new sidebar on the left side that contains quick links to Chat, Spaces and Meet, shifting your email folders and label options over slightly.

Gmail integrated view

(Image credit: Google)

Google says that the new “integrated view” and navigation menu allows users to easily switch between their inbox, important conversations, and also join meetings without having to switch between tabs or open a new window. To demonstrate, it showed how a Spaces chat let the user jump straight into a Google Sheets without leaving the Gmail window.

The company adds that you'll also see all your notifications in one place, with bubbles flagging when you have a new message or chat to engage with.

Google is also working on the ability to see email and chat results when using the search bar, making it easier to find what you need by eliminating the need to search within a specific product.

“We hope this new experience makes it easier for you to stay on top of what’s important and get work done faster in a single, focused location,” the company added.

The new-look Gmail will start rolling out to users in the rapid release pipeline from February 8 2022, with other customers following soon after. The new view will become the standard look by the end of Q2 2022. 

It will be available to all Google Workspace user accounts (except Google Workspace Essentials customers) as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers.

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Gmail is getting a new ‘inbox zero’ icon – but you’ll probably never see it

For those of us who really dominate the email game, a new Gmail update has promised a reward in the form of an all-new congratulatory “inbox zero” icon.

The refreshed Gmail graphic, spotted by Android Police, replaces the previous image, which, under the congratulatory message “You've finished! Nothing in Primary”, showed an abstract cartoon of a smiling woman, lying on her front without a care in the (working) world, reading a book in the countryside under a happy sun, suggesting an air of calm and peace for those lucky enough to clear their inboxes.

Clearly, this is not a Covid-friendly view of the new hybrid working world for Google, which has now refreshed the image with something a bit less outside-y.

Gmail inbox zero

(Image credit: Android Police)

As seen above, shown in dark mode on a mobile device, our carefree pal has been replaced with a selection of empty colorful boxes (inboxes?) stacked on each other, topped by a flag not unlike a castle banner (much like that seen at the end of every Super Mario Bros level). 

The congratulatory message still remains, but it's a much colder, more sterile feeling to achieving the goal of clearing all your work tasks for the day.

Gmail inbox zero

Inbox zero may just be a pipe dream for many of us, especially with a work account, but Google clearly sees it as something worth celebrating.

Recent research carried out by TechRadar Pro and OnePulse found that over three-quarters of email users (75.6%) have between one and 10,000 emails in their inbox, followed by 16.75% with between 10,001 and 100,000, with just 7.59% having over 100,001 or more. Over half of users (50.2%) either said they don't know or don't care how full their inbox is. The rest have up to 5GB filled (32.8%) or over 5GB (17%). 

Gmail was found to be the most popular email platform around, a conclusion backed up by recent figures from Google itself, which claimed in January 2022 that Gmail for Android has now surpassed 10 billion installs on the Google Play Store.

Via Android Police

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