Gmail is the new free web based e-mail tool from Google. The high storage volume is definitely hard to match but several privacy protection groups have voiced concerns over Google’s method of scanning e-mails to provide text adds that are targeted towards specific groups. Signup for Gmail is incredibly simple. All that is required is a name, login, password, and a security question. The last step is to simply view a concise description of the services provided and then the account is active and ready to be used. When you get the first glance of the Gmail format, it seems extremely similar to other web based emails. What makes Google’s version stand apart is the unique sorting system that Gmail employs and the ability to tag a message with several different labels – work, important, junk – and leave them in the same inbox.
Google Calendar is another useful free application. This program is accessible to anyone with a free Google account. If you already have a Gmail account, you will be able to link the two services together. Google Calendar doesn’t change the standard Google schematics used in other processes; it leans toward the clean and uncluttered style. There are several methods of viewing the timeline. A mini-calendar is shown on the left side of the screen and shows the current month. A larger view on the right shows the user’s choice of current day, week, month, the next four days, or a schedule, which is a linear list of all the listed events. The ability to track several upcoming events in your email inbox is not a new one (can anyone recall Microsoft Outlook?) but it is particularly useful in an email program that is available on any computer terminal with an internet connection.
Google’s new beta Documents and Spreadsheets is the company’s first foray into business software. This text editor is available from any computer console with a browser installed as no extra downloads are necessary. All that is required is to sign into a free Google account. The actual editor itself is rather austere but it certainly will get the job done if you want to get thoughts into written format. Google’s End user agreement makes no guarantee about document storage and requires the right to include targeted advertisements based on the documents contents. In other words, there is no guarantee that you will be able to retrieve stored documents from Google’s databases. The spreadsheet function is also somewhat Spartan in terms of available functions. A large number of mathematical formulas can be entered into the system but the formatting options are somewhat limited. The benefits of this application lie in the fact that it is available on any terminal with a faster than dial-up internet connection and your data is easily moveable. It also provides the capability of several people in several places working on the same spreadsheet, as long as everyone is provided with the same login information. On the whole if you need reliable data formatting and a lot of options to deal with data then this program is probably not up to par just yet with other programs along the same lines.
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