Google Awakens the Force With Star Wars Themes for Apps, Includes Gmail and Maps

Because there was not already an over saturation of Star Wars crap for you to buy in stores, Google has launched Star Wars themes for your apps, just in case you needed more Force in your life. If you have a Google account, and use it for Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, and other Google services, you can experience what the Light or Dark side have to offer their users.

To start, you will need to choose a side – Light or Dark. Once a side is chosen, you will begin to see Star Wars themes throughout many of Google’s applications, whether it is on an Android device or desktop computer. For example, I chose the Dark side, opened my Gmail, and I was greeted with a darkly colored Empire theme. In addition, if you open Google Maps, find your home, you should see a Death Star.  (more…)

Inbox’s New “Smart Reply” Feature Helps You Respond to Emails Faster

Through an update rolling out to Google’s Inbox later this week, Google is introducing a new feature called Smart Reply. As the name sort of suggests, Google thinks that it has cracked some form of machine learning voodoo, which has enabled it to offer you short, quick responses to emails that could potentially save you a lot of time and typing. Think of how keyboards, like Google’s or Swiftkey, predict the next word you are typing or are about to type. Google now wants to do that on a grander scale, that scale being email.  (more…)

Google Apps Users to See Better Sync Between Calendar and Gmail

Thanks to upcoming updates, Google Apps users (essentially Google for business) will now begin to see better sync of information between Gmail and Google Calendar.

Once updated, when a user receives an email containing information such as flight, movie, and hotel confirmations, the information will automatically be loaded into your Google Calendar as an event. That means no more copy and pasting information yourself from one app to the other. Google Calendar will even automatically update information for you if it happens to change.  (more…)

This Inbox Swipe Gesture is One of My Favorite Little Things

For months, I’ve been using Google’s Inbox as my email app of choice. While I fully understand that this app or its approach to email is not for everyone, as someone who spent just as long with Mailbox before Inbox, I have fully embraced email clients that turn your inbox into a task manager. I actually feel like I get more done, respond to emails much quicker than in the past, and generally, find myself grunting and groaning far less when a new message appears. With that in mind, there are little things (like this and this and this) about Google’s Inbox that have helped make this my favorite email app.  (more…)

Snoozing Items in Inbox is Now More Convenient Than Ever

Google has become really good at keeping track of and highlighting important emails in Inbox that have to do with reservations (flight, hotel, restaurant, etc.), calendar invites, and package tracking updates. These types of emails show up with imagery and shortcuts to accessing the information you care most about, like full trip bundles.

But what if you wanted all of that automation to continue, along with a bit of added, precision control on your end? Let’s say, instead of wanting to dig through a bundle or search for package tracking, you could tell the package tracking email or hotel reservation to appear automatically, just as you need it? Starting today, you can.  (more…)

New Inbox Widgets Let You Quickly Set Reminders or Compose Emails

According to Inbox by Gmail G+ page, a recent update to the Inbox on Android app introduced two new widgets – one for setting reminders and another for composing emails.

The widgets are indeed on my phone after a recent update (at least I think that’s when they showed up) and I could see them coming in handy. For one, both the reminder and compose widgets can be dragged into a folder or in the app dock, just like an app icon. With that functionality, you don’t have to just set them on your home screen. They are still added as if they were widgets, but again, they really just function like an app shortcut.  (more…)