Gmail Now Integrates Useful ‘Block’ Button

Gmail has finally implemented a long-overdue feature which allows you to block “disruptive” senders and automatically divert their message into a spam folder. The tool was launched yesterday for Web users and should arrive on Android devices a few days later. Google also announced an ‘unsubscribe’ button to opt out of mailing lists without having to navigate to the sender’s website. A spokesperson for Google said in a blog post:

“Sometimes you get mail from someone who’s really disruptive. Hopefully it doesn’t happen often—but when it does, you should be able to say, Never see messages from this person again.”

“That’s why you can now block specific email addresses in Gmail—starting today on the web, and over the next week on Android. Future mail will go to the spam folder (and you can always unblock in Settings).”

To block any sender, all you have to do is click the ‘More’ drop-down menu and select ‘Block’ or ‘Unsubscribe’. This makes it remarkably simple to enable either of these functions but difficult enough so you can’t click it by accident. With the huge amount of spam e-mails, phishing scams, and abuse messages, this should have been implemented a long time ago. Thankfully, this should allow you to clean up your inbox and live a less stressful working environment.

Thank you DigitalTrends for providing us with this information.

Apple May Ditch the Home Button in Next-Gen iPhones

Apple introduced a revolutionary smartphone design when it first came out. Back then, phones had an abundance of buttons, but the company wanted to make it more simplistic. Thus, they came up with the Home Button.

Apple’s Home Button is used on both iPhone and iPad devices to minimize applications, bring up the multitasking menu, activate Siri and other user specific actions. But now, Apple is rumoured to ditch the Home Button too.

According to a report from Digitimes, the Cupertino giant is integrating the Home Button functions in its display by developing a touch and display driver integration (TDDI) chip. This means that the Home Button will now be displayed on the screen, rather than having it as a physical button.

We’ve seen the company make the same move with the trackpad on its latest MacBook series, so it’s highly likely that we will see the same approach on its mobile devices too. However, we are fairly certain that the latest iPhone models being released this fall will not bear the TDDI technology.

In addition, the company is working to integrate the fingerprint sensor directly on the display too. This means that your smartphone’s display will be able to read and interpret your fingerprints as well.

As always, Apple is not going to officially confirm rumours outside of their annual conference, so we might see the company announce the new tech next year. Until then, we might even see other manufacturers taking the same ‘all-display’ approach. As far as I know, the old Nokia N9 is a good example of such a ‘buttonless’ smartphone (except for the volume physical buttons of course).

Thank you Digitimes for providing us with this information

Why Use Online Stores When You Can Buy Directly Through Google!

Earlier this month I wrote about a new project Google is going to try testing out in which you will be able to quickly order food through Google and a list of authorised fast food retailers near where you are. Seems that food isn’t all Google wants to sink their teeth into, with them looking to help you buy things quicker without even leaving the google search page.

The “buy buttons” will live inside the ads that are placed at the top of your search results, you know the ones which are sponsored and are paid for by companies?  When clicked, unlike the Google Store Pages, you’ll be taken to yet another page within Google from which you can order the product, all while still being on the Google website. You could even save your card details to make this an easy purchase with one touch buying (similar to what the Android store and Amazon store offer).

Apparently due to the success of the mobile site the new feature will start with testing on their mobile site and not on their desktop site. With an initial launch area of a “small percentage”, the chances are that unless you are looking for it, you might not even notice the new feature being tested out.

With the ability to search for products from a variety of online retailers with Google Shopping, and now potentially allowing direct access to the shops with easy buying, is Google looking to move its name onto online retailing as a distributor, similar to how amazon helps small time retailers by letting them list their wares on their site?

With “google it” already synonymous with ‘search for it online’, how long before it comes to mean ‘to order online’ as well?

Thanks to The Verge for providing us with this information.

ECHO Urgent Messenger Aims to Notify Your Friends When You Are In Distress

A new personal SOS device is apparently in the works over at Indiegogo website, having it be able to let people know where you are and even speak to them after you press the ‘panic button’. The device by the name of ECHO Urgent Messenger, which basically has the same principle as a normal panic button, is said to fit on your keychain and help you in calling for help whenever you need it. The company is aiming to raise at least $5,000 in order to start production for the aforementioned gadget.

