Tag: email clients

Google brings forward a feature that ends email remorse


Compose Email or New Email form

Sometimes you may wish you haven’t sent that email

Now you can avoid email sender’s remorse with Gmail’s ‘Undo Send’ feature | Naked Security (Sophos blog)

My Comments

You end up sending that misspelled email to your boss or click “Reply All” instead of “Reply” when you send that reply. Or a late Friday night alone with some music playing on the stereo and a half-empty bottle of whiskey beside you means that you type out that inappropriate email to that former love interest. These can lead to situations where the email you sent can have embarrassing or disastrous consequences.

Google has now integrated a “delayed sending” feature in to the GMail service so that you can opt to cancel sending that email. Here, once you enable this feature, you can specify a certain amount of time to wait before actually sending that email. This enables a “Cancel Send” button which takes the email out of the Outbox so it isn’t on its embarrassing way and would cope with situations like misspelt or misaddressed messages or “half-the-facts” situations. This is another feature that Google dabbled with in their labs to beat the “I wish I didn’t send that” blues and they rolled this in to production GMail deployments.

The previous feature they worked on was a CAPTCHA setup that would come in to play when it is the late evening. Here, you would have to solve a maths equation before you could send out that email, as a way of assessing whether you had a bit too much to drink and were about to send that drunken email. But they could extend this functionality to cope with the drunk email by having a user-selectable option to hold all emails that you send during a certain time window like 10pm-6am on Friday and Saturday nights for a longer time or until the next day.

This can easily be implemented in email client software as well as Webmail setups so you don’t have to use GMail to have these features. But Google is the main email service provider who is targeting the issue of sender’s remorse by providing the delay options.

Do you view or download that picture that you received in your Webmail

A common situation for Webmail users is that when the receive an email with one or more picture attachements in it, they are faced with an option to view or download the image. This is a situation that can perplex some novice computer users when they face these situations.

Viewing an image

When you select the “View” option for that image, you see the image using your Web browser. This can work well with some Web browsers but not with others and can be annoying if the browser that you are using either shows “actual size” only or while the photo is loading.

In some cases, some browsers such as Internet Explorer can provide a user interface for panning and zooming on digital pictures that can be frustrating and unintuitive to some users. It can be good enough if you are viewing small images or viewing an image “at a glance” with a properly-behaving browser.

Downloading an image

When you select the “Download” option, the image will be copied to your computer’s local storage and you are then presented the option to “open” the image or “save” it somewhere else.

If you “open” it, you use your operating system’s default image handler which, for most desktop environments, would be a dedicated image viewer or your image management program.  Some users may find this program’s interface more intuitive because it shows the image at best resolution on the screen yet allows them to use the image handler’s zoom and pan controls to view the detail.

You also have the option to “save” the image to somewhere of your choosing on your computer’s file system to “take it further”. This can be useful for saving it to a USB memory key so you can have it printed by your favourite digital photofinisher or to show on that digital picture frame or TV. Similarly, you could “save” it to your image library as something to “come back to” later; or to view using your DLNA-capable smart TV or video player.

What do you do?

Whether to view or download that image in your Webmail can depend on what you want to do with the image.

If you want to take the image further, it is best to “download” the image and use the “save” option. On the other hand, you can just “view” the image if you are comfortable with how your Web browser shows images or “download” if you find that the image viewer or image management program’s viewing interface does the job better for you.

Email Essentials- 2 Tasks and Tips

In the first article of this series, I talked about the two different classes of email interface – the client-based interface and the Webmail which is the Web-based interface.

Then I talked about the different folders and views that are part of an email user interface such as the Inbox, Outbox and the Sent Items folder and the Unread Items and Starred Items / Flagged Items view.

Now I will be talking about the basic tasks associated with using email such as reading new email and sending out email. This will also include extra tips to get the most of your email.


Sending a new email

  1. If you are sending a new email, you just click on “Compose”, “New Message” or “New Email”. It may be a button with an envelope and a + symbol on it. This gives you a blank form to work with.

