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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Gmail adds 'Undo Send' button ... Google removes support for 'emojis'

Have you ever experienced this ….. you respond to some e-mail communication, commenting on the ignorance or the mistake of the sender [who is an important person occupying a higher rank]  – wish to share that privately with the person who is closest to you – press the send button, only to realise that you have clicked ‘reply all’ – a recipe for disaster or  unpleasantness, the least !

In Microsoft Outlook, there is this feature of stopping delivery of a mail wrongly sent and optionally replace with another message – the catch is – only when sent to another Microsoft Exchange Server user within your organization. Message recall is available after you click Send and then realize that you forgot to attach a file, include information in the message, or want to revise what was originally sent.   One cannot however recall messages sent to email addresses outside your organization ~and you wished that Gmail too had such a facility !!

That stands answered ~ Gmail has added 'Undo Send' tool to stop embarrassing emails getting to the wrong people.  Google has made its 'Undo Send' tool an official and permanent feature nearly six years since it launched as an experiment in Gmail Labs.  To enable the feature,  get into your Gmail settings and in that long list tick  the 'Enable Undo Send' box and set the cancellation period which however cannot be more than 30 seconds.   In fact, there are 3 options of 10,20, 30 seconds – thus effectively delays the sending by half-a-minute, giving the option to change the mind and the content !

Google Inbox is an email service available for desktops - on Chrome, Firefox and Safari - as well as an iOS and Android app. When a user first logs in using, Google scans the account to present important emails first.  It groups similar emails into 'Bundles' based on subject and turns addresses into map links. Other features include the option to undo sending messages, snoozing emails to be dealt with at a later time, and pinning messages to the top of the inbox. 

To use the feature on the desktop, compose an email in the traditional way and hit send.  A pop-up message will appear at the top of the inbox that says: 'Your message has been sent. Undo.' Clicking Undo stops the message being sent and reopens it in a compose window so users can delete it, change the recipient or amend what has been written.  The announcement was made in a official blog post: 'Previously a popular feature in Gmail Labs, and recently added to Inbox by Gmail, today we’re adding 'Undo Send' as a formal setting in Gmail on the web.

Not sure whether the recipient will receive any message when you hit ‘undo’ button ! In another move, Google has removed emoji images from its search results on mobile and desktop.  Originally meaning pictograph, the word emoji literally means "picture" (e) + "character" (moji).  Some emoji are very specific to Japanese culture, such as a bowing businessman, a face wearing a face mask, a white flower used to denote "brilliant homework," or a group of emoji representing popular foods.

At a time when it seems every website and app is adding support for emoji, Google is bucking the trend. The tech giant has removed them from its search results and they will no longer appear when people search for pages that feature the ubiquitous images.  Support for emoji is said to have been pulled after websites were using the pictographs to push their pages to the top of results.

Google has removed support for emoji on its search pages. Google’s webmaster trends analyst John Mueller made the announcement during a Google+ Hangout in May. He explained that Google stopped supporting unicode symbols in 2003 and planned to do the same with emoji. Sites using emoji won't be penalised for using the images, instead the icons simply won't show up when the searches are made.

In April Instagram updated its app to let users search for emoji hashtags. These changes in particular let people post, explore other people's photos and interact with captions using just emoji.  The most popular emoji on the site is the crying with laughter face, followed by the face with love hearts for eyes and blowing a kiss emoji.

Elsewhere, Microsoft announced last month it would be adding emoji symbols to its Windows 10 software when it launches later this year. But instead of using the standard emoji characters seen across Facebook, Twitter and apps, it will introduce its own range.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

24thJune 2015.

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