Multiple IM Support Coming to Google?

This article was written on October 31, 2007 by CyberNet.

Gmail Contacts Messenger One of the things people like to do with Google’s products is search through their source code looking for any possible hints of features to come. As nerds users it is our duty to do that, and the new Gmail 2.0 is no exception.

Ionut over at Google OS started digging through the source code, and saw some hints of more features that are lurking around: color-coded labels, ability to remove emails from a threaded conversation, and Jabber transports. Hmm, Jabber transports? It’s possible that you haven’t even heard of these before, and that’s understandable.

What the Jabber transports do is connect you with other instant messengers services, such as MSN and AIM, by converting received messages into the Jabber format. Google Talk is a Jabber client, and there is some early indication in Gmail’s new source code that a Jabber transport protocol is already in the works. This would give you the ability to add friends from Yahoo!, MSN, AIM, and more!

There are already tricks available for using third-party Jabber transports with Google Talk, but it requires some work. The benefits of having Google implement this is added stability, and it will be much easier to add contacts than trying to go through a third-party transport.

One other indication that Google will be offering such a service lies in the new contact manager. As seen in the screenshot above you can actually add/remove cross-network messenger ID’s for your friends. It could be just a coincidence, but hopefully this all means something!

Note: I still don’t have access to the new Gmail 2.0 features.

Copyright © 2011

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Google rolls out new look for Gmail: streamlined conversation view, high-res themes, better search

Google gave us a hint of Gmail’s new look with a preview earlier this year, and it’s now finally begun to roll out the real thing. Sometime over the next few days you should see a “switch to the new look” link in the bottom right corner of Gmail which, if clicked, will open up a range of new features and design changes. Those include a streamlined conversation view (complete with profile pictures), three different density settings (plus “elastic density” based on your display), a new batch of high resolution themes, improved search, and a refined navigation panel. Head on past the break for a quick video detailing the changes.

Update: Well, it looks like those “few days” turned into just a few hours. Google’s now confirmed that the new look is available to everyone.

Continue reading Google rolls out new look for Gmail: streamlined conversation view, high-res themes, better search

Google rolls out new look for Gmail: streamlined conversation view, high-res themes, better search originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 01 Nov 2011 12:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How to do Incremental Gmail Backups

This article was written on March 03, 2011 by CyberNet.

Gmail backup

arrow Windows Windows only arrow
I rely on my Gmail account for just about all of my email communication, and I’d be pretty sad if I lost some of my emails. After all I have emails dating back to the middle of 2004 in my Gmail account, and so it has almost 7-years worth of my email history. Over the years I’ve put a lot of trust into Gmail, but so much of the service is out of my control that I still feel like I need to make backups just in case my Gmail account mysteriously disappears one day.

A free program called IMAPSize is nice because it lets you view a breakdown of all your labels and the space used by each one, but it is also capable of doing incremental backups for specific labels or the entire account. By doing incremental backups only new emails that haven’t already been backed up will be retrieved, and so it should only be the initial run that takes awhile. Each email is downloaded as an individual EML file, which is a standard format used by many email clients. The EML files will keep all the header information intact so that you can still see the original dates and whatnot.

IMAPSize will work with any email service that provides an IMAP interface, but I’m going to focus on Gmail here. After you download IMAPSize you’ll be prompted to add an account, and these are the things you’ll need to enter in the fields:

  • Account: A descriptive name that only IMAPSize will use.
  • Username: <your_email>
  • Password: <your_password>
  • Server:
  • Port: 993
  • Use Secure Connection (SSL): Yes (checked)

After that’s done you can proceed with the various configuration options. You’ll find most of the options you’ll need in the Account menu, which includes calculating sizes and performing backups.