    Compose Email or New Email form

    Compose Email or New Email form

  2. You enter the email address of the correspondent or, in most cases, their name if you have the correspondent in your Contacts list, in to the “To” area.
  3. You can add extra email correspondents if you intend to send it to other people. As well, you can add other email correspondents in to the “Cc” field which stands for “Courtesy Copy” or “Carbon Copy”. There is also a “Bcc” field where you can enter a correspondent’s email address or name but the correspondents who are in the “To” or “Cc” fields don’t see the fact that you sent a copy to the “Bcc” correspondents.
  4. Then you enter the subject of the email in the “Subject” field. It is a good practice to use this so that the correspondent can know what the email they are receiving is all about.
  5. Subsequently you write the text of your message in the large “Message” field.
    In most email user-interfaces, you have the ability to vary the way your text looks using the formatting buttons typically located above the message form. Here, you could do this before you type the message or select the text you want to modify and use these buttons to modify the look.
    As you work, the email will be held in the Drafts folder and, with some email interfaces, you may be required to expressly save or delete the email if you close it.
  6. When you are satisfied with the message you are to send, click the “Send” button. The message will appear in the Outbox as it is being sent, then will appear in the Sent Items folder once it is sent.

Reading an email

This task is the simplest to do in that you just visit your Inbox and click on emails that you want to read.

New emails that haven’t been read will typically appear in bold and some email user interfaces will provide a view or filter that shows only the new emails.

You can mark important emails as “starred” or “flagged” as a way of bookmarking them for later reference. When you need to come back to them again, you select the “Starred Items” or “Flagged Items” view to see just these emails in your Inbox,

Replying to an email or sending the email to someone else

  1. When you read an email and want to reply to it, you just click the “Reply” button. On the other hand, if you just need to send it to someone else, you just click the “Forward” button. The “Reply All” inserts the addresses that a multi-destination email was sent to in to the “To” line and is best used if you really intended the contents of your reply to be seen by the other correspondents.

    Reply and Forward buttons

    Reply and Forward buttons

  2. You will see a “new-email” form with the text of the original message set in a manner to identify it as that. The Subject will be the same but with “Re:” in the case of a reply or “Fw:” in the case of a forwarded message. The cursor will be position in a blank space above this text.
    As well, the name or email of the sender will be placed in the “To: field” of this message if you are replying to the email.
  3. Here, you write the text of your reply or explanatory text for the forwarded email. The process for sending this email will be the same as for a new email.

Deleting emails

When you delete an email in most email user interfaces, it will be moved to a “Deleted Items” or “Trash” folder and won’t appear in your Inbox. You can come back to that email or move it back to your Inbox.

But when you delete emails from the “Deleted Items” folder, they will be gone for good. Similarly, if you click on an option to “Empty Deleted Items”, all the emails in this folder will be gone for good.

Similarly, there is an option to permanently delete an email from the system when you see it in the inbox. This may be in the form of selecting the email and choosing the “Delete permanently” option or, with most desktop email clients, selecting the email and then pressing Shift and Delete on the keyboard at the same time.

Printing out an email

If you want hard copy of your email, there are different ways to go about it depending on the email user-interface you are using.

If you are using a client-based email interface, you just simply view the email then select the print option in your email client. This typically would be done by clicking “File-Print” or by pressing CtrlP / CommandP on your keyboard; then selecting the printer you normally use then clicking the “Print” button.

For Webmail users, they just look for a “Print” option on their Web-based user interface which will provide the email in a printable form without any extra display clutter such as columns, banner ads, etc. Then, depending on the interface, you will start the print process by clicking a “Print” option on the printable view.

Some Webmail interfaces may immediately cause the browser to show the printout user interface so you can start the print process. But there are some other Webmail user interfaces that work properly with modern Web browsers by properly setting out the email for printing when you start printing using the Web browser’s print command.

Junk-mail filtering

Most Web and desktop email interfaces use a “junk-mail” filter function which keeps junk email a.k.a. spam out of your inbox. Typically they use one of varying algorithms to determine if the email is junk or not and, if it is junk, the interface will direct the email to a “junk-mail” folder.

Here, you can override this setting for particular contacts that you deal with by using a method specific to the interface. In most client-based interfaces, this may require you to right-click /Ctrl+click the email address and select “mark as safe”, “mark as trusted” or a similar option for that address.

As well, it may be worth checking this Junk Mail folder if you find that the business email you were expecting had not shown up in your Inbox when you were expecting it.


