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Google Offering Free $10 Calling Credit For Military Families During The Holidays
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Google said today it is offering a free $10 calling credit during the holidays to military families in an effort to help them keep in touch with their loved ones serving abroad.

Should Gmail Be Worried About Facebook?
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You’ve no doubt heard or read about Facebook’s new messaging announcement this week. If not, the company announced a new messaging system to combine email, SMS, IM, Chat, and other forms of online communication, bringing them into one inbox. Along with this comes @facebook.com email addresses. CEO Mark Zuckerberg described the system as "starting from scratch" as opposed to being a Facebook email product. 

Marketing and Personal Implications of a Facebook Email Service
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Rumor has it that Facebook will unveil its webmail product on Monday. That means look out Yahoo Mail. Look out Hotmail, and more interestingly in the grand scheme of things, look out Gmail. 

> Update: Read today’s article on the announcent of @facebook.com

Google Tweaks Gmail for iPhone and iPod Touch

Google has been rolling out new features for Gmail in mobile Safari for the iPhone. They’ve sped up scrolling to reflect the speed of the swipe gesture, and the toolbars stay on the screen while the user is scrolling, as opposed to moving down into view after each scroll. 

Virgin America Goes Google With Gmail
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Airline Virgin America said today it is moving its operating systems into the cloud with Google Apps and will use Gmail as its email provider. Virgin America said the move to Gmail will improve its productivity for its more than 1,700 employees and it will help to streamline its IT infrastructure.

Gmail Gets a Long Overdue Setting

Google is launching a new option in Gmail that lets users turn of conversation threads. This is a feature that was innovative when Google released its popular email service years ago, but not everyone has been a fan of this style of email communication. 

I’m not sure why it’s taken Google so long to offer a setting to turn the feature off, but better late than never, I suppose, for those who aren’t fans. 

Google Launches New Gmail App for Android
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Google has released a new version of the Gmail app for in the Android Market. The company says Gmail updates are no longer tied to Android version releases, though the update does require Froyo (Android 2.2). 

Google Improves Video Chat Quality with New Gmail Feature
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Google introduced a new feature in Gmail Labs today for video chat enhancement. If you turn the feature on, your video chat experience will come with higher resolution. 

Chances are, the feature will be automatic in the future. Google says by using it, you’ll be getting a preview before its turned on for everyone. 

Gmail Filters Email Beyond Spam

Last week, the New York Times reported that Bit.ly lead scientist Hilary Mason had created a customized email classification system for Gmail that prioritizes her email by which she should read first. She said that she hoped to release the code for it this fall, so others could take advantage.

Over a Million Calls Made from Gmail in First 24 Hours
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Google announced (via Twitter) that over 1,000,000 people placed calls from Gmail within just 24 hours. This feature began rolling out yesterday (and as far as I can tell isn’t even finished yet).

Make and Receive Phone Calls from Gmail

Earlier, it was reported that Google was testing a feature that would let you make and receive phone calls from within Gmail. It turns out, this wasn’t just a test.

Google has now officially announced that this is indeed a feature of Gmail. It is being rolled out in the U.S. starting today.

Google Reportedly Testing Voice Calling from Gmail

Google is reportedly testing a new voice calling service that would reside in Gmail on the desktop. Tom Krazit at CNET says the service is launched from the Google Chat window within Gmail, and allows users to place and receive calls from within their contacts.

Google Updates iPhone App with Notifications

Google announced today that it has updated its Google Mobile iPhone app to push notifications from users’ Google accounts to their phones. Now, an icon badge will show when you’ve got new mail in Gmail or when a reminder for a Google Calendar event comes up.

The badge will appear right on the home screen.

"We’ve also added spiffy features to get you information faster — when looking for flight info, weather, stock quotes or currency conversion you’ll see answers before you even hit ‘Search’," says Google engineering manager David Singleton.

Google Enables Voice And Video Chat On Linux
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About 22 months ago, Google launched a voice and video chat feature within Gmail, allowing many people to have live, face-to-face conversations with their friends and colleagues.  Now, a few more folks – Linux users – will finally be permitted to take advantage of it, too.

Gmail Gets “Stacked Card” Look on iPad

Google has released a new "stacked card" interface for Gmail on the iPad. What this does is allow for selecting and managing multiple conversations.

Search Across Email and Docs in Gmail
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Google released a new Gmail Labs feature today that lets you search across email and Google Docs. If you turn it on and search from the Gmail search box, you will simply get results from both places, when applicable.

Gmail: The Game
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A Googler, by the name of Paul Truong (Creative Technologist) has created a game based on his love for Gmail. The game was created with HTML5, and runs a little choppy in Firefox.

The Gmail game is a throwback to arcade games of yesteryear in which you’re a spaceship flying around, shooting various flying objects. You know the kind – Galaga, Stinger, Lifeforce, and probably dozens of others.

Google Makes Some Adjustments to Gmail
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Google has made some updates to the Gmail experience with a heavy focus on contacts. The company says that out of all of the feedback it gets about Gmail, most of it is about improving the contacts experience.

New contacts features include:

Google Wave – Ahead of its Time or Just Another Failure?
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Google Wave may be going away, but it is highly unlikely that the web has felt its presence for the last time. As Google said in its announcement, the company will "extend the technology for use in other Google projects."

Were you able to find a reason to use Google Wave?
 Tell us about it.

Chrome Users Can Drag Attachments Out of Gmail
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Google has added a new useful feature to Gmail for Chrome users. Now, you can drag attachments out of messages in Gmail and save them to your computer.

"Let’s say you have an email open containing an attachment. Hover your mouse over the attachment’s ‘Download’ link or its file icon and a tooltip appears that says: ‘Click to view OR drag to your desktop to save,’" says software engineer Adam de Boor.

Google Testing New Tweaks for Gmail?
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Alex Chitu at Google Operating System has spotted some changes in Gmail that Google appears to be testing with some users. Google constantly tests new features in its products, and while some of them go on to become actual features, some of them fade away and never get integrated on a mass scale.