26 Jan 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

Top Results and Quick Answers in Google Inbox

I've always wondered why Gmail doesn't sort search results by relevance, just like Google Search. Gmail sorts results by date, so you can quickly find recent messages that match your query, and that's pretty useful, but sometimes you want to find an old email from a friend or a long-forgotten conversation about modern architecture.

Now Inbox search works a lot like Google Search. Google autocompletes your query and shows results as you type. There's also a "top results" section that shows the most relevant 5 results for your query. It's not perfect and it's easy to see why this doesn't replace the standard "sort by date": ranking email conversations is harder than ranking web pages. There are no links between messages, many messages are pretty short and are only important for a short while.


In addition to top results, Inbox also shows quick answers extracted from your messages. "Now when you're searching for a frequent flyer number or shipping status, Inbox will show it at the top of search results - no more digging through individual emails to find what you're looking for."


Quick answers are very big in the desktop site:

26 Jan 2016 7:35pm GMT

24 Jan 2016

feedGoogle Operating System

YouTube Loop

Back in 2014, I found a way to loop YouTube videos using a feature of the HTML5 player. It looks like YouTube added "loop" as a standard feature. Just right click inside the HTML5 player and click "loop". This way, you can watch a video on repeat until you pause it or uncheck "loop" from the contextual menu.


It also works for embedded videos. Here's a short video you can use to test the loop feature:

24 Jan 2016 4:07pm GMT

Import Contacts in the New Google Contacts

When the latest version of Google Contacts launched last year, many features were missing. It looks like one of these features is back: you can now import contacts without switching to the old UI.

You can import contacts from Yahoo Mail, Outlook.com, AOL or from other email providers. If you want to import contacts from a CSV/vCard file, you'll still have to switch to the old interface.


Google uses a third-party service called ShuttleCloud for importing contacts. "To continue, you'll need to give ShuttleCloud temporary access to your contacts data, including names and email addresses," informs Google.


Another missing feature was restoring contacts. You can now "restore your contacts to any state within the past 30 days, recover deleted contacts, undo an import, or undo a merge."


Exporting contacts and printing contacts still require to go back to the old UI.

24 Jan 2016 11:29am GMT