Using email in conjunction with instant-messaging, mobile-phone texting or social networks

Some of you may catch on to instant-messaging programs, social-network messaging functions or mobile-phone texting services and forget that email does exist. Here you may become tempted to write longer messages fit for email services using these services; and I have covered this topic on this site previously as I have had to help users who were wanting to take material in their conversations further such as to prepare legal release documents.

But the email still has its role even if you use these services as your online communications tool. Most of the instant-messaging systems and social networks don’t have a way of taking the text of a message further than the conversation you have with your correspondent. This may be important if you want the message to be printed or used as part of a document for example.

Here, you need to make sure that you know the latest email address of your regular correspondents that you talk to on Skype, Facebook or Windows Live Messenger; and have these addresses in your email interface’s Contacts List / address book. Then, if you want to pass information that is to be taken further than the conversation you have in this application, you send that information using email.

Then your chat / messaging session on Facebook or your texting session on your mobile phone can just exist for conversation-style text communication.

Cleaning out your email inbox

If you have to clean out your email inbox, delete the newsletters and any automatically-generated confirmation and notification emails first. Then empty the “Deleted Items” folder.

If there are receipts that were generated as part of an e-commerce transaction, print these out or make PDFs of them using a “print-to-PDF” program so you can reconcile them with your credit-card statements. Then you can delete them. This is important with businesses and others who need to retain transactions over a significant number of years for the taxman.


These articles, which are written to work for most Web-based and client-based email interfaces in current use, will help you to understand how to get the hang of your email system.

Email Essentials–1 User Interface Types and Features

A very common task that I help computer novices with is how to work with email, which is an essential part of the Internet. This article will appear as part of a three-part series with the first part talking about the user interface.

Email interface classes

Webmail (Web-based email)

Webmail interface - GMail

GMail - an example of a popular Webmail interface

A webmail service is based around you using a Web browser pointed to a particular Web server to read and send your email. It is as though your Web browser is effectively a “terminal” for your email service.

Typical examples of these services are Hotmail, GMail and Rocketmail but if your ISP or company sets up your mailboxes, they may set up a Webmail front-end for your inbox. This option may be set up primarily as a portable client-independent email option for travellers or nomadic users.

The main advantage of these setups is their portability and the reduced need for software to be configured. On the other hand, you are limited by a user-interface speed that can be affected by the number of users using your service and the Internet connection that you have.

A trap I often see with email novices who use this interface type is that they will work on an email but start to browse around the Web for other material. This would then cause the email that they are working on to be “effectively” lost and better-designed Webmail interfaces warn users that they could be losing their email if they navigate away from the page. Here, they would have an opportunity to save their work-in-progress as a draft.

But if you are intending to browse around the Web, including other emails in your Webmail user interface, open up a new browser window (CtrlN / CommandN) or tab (CtrlK / CommandK) and do this browsing from there. Then come back to the email by switching windows or tabs in the browser.

Client-based email

Windows Live Mail client-based email interface

Windows Live Mail - an example of a client-based email interface

The client-based email service requires that the device you are using to view your emails uses an email client program to manage your emails. The typical clients that you may use are the email software integrated in your iOS, Android or other mobile device; or Apple Mail, Windows Live Mail, Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird on your regular computer.

The email service will typically be provided by your ISP, Web host or your employer as a mailbox. On the other hand, some companies who run Webmail services do provide a client-based email option for these services and there are some companies who simply provide client-based mailbox services for Internet users. These setups will use one or more of these protocols: POP3/SMTP, IMAP4 or Microsoft Exchange.

The main advantage here is that you have quick response for your email tasks and you use an interface that is native to your computer operating environment.

Key folders in your email user interface

Folder list in an email interface

List of folders and views in a typical email user interface

In your email user interface, you will see a few folders that are very important to your email use. The folders and views are typically listed in a column on the left of your email interface’s screen if you are using a Webmail or desktop email client.


This folder is where all incoming email messages, henceforth known as emails, first land. It is like your mail box where all your postal mail will land, waiting for you to collect it. Typically, the new unread emails will he highlighted in a bold font so you know what has been read.

Unread Mail view

Most email user interfaces will have an “Unread mail” view which only shows the messages that you haven’t read. As well, a lot of client-based email software will flash up a notification icon and sound an audio prompt when new email arrives. The notification icon will disappear when you visit your inbox.

