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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.

Google Wants Your Grandma to Use Video Chat in Gmail
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Google has posted a video and an accompanying, printable guide for grandmothers to understand how to use Gmail’s video chat feature.

Google wants you to be able to easily show your grandparents how to use Gmail video chat, because let’s face it: a lot of grandparents aren’t hip to all of the latest web trends (if you are a grandparent that is hip to them, than good for you!).

Google Reworks the Gmail iPad Experience
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Google has released a new "compose" interface for its Gmail web interface for the iPad.  Users now get a big full screen compose window, as opposed to a split screen with the inbox and compose views.

"More text is visible at once and there are no more distractions with messages on the side. We’ve also fixed problems that prevented scrolling on long messages," says Google Mobile software engineer Craig Wilkinson.

Google Voice, Gmail VoIP Rumors Spark Interest
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There is a rumor going around the blogosphere that Google may be working on a VoIP service utilizing Google Voice integration with Gmail. A spokesperson for Google tells WebPronews, "We’re always testing new features and looking for ways to improve our products. We have nothing to announce at this time."

Advanced Gmail Chat Features Made Easier To Find

Whatever sorts of microphones and webcams the average Gmail user has attached to his (or her) computer may soon start getting a lot more use.  Yesterday evening, Google made the video chat, voice chat, and group chat features much more prominent.

Gmail and Google Buzz Get Google Maps Previews
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Google has released a new Gmail Labs feature that lets you preview Google Maps within Gmail and Google Buzz.

"I often receive emails containing addresses in them — where to meet for dinner, the location of my friend’s new apartment, etc. To find out where these places actually are, I have to copy the address, open up Google Maps, and paste it in," says Google software engineer Mark Knichel, explaining the motivation for creating this feature.

Will Google Buzz Find Mainstream Appeal?
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Google is starting to make some significant moves that may give Google Buzz a significant boost. For example, this week, a "Reshare" button was announced. This is essentially Google’s version of the retweet. If you follow a Buzz user who posts an interesting update, you can hit the "reshare" button (down with the comment, like, and email buttons) to repost that post to your own Buzz stream.

Microsoft Previews New Hotmail Upgrade
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Microsoft has introduced a preview of its Hotmail email service aimed at reducing inbox clutter and winning over users of other rival services such as Yahoo mail and Gmail.

Key highlights of the revamped Windows Live Hotmail include the ability to create and edit Office documents right in the inbox, view new emails from friends, social network updates, shipments and appointments upon logging in.

Is a Lack of Search on Google Profiles Hurting Buzz?
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Google’s Rick Klau points out that homepage for Google Profiles is missing a pretty obvious feature – search. While Google profiles are tied into your Google account as a whole, when it comes to Google Buzz, your Google profile is essentially your Wall. All your Buzz posts appear here, and so do any of your personal links you want people to see.

Gmail Expands Drag-And-Drop Feature

About four weeks ago, Gmail gained a drag-and-drop feature that made attaching files to emails considerably more convenient.  Now, as a sort of complement to that text-focused upgrade, another new feature is set to make inserting pictures into emails easier, as well.

A noteworthy point here is that Google’s skipped past the beta/lab stage, offering the new option to lots of ordinary Gmail users.  Another important fact is that it’s user-friendly – the sort of thing even people who don’t read WebProNews and official Google blogs might discover for themselves.