Home > Articles > Home & Office Computing > eBay/Yahoo/Google

Working with Email on Your Android-Powered Mobile Phone

  • Print
  • + Share This
John and Patricia Eddy show how to connect to Gmail and other email accounts on your Android-powered mobile phone.
This chapter is from the book

Overview of Gmail

One of the key reasons to pick up one of the Android-powered phones is how closely hooked into your Google accounts they are—the calendar, the contacts, the maps. But right now we'll talk about Google's second-biggest killer application—Gmail.

On the surface, it's just another Web-based email client. But something about it draws people in. Perhaps it's the large amount of storage that Gmail makes available to users for free. Or perhaps it was the invitation-only scheme they used for years that gave it an air of exclusivity. Whatever the reason, Gmail remains one of the most popular Web-based mail clients.

It uses a relatively unique method of displaying messages, grouping them by threads, so that as you exchange emails, they take up only one line in your inbox.

Reading Email

Reading email is quick and easy. Whenever you receive a new email, you get a nice little notification on the status bar to let you know, as shown in Figure 4.1.

Figure 4.1

Figure 4.1 The Status bar shows your email notification.

Now, just like every other time you get a status bar notification in the upper left, you can tap the status bar and drag it down the screen to see your notifications. Note that, as shown in Figure 4.2, you can just tap Clear notifications to get rid of all the notifications, or you can tap the notification in question to pull up—well, whatever the notification is for. In the case of email, you just tap New email. Because, as we said, Gmail stores emails as conversations, you see some number of unread conversations. If it's only one, tapping the New email notification loads that one unread email. If you have multiple unread conversations, you instead end up in your Inbox.

Figure 4.2

Figure 4.2 Clearing all your notifications at once.

"Wait a minute," I hear you saying. "What about reading all the mail in my Inbox that isn't new? How do I get there?" That's easy enough. Just open the Application tab and tap Gmail (see Figure 4.3).

Figure 4.3

Figure 4.3 The Gmail icon in all its resplendent glory.

You can use the trackball or your finger to scroll through the list. If a conversation has an unread message, it's bold in the list, with a white background.

Tap an email to open it. If it's a completely read conversation, you see the most recent message, along with a link to tap to see all the messages. If the conversation contains unread messages, they are all open for you to read.

If you receive a message with an attachment, you can preview most Microsoft Office file types and images by tapping the Preview button. You can also save some attachment types, such as pictures and graphics, by tapping the Download button, as shown in Figure 4.4.

Figure 4.4

Figure 4.4 You can preview or download attachments.

Whenever you read email, you can press the Back button to get back to your Inbox. Or you can press the Menu button and then tap More and Back to Inbox.

The menu has a few other options besides the More button, as shown in Figure 4.5:

  • Archive: Archiving an email removes it from your Inbox without actually deleting it. We'll talk about the difference later.
  • Add star: Stars are just one way to organize your mailbox by adding an icon to emails that you want to flag for some reason.
  • Mark unread: Marks the email, or the conversation, as unread.
  • Change labels: This allows you to set one or more labels on a message. Labels will appear at the top of the message/conversation.
  • Delete: Delete actually deletes a message or conversation.
  • More: Gives you access to Back to Inbox, which we just mentioned, and Report spam, which is used to let Google know that a spam message sneaked through the Google spam filters. This option removes the spam from your Inbox and helps improve Google's spam filters.
Figure 4.5

Figure 4.5 The Menu button is always useful.

If you press the Menu button again and scroll to the bottom of the message, you'll find six more buttons. The first three are visible for every message in a conversation, and the last three are at the bottom of the conversation.

  • Reply: This starts a new message in the conversation to the person who sent the message you're currently reading.
  • Reply to all: This starts a new message in the conversation to all the people on the To or Cc line of the message you're currently reading.
  • Forward: This starts a new message and requires you to provide the address of whomever you want to forward an existing message to.
  • Archive: Archiving a conversation removes it from your Inbox. The conversation is stored in the All Mail folder.
  • Labels: You can add and remove labels for the conversation. A label is an easy way to categorize a message or conversation.
  • Delete: This is just another way to delete the conversation.

As you can see, the buttons on the email and conversation are pretty self-explanatory, so we'll go back to the Inbox and take a look at the other options you have there.

Now that you're in the Inbox, press the Menu button to examine the following options:

  • Refresh: Although your phone should regularly update your list of messages for you on-the-fly, if it hasn't, you can tap this option to refresh the list.
  • Compose: When you want to create a new message, this is what you tap. We'll cover this more a little later in this chapter.
  • View labels: You tap this option when you want to view the labels you have given to messages.
  • Search: This is what Google is known for—searching for stuff or, in this case, your email. Tap this option, type in what you want to search for, and off you go.
  • Settings: Tap this option to view your email settings. We'll cover this option in the section "Customizing Gmail Settings."