Starred or Flagged Messages view

An increasing number of email interfaces have a “starred” or “flagged” view where you can mark a message with a star or flag as you go through your Inbox. This feature works more like a bookmark system for your Inbox. Here, you select a “starred messages” or “flagged messages” view which only shows those messages so you can focus on them easily.

Messages From Contacts view

Another feature that is part of many desktop email clients is a “messages from contacts” view which only shows those messages that have come in from your contacts that are in your interface’s Contacts List / Address Book.

This feature allows you to separate the email that comes from your contacts form the newsletters and similar material that end up in your Inbox.


In a typical email user environment, the Drafts folder is where any email that you are working on is saved. This will happen if you close an email message that you are working on without you sending it, and some email user interfaces will automatically save emails that you are working on in this folder regularly until you actually send them.


The Outbox folder is where all of the messages you have composed and sent will land before they are despatched over the Internet to your correspondents.

Typically, the messages will appear there for a short time but there are a few circumstances that may cause your messages to be here for longer. One is if the email server is not functioning as it should or you are offline. This may be the case if you operate your client-based email system in an offline mode and click “Send / Receive” to check for email.

Another is if there is a large attachment such as a batch of photos and the email is taking a long time to send with some consumer email servers.

Sent Items

Once an email is actually sent out over the Internet, it will appear in your “Sent Items” folder so you know what has actually been sent

Deleted Items / Trash

When you delete an email, it will end up in this folder as a safeguard against you making a regrettable mistake. But if you delete an email from this folder, it is gone for good.

Conversation View

Most email user interfaces provide a “conversation view” which shows all emails with the same subject name and between you and the same correspondent. They will typically ignore the “Re:” or “Fw:” prefixes that are used to indicate a reply or a forwarded message; as well as showing the messages in reverse chronological order with the latest message first.

Contact List (Address Book)

The Contact List or Address Book is where you keep your regularly-used email addresses. You can add a contact to this list using the “Add New Contact” option in the Contact List view or you can add an email address for a sent or received email to the Contact List by clicking on an “Add this to my Contacts” option.

Here, you may have the opportunity to add further details or amend the details about the contact so you have better information for that contact.

Next, I will be talking about how to perform the various tasks that you need to do when you use your email facility as well as writing some useful tips for this facility.

Setting up your smartphone or tablet for email

You may have your Web-based or client-based email system going strong on your regular computer but you have just joined the hordes and bought a new iPhone or Android smartphone or tablet.

One of the main advantages of these devices is that you can use them to check on your email and send simple email messages or replies. But you need to set up your email to work with these devices before you can use this benefit.

What you need to know

You will need to know the following details:

  • what kind of email setup you are using
    This could be your the name of your Web-based email service or one of the following kinds of client-driven email services (POP3 / SMTP – common in email services with residential Internet services, IMAP – used as a client-side access method for some Web services or an alternative to POP3 for some residential and small-business services and Microsoft Exchange – used in most larger business setups)
  • your full email address 
  • your password for that email service. For email services that are part of your Internet service, this will be the same as your login parameters for that email service.

POP3 (SMTP) email services

If you are using a POP3 email service, which most consumer and small-business email services are, you will need to go to the email client on your regular computer and make sure the option to “Keep messages on server” is selected. If you regularly work your email from your regular computer as well as your smartphone or tablet, you could set the option to clear messages from the server after a month.

Setting up the smartphone or tablet

You will need to open your email app on the smartphone or tablet and go to “Account” options. In the Android platform, this would be “Email” whereas the iOS devices would know it as “Mail” on the iPhone and iPad.

Touch the “Add Account” function and enter your email address and password. In the case of the Apple devices, you will have an option with the graphics that represent the Web mail services and Exchange service as well as an option for an “other” service. Android users would have to use the Gmail app to work their Gmail account. Where prompted, enter your full email address and password. At that point, enter your name in the “Name” field if you are setting up your Apple device.

Here, the smartphone or tablet will obtain the setup details for your email account and set itself up for that account if you entered in the correct email address and password. This is where Android users would be asked to enter their name, which will appear on the email others receive from them.

If you maintain multiple accounts, you can add these accounts to your device so you can monitor them. This is done using the same procedure.

