If you're a user of the mobile versions of Google's Gmail, and Calendar, you'll know that they're incredibly useful if you're on a carrier with less than 3G data speeds. Not as useful as the full desktop browser versions, but great if you're out and about and need to check your calendar or inbox without having to rely on the sometimes clunky POP implementations on the built-in e-mail apps on some phones. Both services have received substantial mobile updates within the last few days, here's what's new:
Gmail may be getting a long overdue user interface (UI) update soon. Gmail's interface has been essentially the same since it launched more than three years ago, so it should be interesting to see how the update looks.
According to Garett Rogers over at ZDNet, Google has been asking users to translate snippets from the new UI through their Google In Your Language program. The users were asked to translate the phrase, "Newer Version," for a service called Gmail UI.
There aren't any specifics on what exactly we will be seeing in the upgrade yet, but … Read more
There's something to be said about Web services that have been set up to help people coordinate things in the least stressful way as possible. I dig sites like CircleUp (coverage) that offer a way to set up polls, or to solve quick logistical questions within a group, without requiring the creator or the users to agonize over the interface and execution. That's why MyPunchBowl's new checklist feature is pretty much the best addition to a party-planning service yet.
The idea is simple: you, as party creator, make a list of things you need for the party. … Read more
The first demo at the TechCrunch 40 conference today is from Xobni ("inbox" backwards, oh how clever), which makes the "Insight" plug-in for Outlook that looks like it will be worth installing when it opens up to the public later this fall. When you highlight an e-mail, it gives you useful intelligence related to the sender: other messages from him or her, who the sender is connected to (via cc), and a graphic showing when the sender's previous e-mails have been received.
It also extracts phone numbers and other contact info from e-mail message bodies … Read more
Orgoo is a new service for aggregating all sorts of communication platforms together, in one solution. The easiest way to describe it is a mix between a Web mail client and an IM app. You might say, "well my Gmail and Yahoo Mail already have IM built in." To that I'd say you're right, but Orgoo's take is a little bit like Meebo--take all your existing services and integrate them together in one place.
To start out, just plug in any accounts you want to access. Orgoo will handle five of the major IM clients, along with a handful of Web mail providers including Gmail, .Mac, and Yahoo and Microsoft's premium Hotmail services. You can also drop in any old e-mail account that can be accessed via POP or IMAP. The service can save your passwords and login information, so every time you log in to Orgoo, it will pull in each and every account. I found it really helpful with Gmail, since I could be logged into several accounts at once--which usually requires juggling two different kinds of browsers.
Orgoo's interface is a mishmash of the classical mail inbox. Besides your e-mail reader, which takes on an appearance much like that of Yahoo Mail, you've also got an entire buddy list that resides on the right side of the screen. Orgoo employs drag-and-drop to organize your messages and IMchat logs, and you've got a list of folders which can contain several levels of user created nesting; meaning you can store a message within a folder within a folder within a folder, to your heart's content. You can also organize your IMs into tabs on the top, or pop them out (virtual-desktop style) if it's easier for you to manage.… Read more
Yahoo is buying e-mail software provider Zimbra for about $350 million, the companies announced on Monday. Zimbra offers branded e-mail with calendar and mobile features as well as the ability to work offline. The company has more than 200 educational, business and ISP partners, including Comcast, that offer branded e-mail service to roughly 9 million subscribers.
What differentiates Zimbra are the "Zimlet," Web service mashups that offer richer functionality in e-mail. For instance, people can simply mouse over airline flight information in an e-mail to check on flight status. Users are also able to track FedEx deliveries and … Read more
MediaDefender, a company that offers to protect copyright content from illegal file sharing, saw private internal e-mails leaked to the Web over the weekend. The e-mails appear to reveal some controversial tactics used by the firm to fight piracy.
The e-mails indicate that MediaDefender, which works closely with the music and movie industries, may have been secretly behind MiiVii, a Web site that promised to enable people to upload and download copyright movies, TV shows and music, according to a report Sunday evening in The Wall Street Journal.
The e-mails indicate that the site was a ruse. The MiiVii software … Read more
Obviously, the lack of offline e-mail reading is the one huge downside to using Web mail. If Google implements this correctly, it could be a pretty big deal, but we will see if the functionality of a browser-based offline solution can compare to an actual desktop client.
Qualcomm's handoff of its Eudora e-mail software to the Mozilla Foundation has taken an important step: release of the first beta version of the software, 8.0.0b1.
Mozilla already has an open-source e-mail program, Thunderbird, and the new Eudora will be a branded offshoot with some new features, according to the release site. In addition, a related extension called Penelope will provide some extra features to both Eudora and the regular Thunderbird.
Eudora rose to popularity in the dial-up days of the Internet, but it was mostly supplanted by Microsoft Outlook Express and by Web-based e-mail services. Qualcomm … Read more
This morning, Apple unveiled the iPod Touch, this year's latest must-have gadget that's the first bona fide iPod to have built-in Wi-fi, the Safari Web browser, and the YouTube app iPhone owners have come to love. That's not the most groundbreaking aspect, though--this thing's got a full version of the iTunes Music Store that you'll be able to use for shopping right on the device. You can preview and buy songs that will sync up to your iTunes library when you plug it in back at home. The idea is similar to the Music Gremlin, … Read more