Curious what all IMAPSize is capable of? Here’s a rundown of features provided by the developer:

  • Display of all mailboxes in an account with visual alerts for the most space consuming mailboxes
  • Convenient storage quota display
  • Powerful search capabilities on single or multiple mailboxes
  • Delete attachments (all or individual) without downloading them
  • Save attachments locally from multiple messages (BETA)
  • Mailbox management (expunge, create, delete, rename)
  • Message management (change flags, copy, move, delete, etc)
  • Manage folder subscriptions
  • Modify message headers
  • Copy messages from one IMAP account to another
  • Perform incremental backups of multiple folders in your IMAP account
  • Perform incremental backups of the whole account
  • Replicate IMAP folder hierarchy to your local drive
  • Download/upload messages to/from mbox and eml files
  • eml2mbox conversion
  • mbox2eml conversion. This can be extremely useful in the process of moving messages from Thunderbird to Outlook.
  • Spam handles which provide a basis for visual alerts on spam messages
  • SSL connections
  • Minimizes bandwidth consumption wherever possible
  • Keyboard friendly – you can perform almost all operations without using the mouse

IMAPSize Homepage (Windows only; Freeware)

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Track Gmail Activity And Remotely Sign Out

This article was written on July 08, 2008 by CyberNet.

The Gmail Team over at Google has just added some new security and protection features that will leave some of their users feeling a bit more at ease that their email account is safe. Starting yesterday, Google began rolling out a feature that will allow users to view the time of their last activity on their Gmail account and whether or not it’s still open in another location.

To give you an example: You wake up in the morning and log-in to your Gmail account from your home computer to check your email before heading out the door to work. When you get to work, you log-in and scroll down to the bottom of your inbox where Gmail now displays recent activity and you see that an account is open in another location. Because it displays the IP address for all of the sessions (both open and recent), you are able to determine that the account open in another location is just your computer at home. Google provides you with information like the access type (was it a browser, mobile, POP3, etc.), IP address, and the date/time the account was visited. What’s great is that once you see that you are logged in somewhere else, you can use the other new feature which allows you to remotely sign-out of that account.

Some of you are probably concerned because now you know for sure that Google is tracking this information and that they have stats on you. At the same time, you know darn well that they have been keeping track of this information, it’s just now they are making it useful to you. Wouldn’t it be great if other sites started to implement something similar? We’re thinking PayPal would be a great site to have a feature like this. There are so many security issues with PayPal, and something like this would give users a little more reassurance that their account with PayPal is safe because they’d know if someone else had access to it.

In typical Google fashion, they are rolling these new security features out slowly. Neither Ryan or I have them yet, so we’re using the screenshot that Google provided to share with you. You’ll see the button to “sign out all other sessions” and then you’ll be able to see recent activity:

gmail security features.png

Let us know if you already have this feature and what you think of it…

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Google spills the beans on Gmail revamp a bit early (video)


You’ve already gotten peek at it… heck, if you’re anything like us you’ve already been using the preview version of it. What are we talking about? Why the newly redesigned Gmail, of course. In late June Google started offering a vision of your web app future. It was a bit sparser, a bit more monochromatic and (dare we say) a bit more finger friendly. Well, it seems like the interface is about to become a lot less optional. A video was accidentally posted to YouTube today by Google (since pulled), offering a tour of the revamped email service. Most of it will probably look a bit familiar, but the Mountain View crew still has a few tricks left up its sleeve. For instance conversation views now more closely resemble IMs (with profile pictures) and the advanced search options are more easily accessible and prominently displayed. The themes are also getting updated with higher resolution wallpapers to better match the spartan UI. Not that you need any encouragement, but you should definitely check out the video after the break.

Continue reading Google spills the beans on Gmail revamp a bit early (video)

Google spills the beans on Gmail revamp a bit early (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 20 Oct 2011 16:08:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Push Gmail on the iPhone

This article was written on July 08, 2009 by CyberNet.

iphone push email.pngI’ve been waiting a long time for someone to come up with a way to get push notifications on my iPhone for my Gmail accounts, but up until today there wasn’t really anything available. Thanks to an iPhone app called Prowl I’m now receiving nearly instantaneous push notifications on my phone.

The one downside for a lot of people is that this app will require you to have some sort of computer running (either Windows or Mac) during the time you want to receive the notifications. For me I didn’t even have to think twice about that, because I have a Windows machine running 24/7 that does a combination of downloads, backups, and television recording. For others that might be a deal breaker.