What makes the device stand out of the crowd is its ability to add friends to the contacts it sends a distress signal upon triggered. Aside from the staff, who will receive your distress signal and be able to talk to you (if you can) or at least listen to what is going on, the device is said to let users add individual phone, email and even Facebook contacts, who will be notified about your distress as soon as you press the button.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L97MDtdp0Nk[/youtube]

The message sent when triggered is said to contain your location within five feet, based on GPS, GLONASS and cell tower triangulation. However, with all the privacy concerns out there, this might sound as a way people could track your every movement. Nonetheless, the company has stated that all location tracking features will only activate once the user presses the button and will remain deactivated otherwise.

In terms of power, the ECHO gadget is said to run on a AAA battery, having the company stating that it would last as long as 7 years in standby or 5 hours of talk time in the case where it has been triggered. People interested in acquiring one can pledge at least $144 and wait for it to be delivered in December, though the target crowdfunding plays an important role to its actual release on the market.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information
Image and video courtesy of Indiegogo

Leaked Images Reveal Upcoming Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo Smartwatches

Having MWC right at our doorstep, a lot of rumors coming from Samsung are mainly focused on the Galaxy S5 handset. Even so, it looks like @evleaks shifts the focus to a more wearable trend, the Galaxy Gear.

Two leaked images have been posted by @evleaks which appear to represent the upcoming ‘Gear 2’ and ‘Gear 2 Neo’, having posted later on some information about the smartwatches dropping the Galaxy brand.

There have been some changes made to the smartwatch design, having an additional button on the front and changing the camera position slightly upwards compared to the original Galaxy Gear. However, the design still looks like Samsung’s near-universal phone and tablet layout.

The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo have slight differences as well, noticeable in the screen frame and camera. Other than that, both appear to have the same similar functional sense. The leaked images present only two versions, in copper-gold and black, however there are bound to be more diversity in terms of colors before they will hit the market.

Looking at the notifications, the UI seems slightly different from its predecessor, both displaying shortcut notifications on the home screen. What is interesting though is the fact that the Gear 2 displays a camera notification icon while the Gear 2 Neo displays only a general notification icon, despite both having cameras at the top of their screen.

If we are to consider that the leaked images are true, the Gear 2 Neo is said to be a cheaper option for customers, presumably due to lower specs and/or feature variety. Looking at the date on their screen, 24th of February, clearly states an official announcement is taking place at the Unpacked 5 event on Monday, having expecting the Galaxy S5 handset to be there as well.

Thank you Android Police for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of @evleaks

Leaked Image of ‘Twitter Commerce’ Show ‘Buy’ Button Next To ‘Retweet’ and ‘Favourite’

Every Twitter account (for those who use one) is inevitably working as a waterfall, bringing you sponsored ads, breaking news and other tweets you may or may not want to see. However, leaked images from Twitter’s Commerce User Flow plans on adding a new feature to your already ‘busy’ stream.

Documents found on Fancy.com’s website propose a method of selling goods directly to Twitter followers by embedding miniature product pages directly in Tweets. The images, uncovered by Re/Code, show expandable, sponsored tweets that feature a sales blurb and product image underlined by a price tag and “Buy with Fancy” button. The mockup also demonstrates that purchases and package tracking could be handled completely within Twitter’s own app.

The images found by Fancy point to the project being named ‘Twitter Commerce’, but it’s unclear if the documents are merely a proposal to the microblogging service or something that’s actually in production. The setup is interesting, and it could be useful if treated right, however we need to know more about it before we can start judging. A Re/Code source, however, claims that Twitter is actively working with several companies to build a working commerce solution.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Endgadget

Facebook Rolls Out New Like And Share buttons

It appears that Facebook’s “Like” and “Share” buttons are changing according to Facebook Developer Blog, and the thumbs up symbol we’ve long associated with it is no more.

Both buttons are seen daily around 22 billion times across 7.5 million websites, making the buttons a very important feature for Facebook. We see changes in design everywhere, some for the better and some not that great. But the change in design for the “Like” and “Share” buttons is more important than people think. It also has a pretty serious impact web content and the way that businesses promote their products.

Facebook’s Ray C. He had this to say on the blog:

“Today, we’re introducing a new design for both Like and Share to help people share more great content across the web. We’re already seeing a favorable increase in Likes and Shares with the new design and will be rolling these buttons out to everyone in the coming weeks. If you are currently using the old Like button, you’ll be automatically upgraded to the new design as part of our roll out.”

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information.
Image courtesy of Facebook