I would still make sure that any taglines like “Sent from iPhone” or “Sent from Samsung smartphone” are kept so your recipients know that you were replying or sending that message from the smartphone. This may be of concern for people getting used to the touchscreen keyboard on these devices.

Your email application

Android users will find that the arrival of new email is marked by an “envelope” on the top of the screen. They then “draw down” the “blind” which shows a notification screen with any notifications still outstanding. Touch on the “new email” notification so you can see all the new mail that has arrived. As well, the email application will be visible on the first home-screen or the first screen of the “Applications” library screen.

For iOS users will see the email application always at the bottom of the screen alongside the phone application. This will have a red bubble indicating the number of new emails that have arrived.


What POP3 users need to know

People who use POP3 email services and want to keep a record of an email that they sent may need to send a BCC (blind carbon copy) to themselves of the message because the old POP3 protocol doesn’t allow for proper multi-terminal access to these accounts with a synchronous view.

Similarly, an email that is marked as read or deleted on your smartphone may not be marked as read or deleted on your regular computer and vice versa. This is also to do with the same “single-computer” mentality around this protocol.

Setting your phone up for your Wi-Fi network

It is also a good idea to set your phone or tablet up with your home’s or small-business’s Wi-Fi network so you can make use of the better wireline broadband access plans rather than relying totally on your 3G provider’s tight wireless-broadband tariffs for your email.


Once you have your email set up on your smartphone or tablet device, you can find yourself liberated from your desk when it comes to checking on the arrival of important email.

Following the HomeNetworking01.info site–your options

Hi all!

You may have come in to this site either via a Web search, an email or from the URL that you may have copied from posters, cards and other offline advertising that I may have put up around town; and have found the site of interest. But you don’t have the time to keep checking on it for newer articles.

There are three ways to follow this site so you don’t miss the latest articles:

1. RSS feed (Webfeed) – You can subscribe to an RSS feed using your feed reader. This may be integrated in your email program, Web browser or operating system;’ or there will be many different applications for all the computing platforms that will show a list of articles in an RSS feed. Your browser may highlight the orange RSS icon to indicate that there is the Webfeed to subscribe to. Click on this to start subscribing with your browser’s feed-reading function.

For other applications, the URL is:


This feed is updated as and when new articles are published.

2. Your email inbox. There is an option to subscribe to this site so you have new articles appear in your email inbox. This will be provided in the form of a “Subscribe” form located in the sidebar on the right hand side of your page in the standard view and you fill in your email address, with a CAPTCHA-protected “opt-in” form popping up when you click the “Subscribe” button. Another way will be to visit this URL:


When you fill in your email in either of these forms, you will get a confirmation email from Feedburner Email Subscriptions which has a link that you must click on in order to start receiving the latest articles in your email inbox.

The emails come on days where there are new articles posted and if two or more articles are posted on the one day, you will receive one email with all the articles.

3: Facebook Feed: If you are a member of Facebook, you can follow this site by either scrolling down to the “Visit this on Facebook” box and clicking the “Like” button in that box or visiting this Facebook page.If you haven’t logged in to Facebook at that point, you will be required to log in.

Subsequent articles will appear in your Recent Items Facebook list under “HomeNetworking01.info” and you will have the introductory text of the article as the copy so you can follow through and continue reading it at the site. This may not be feasible if you are checking your Facebook account from a device that doesn’t start a Web-browsing session when you click on a link.

These articles will appear as and when new articles are published.

At the moment, there isn’t the ability to start email or Facebook subscriptions from the simplified mobile user interface unless you click on the links in this article. You may have to click this link or click the “Go to Desktop View” option at the bottom of the page to open the regular view for creating an email or Facebook subscription. This will be a problem if you are viewing this from an Android or other tablet which shows the mobile view by default.

I hope this is of use to you as you keep following this site and reading the articles written within.

With regards,

Simon Mackay

Why are we using email client applications over Web-based email


What draws people to Windows Live Mail and other email applications | The Windows Blog

My comments

Previous use of desktop email clients until Web-based email matured

Ever since the start of the Internet, we mainly used desktop email clients which were often part of a larger electronic-mail infrastructure like CompuServe or AOL or a corporate messaging platform. Some of us who used terminal-based email like email applications running on corporate or university mainframes; or through viewdata services like MiniTel may have had the opportunity to send Internet-based email by adding a special Internet-mail qualifier to the address.