So how does it work? I’m about to tell you how I set it up to send me push email notifications for all of my Gmail accounts. There’s basically three things you need: Prowl for your iPhone (of course), Growl (for Windows or Mac), and Thunderbird. We’re going to also show you how to setup Thunderbird to utilize Gmail’s IMAP IDLE (sometimes referred to as Push IMAP) functionality so that Thunderbird doesn’t go out to fetch new emails. Instead Gmail sends them to Thunderbird almost instantaneously.

–Step 1: Get Prowl–

The Prowl iPhone app is a critical part of this puzzle. It basically serves as a middleman between your home computer and your iPhone. The software on your computer will send notifications to the Prowl servers, which will then relay on a push notification to your phone.

The iPhone app does cost $2.99, but I didn’t mind paying the one-time fee considering that they need money to keep their servers up and running. Then after you buy the app (or you can do it before you buy the app) head on over to their site to create a quick account.

–Step 2: Get Growl–

I’m going to focus on using Growl for Windows here, but Lifehacker has a great guide on setting up Prowl + Growl on a Mac. If you follow their Mac instructions you can always skip back to Step 4 in our article for configuring Thunderbird.

Once you’ve grabbed Growl for Windows go ahead and install it. You’ll probably be surprised to see that it doesn’t support notifications for any apps out-of-the-box, but that’s not a big deal. They have a centralized download page for the available add-ons.

Once you’ve got Growl running you’ll need to get it setup to talk to the Prowl servers. In the Growl configuration just go to the Network tab, click the plus sign, and then choose the iPhone option:

growl setup-1.png

Then just enter in your Prowl credentials that you setup in the previous step.

–Step 3: Get Thunderbird–

If you looked at the add-ons page for Growl you might start to wonder why we aren’t just using the dedicated Gmail solution. Two reasons. First, it only supports one Gmail account. Bummer. Second, it is only capable of “fetching” your emails at a specified interval. Double bummer. Thunderbird overcomes both of these things.

So head on over and get Mozilla Thunderbird which is a free email client. After you get it running you’ll want to grab the Growl extension for Thunderbird. Installing extensions can be a pain in Thunderbird, but generally what I do is save the extension to my computer, and in Thunderbird go to Tools -> Add-ons. Then just drag-and-drop the extension anywhere in that window. You should then receive a prompt to install it.

I’ll give you a heads up now that after installing the extension there isn’t a whole lot you can configure. Then again, there’s isn’t all that much that you’d probably want to configure. Here are the available settings:

growl thunderbird.png

One thing the settings are good for, however, is the “send test message” button. If you’ve done the previous steps you should be able to hit that button and receive a push notification on your iPhone.

–Step 4: Setup Gmail Accounts–

Alright, now the fun part… hooking all of this up to your Gmail account(s)! Here’s the play-by-play for setting up your Gmail account in Thunderbird so that it uses the IMAP IDLE functionality, which is very close to having push:

  1. IMPORTANT: Make sure you have IMAP enabled in your Gmail settings before proceeding.
  2. In Thunderbird go to File -> New -> Account.
  3. Choose the Email Account option… do NOT choose the “Gmail” option since that tries to use POP3 instead of IMAP. Click Next.
  4. Enter your name and the email address you want to use. Be sure to include the “” (or whatever domain you have tied to a Google Apps account). Click Next.
  5. Choose the IMAP bubble. For the incoming server enter into the box. For the SMTP server enter into the box. Click Next.
  6. Enter your Gmail username (with the into the incoming and outgoing boxes. Click Next.
  7. Pick any name for your account. Click Next.
  8. Verify the settings, and click Finish.
  9. You’re not quite done yet. Go to Tools -> Account Settings. Find your account in the sidebar, and click the Server Settings option underneath it.
  10. Set the port to 993, fill in the SSL bubble, and uncheck both the Check for new messages at startup and the Check for new messages every XX minutes.
    gmail imap.png
  11. In the left sidebar of the Account Settings you should see an option labeled Outgoing Server (SMTP), click that. Then select the email account, and click Edit.
  12. Change the port to 587, and fill in the TLS bubble.
    gmail smtp.png
  13. You’re done! Repeat these steps for however many accounts you want to add. Note that after you’ve created your first account Thunderbird won’t ask for SMTP information for each subsequent account.