Sending a New Message

Even though reading email is fun and exciting, at some point you'll want to send email as well. To send a new message, follow these steps:

  1. From your Inbox, press the Menu button.
  2. Tap Compose to bring up the form shown in Figure 4.6.
    Figure 4.6

    Figure 4.6 The new message form.

  3. Type an address in the To box. If the recipient is in your Contacts, the phone automatically fills in the email address as you type. This process is known as autocomplete.
  4. Tap in the Subject box, and type a subject.
  5. Scroll down to the large, unmarked field and tap to start typing the body of your email.
  6. Tap Send when you're done to send your message.

While you're composing a new message, you can access several options by pressing the Menu button:

  • Send: This is just another way to send your message.
  • Add Cc/Bcc: This adds the Cc and Bcc fields so that you can add recipients to those fields.
  • Attach: If you have a picture stored on the phone, you can attach it to the message and send it.
  • Edit subject: This option is helpful if you are replying to an existing message or forwarding an existing message. Tap this to change the subject.
  • Discard: This sends the message to the trash immediately. Be careful with this option, because you receive no warning message.

Replying to or Forwarding a Message

These tasks are so easy, they don't even need steps. Simply open the message you want to reply to or forward. Tap a button at the bottom of the message to either Reply, Reply to all, or Forward the message. These actions do the following:

  • Reply: This creates a new message to the person who sent you the original message.
  • Reply to all: This creates a new message to the person who sent you the original message and anyone else who received the message because their name was on the To or Cc line.
  • Forward: This sends the existing message to another person. You can also add a comment to the message before you send it.

Archiving an Email

We mentioned both archiving and deleting. Both actions remove an email from your Inbox. However, that's where the similarities end. Unlike most other email clients, Gmail doesn't have folders, so to speak. Figure 4.7 shows a typical Gmail account.

Figure 4.7

Figure 4.7 A typical Gmail account.

The Inbox is where all received mail goes automatically, unless it has been marked as spam. The Inbox stores all mail that hasn't been trashed, marked as spam, or archived.

The All Mail folder is all email messages that haven't been marked as spam or trashed. So it includes any mail that has been archived. It also includes all messages you've sent, as well as all messages that are currently in draft form.

The Trash folder stores all mail that you've deleted. When you delete (or trash) a message, it is stored in the Trash folder for 30 days. On the 31st day, it's deleted forever. If there's any chance that you might need a message later, do not send it to the trash. This is a bit like storing your tax returns or your driver's license in the garbage.

So what is the Archive? Archiving an email simply removes it from the Inbox. If you like the peace of mind of looking at a clean, organized Inbox with just a few items, you'll probably archive items often. However, because Gmail offers you such a great amount of storage, there is no real reason to archive other than organization. Archived items can still be found in the All Mail folder.

All About Labels

Because Google stores all the unarchived mail in one giant Inbox, as soon as you get more than a handful of messages, you'll probably sometimes need to search your Inbox for specific messages. Although this works quite well most of the time, sometimes it's more convenient to set aside certain messages for easy retrieval.

That's one of the primary functions of labels. They help you organize your mail within your Inbox or within the All Mail folder. While you're viewing a message, press the Menu button, and then tap View Labels to display the screen shown in Figure 4.8. Just tap the label you want to apply. You can apply multiple labels to a single message.

Figure 4.8

Figure 4.8 You can tap any of the labels you have defined.

Although applying labels is quite easy, there is no way to create new labels on your phone. To do that, you need to open www.gmail.com on your computer and sign in with the same account you're using on your phone. From there, you can edit labels or create new ones.

Applying Labels to Received Mail Automatically

Although it's useful to be able to apply labels to mail you have received, it isn't very efficient. The following steps show you how you can automatically apply labels to new messages as you receive them:

  1. On your computer, open Gmail and click the Edit labels option on the left side of the screen.
  2. Click the word Filters at the top of the screen.
  3. Click Create a new filter.
  4. Specify the criteria you want, such as From: john@doe.com or Has the words: "Family Reunion."
  5. Click Test Search to verify that the filter captures the messages you intend. If not, continue editing the criteria.
  6. Click Next Step and choose the action you want to happen when you receive a filtered message. You can take a variety of actions, including applying a label.
  7. Choose the label you'd like to apply, and then click Create Filter.

Within Gmail, you can see only email that has this label, giving your Inbox the appearance of folders without actually having them. You might think that sounds rather silly, and that folders are far more convenient, but consider this: Unless you make a copy, thus doubling the size of the message, it can't exist in two folders. But you can put as many labels as you want on a message. So, that work-related email about the Peterson Project? You can use the "Work" label, the "Peterson Project" label, and the "From Dave" label, thus making this message easy to find in all three filtered views.

How's that for efficiency?

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020