These desktop email clients had become more sophisticated by inheriting personal organisation or word-processing abilities. It also included HTML-based email as well as easy-to-manage attachments.

The Web-based email services started to appear in 1997 with the likes of Hotmail and allowed people who use Internet cafes to send and receive mail from any computer without configuring email clients. These email services were considered as an auxiliary or temporary email service for people with their own computers as well as primary email services for nomadic people.

Mature Web-based email services

Over the years, GMail, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail improved their Web-based email services that they became a similar standard to a desktop-client experience and some computer users had moved towards these services rather than setting up a POP3 inbox and a desktop email client. Similarly, most Internet service providers and companies are also running Web-based email front-ends for their email servers.

It has also been intensified because of Internet service providers locking down their SMTP outbound-mail services in order to make it harder to send spam and this has put various limitations on travellers and others who move between locations with their own laptop computers. It also became easier for multiple-computer users to see what was read on each terminal synchronously – if it was read on one PC, it was treated as read on the other PC. This was more so as the home network became more popular as people signed up to affordable always-on broadband Internet.

Return of client-based email

We are now seeing the return of client-based email due to varying factors.

One is that Web-based email services are increasingly becoming oversubscribed and their front-end servers are taking a longer time to respond to user-generated activity. It has led to the service providers scrambling to increase bandwidth and server power to service an increased user base.

Similarly, there is an increasing number of free desktop email clients that come with either the operating system or available for download, whether as part of a Web services platform or a sidekick application to one of the many Web browsers. These clients are becoming as good as either one of the current Web-based services or as good as a premium desktop email client of a generation or two ago. They include functionality like calendar / taskpad management and RSS feed-reading support which provides for a highly-valuable highly-affordable personal-information-management solution.

The same email clients are being integrated in to handlheld devices like smartphones which have Wi-Fi or wireless-broadband support. Similarly, the size and cost of laptop computers has reduced due to the arrival of netbooks and ultraportable notebooks that have integrated Wi-Fi and, perhaps, wireless broadband. These lead to the ability to check on your email anywhere you go rather than operating a large computer for this purpose.

In the same context, Web-based email services now offers SMTP/POP3 or IMAP support either as a free service or as an add-on for a small extra cost. ISPs are also setting up secure portable access mechanisms to their SMTP servers, such that users have to log in to these servers with their mailbox credentials before they can send mail through them. This has now made client-based email become increasing relevant for more users.

Why use a desktop email client

The desktop email client provides for use of standard email application protocols and allows the messages to be held locally on the computer’s hard disk.

The speed and performance of the desktop email client is consistent to that of the local computer device rather than combination of Internet bandwidth and a busy Web-based email server.

Similarly. the experience provided by these programs is consistent to that provided by the local computer device and you can even use keyboard shortcuts that are provided by the local computer device for expediting most tasks.

People who use portable computing devices like smartphones or laptops “on the road” can benefit from creating emails offline then sending them out when they choose to go online to update the mailbox. This is also of similar benefit for rural users who are stuck with dial-up Internet and who should be getting broadband Internet service.

Why use a browser-based email experience

A browser-based email experience would suit users who have to use shared computers such as Internet cafes, public libraries or friends’ houses. It can also be used as an adjunct to client-based email setups for quick creation of supplementary email accounts.

What needs to happen further

A major flaw that currently exists with most client-based personal email setups is that there isn’t support for synchronous multi-terminal access. That is if you read an email on one computer or other device, it is marked as read when you see your emails on other devices.

This could be achieved by allowing people who subscribe to personal email services like ISP-provided email to use IMAP4 or “hosted Exchange” mail protocols as alternatives to the POP3/SMTP protocols. These protocols are being supported by most email clients that are currently in service. These protocols allow for “header-only” view for skimming email lists on low-memory devices as well as synchronous multi-terminal access.

They, especially the IMAP4 protocol, could be provided for free by most personal / residential ISPs and there could be an “auto-negotiate” routine which prefers the best option available for the user as part of email client setup.


Now that client-based email use is returning to common use, ISPs and third-party email providers should consider operating a speedy AJAX-driven Web-based interface with “best-case” rendering as well as a client-based interface that works with secure implementations of the POP3 /SMTP, IMAP4 and “hosted-Exchange” protocols.