At this point you may be wondering why you disabled the options to “check for new messages.” Simple… IMAP IDLE will take care of that. With these options unchecked you might be surprised to see that new emails show up almost instantly in Thunderbird. In my tests it never took more than 15 to 30 seconds after receiving an email for it to show up in Thunderbird.

–Step 4: Enjoy the Pushiness–

You are all set to receive your push notifications! There are some additional settings you can configure in Growl in regards to how the notifications look when they appear on the computer, but for the notifications to show up on your iPhone there isn’t really anything else you need to do. You can, however, set priorities for the notifications, and then choose which priority will be sent to your iPhone. That way you aren’t getting notifications for all of your Growl-enabled programs.

Here are some screenshots of Prowl hard at work:

(Click to Enlarge)
prowl homescreen.png prowl app.png

Overall I’d say the time from me hitting the send button to receiving the notification on my phone was between 30 and 45 seconds. That is good enough for me. Almost immediately after setting this up I went and set the fetching to “manual” on my iPhone, which should also help save on battery life.

Another plus about this is that my credentials for all of my accounts are never passed on to the Prowl servers. Anyone that is security conscious will always think long and hard before giving their password to some third-party service, but with this you don’t have to. All their servers receive is exactly what you see in your notification.

There are Growl add-ons for all kinds of other applications, too. You can get notified when a Firefox download is finished, hook it up to your Outlook emails, get notified when your machine is low on disk space, reminders for when your favorite TV shows are coming on, and even a message telling you when your Torrents have finished downloading. This has the ability to become very powerful.

This has quickly become one of my favorite apps on my iPhone, but it won’t be for everyone since it does require a computer that is on during the times you want to get notifications. And for just $3 I can’t complain.

Copyright © 2011

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CyberNotes: “Push” Email Using SMS Text Messages

This article was written on September 04, 2008 by CyberNet.

Tutorial Thursday

So many people have unlimited SMS text messaging plans on their phones these days that a lot of services, such as Twitter, are using them as a way to notify users of updates. By doing this users get a simulated push notification experience without needing to have a push-compatible device.

The good news is that you can also use this type of system for emails, well, assuming your email service supports forwarding (such as Gmail). That’s because most cellphone carriers provide an email address that can be given out, and when an email is received they’ll convert it to a text message which is then sent to your device. We’ve got a list of common carriers that support this towards the end of the article.

Why is this so great? I’m a Gmail user that owns an iPhone, and instead of having my phone go out and check for new emails every 15 to 60 minutes I can just get a text message. If you’ve got an unlimited text message plan with your carrier you’ll likely enjoy the convenience of getting instant notifications of emails.

Setting it up is fairly easy as long as your email service supports forwarding. Since Gmail offers this feature for free we’re going to use that in our example…

–Push Gmail Using SMS Text Messages–

Login to your Gmail account, and navigate to the Settings. Under the Forwarding and POP/IMAP section you can have Gmail forward all of your emails to a specified address. This is where you can specify the email address your carrier uses for your cellphone number, and you’ll want to be sure to choose the keep Gmail’s copy in the Inbox option to ensure the messages don’t get removed after being forwarded:

gmail forward-1.png

Note: If you don’t know the email address format used by your carrier refer to the section below that covers some of the most common carriers.

After you’ve setup forwarding any emails that are sent to your Gmail account will also be forwarded on to your cellphone via text message. The text messages obviously won’t contain the full email if they’re really long, but it serves as a good notification system.

Alternatively you can setup a Gmail filter to only forward important emails to your phone via text message.

–Email Addresses for Common Carriers–

These are the email addresses you need to use in the instructions above. Be sure to replace the “0123456789″ with your own phone number.

  • AT&T:
  • T-Mobile:
  • Sprint:
  • Verizon:
  • US Cellular:
  • Nextel:
  • Alltel:
  • Virgin Mobile:
  • SunCom:
  • Powertel:
  • Metro PCS:

If your carrier was not listed here you should check their website. The information can often be found in the help or support section.


Cool, huh? If you know of any other good ways to use text messages as notifications be sure to drop us a comment. And remember, you’ll probably want to stay away from doing anything like this unless you have an unlimited text message plan.

Copyright © 2011

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Microsoft adding new features to Hotmail over ‘the coming weeks,’ releases an Android app

When we heard Microsoft was holding a press event called “Give Hotmail a Second Look,” we wondered if a full-on redesign was in store. The answer happens to be a resounding “no,” but the software giant is rolling out a raft of new features to its 365 million-some-odd users. This includes an Android app with two-way email, contact and calendar syncing (!), along with a slew of updates to Hotmail’s web interface. First up, you can now automatically categorize incoming mail as newsletters, and then either trash ’em or sweep them to a folder. Additionally, an “Unsubscribe” feature lets you do just that, with Hotmail handling the dirty work of blocking future newsletters from that sender, as well as asking the company to kindly stop spamming you. Moving along, flagged messages will now sit at the top of the inbox so that they don’t get lost in the morass of incoming mail. If you like, you can program Hotmail to automatically flag messages with a particular subject line, from a certain sender, et cetera. Meanwhile, “Scheduled Cleanup” automatically deletes messages after a certain number of days have passed — a good way to cut through that pile of unused Groupon alerts. Other updates include the ability to manage and edit folders and apply categories to individual emails — all inline. And, last but not least, you’ll now see so-called Instant Actions (e.g., “delete,” “flag”) when you hover over messages. We’ve got a few screenshots below, and you can also hit the source link for some extra details, straight from the horse’s mouth.

Microsoft adding new features to Hotmail over ‘the coming weeks,’ releases an Android app originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 03 Oct 2011 17:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Hunt for Gmail 2.0 Features

This article was written on September 24, 2007 by CyberNet.

It’s been over three years since Google opened their doors to their web-based email service called Gmail, which at the time shattered all existing storage limitations. To make Gmail a worldwide service Google has people translate phrases into their native language. Instead of spending money on professional translators they just enlist the help of common users who are fluent in multiple languages. One of those translators shot some information over to Googling Google yesterday implying that a new version of Gmail is just around the corner.

Here’s a screenshot of some of the relevant phrases that may hint at some of the upcoming features:

Gmail 2.0 Features

  1. This phrase obviously means a new version is coming up, and the “translation help” implies that it is currently in the hands of trusted testers.
  2. This would be used for the Google Gears service.
  3. This would also be used for the Google Gears service…offline Gmail access (without additional software like Thunderbird) has got to be coming!
  4. It appears as though this is some sort of account activity logging. It shows real-time activity (currently logged in users and their IP) as well as past activity that has occurred.

So keep your eyes peeled…good stuff has got to be coming our way! I just hope it is sooner rather than later. :)

Thanks for the tip “Sure”

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New Poll: How Many Emails Do You Receive Each Day?

This article was written on June 20, 2008 by CyberNet.

Many of you probably remember the days before email was around, but can you imagine life without it now? We’ve gotten so used to the instant communication, that it would be difficult to revert back. For many, email is their primary communication method and they receive many emails in a day’s time.

New Poll: How Many Emails Do You Receive Each Day (not including spam)?

  • 5 and under
  • 6-25
  • 26-50
  • 51-100
  • 101-250
  • 251+

Remember, we’re asking for the number of non-spam emails you receive each day. You can either cast your vote below if you have Flash enabled, or you can vote in the sidebar.

Previous Poll Wrap-up

It looks like the iPhone 3G is still overrated, according to our last poll where we asked what you thought it.

28% of you said it was still overrated while 21% of you said you’d way to buy until after it launches and the hype has settled-down. Coming in third was 18% of you who said you didn’t like the carrier so you wouldn’t be getting one. Only 12% of you said you’d be standing in line on July 11th when the iPhone 3G is set to launch.

iPhone 3G Poll Results.png

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