Monday, February 24, 2014

Want Email which is Better than Gmail? Try Gmelius Browser Extension

Gmelius, pronounced 'Gmail'-'ius' where melius means better in Latin, is a browser extension available for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera that customizes the look and feel of Gmail to the users’ satisfaction. Gmelius gives you the possibility to determine which interface elements you wish to display in your inbox, as well as how you want to use them. Amongst the extension's most popular features are the options to restore the old compose window, to remove all ads, to propose a clean Gmail print style (e.g., no Gmail logo), and to make your Gmail inbox less cluttered and more readable. For a complete list of features, please see below.

Gmelius has been founded in 2012 and is maintained since its creation by Florian Bersier, a PhD candidate at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.

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Main Features

Experience Gmail without ads

Focus only on your emails and wipe out the noise added to your inbox by Gmail ads. Gmelius gives you the possibility (i.e. option) to remove all the ads present in Gmail (top, right and bottom). To note that Gmelius does not deactivate the automatic Gmail filtering and scanning system which allows Google to parse for keywords in your emails and then match and serve targeted ads when you browse the Web.

Make Gmail header visible on-demand

 Make the Gmail header, that is the logo and search block, auto-expandable on demand and prioritize so the content of your inbox. If you enable this feature, Gmelius will add a "Search" button at the top-left of your inbox that will display/hide the header and auto-focus the search input. This feature includes a keyboard shortcut.

Restore the old compose window

Among the masses who have experienced a sense of loss after Gmail introduced its new compose window? Don't worry, we have your back! Gmelius brings back the compose window you've come to know and love.

Print cleaner emails

 Want your printed emails to look more professional or display more content on a single page? Gmelius removes the Gmail logo and modifies Gmail's global print stylesheet.

Remove the "People Widget"

You don't use the so-called "People widget" or contact box appearing at the right of your emails? Remove it from Gmail and enjoy a larger space to read and browse your messages. You will need to disable the ads first for this feature to work properly.

Customize Gmail navigation icons

 The native Gmail navigation icons can look a bit confusing. While you have the possibility to choose either buttons with icons or buttons with text, Gmelius gives you the option to have buttons with icons and text. Moreover, you can also colorize the navigation icons to make them even more intuitive.

Add a subtle row highlight

Make the navigation through your Gmail inbox more eye-pleasing by adding a subtle row highlight when the mouse goes over a message. Gmelius features a row highlight whose color is customizable in order to suit best your theme. This feature is also compatible with the Preview Pane Gmail lab.

Homogenize the appearance of your incoming emails

 Not a big fan of those emails sent with an exotic font (e.g. Comic) and catchy colors? Enable this feature and Gmelius will homogenize the look and feel of your incoming emails based on the default settings of your Gmail theme.

Add attachment Icons

In your Gmail inbox, attachments are indicated by a paperclip. What if different icons were shown depending on the type of file attached to your emails? Gmelius exactly does this by offering type dependent attachment icons, either in color or in black and white (Chrome only). More than 40 types of files are currently supported from the standard .doc|.pdf|.xls to the less frequent .php|.svg|.ogg.

Disable "Consider including"

 Some Gmail users were not happy with the activation by default of the "consider including" feature when composing their emails. If you one of them, just disable it with Gmelius.

Make the Google logo clickable

Remember the days when one simple click on the Gmail logo in the header was magically refreshing and sending you back to your inbox. Gmelius revives this nice feature.

Auto-Scroll to the top of your inbox à la Google+

 Hand cramps scrolling continuously up and down in your Gmail inbox? Relax and enjoy a smooth auto-scroll to top functionality by simply clicking on the top lightgrey header, like in Google+.

Move emails labels from the left to the right of your inbox

In Gmail, labels are placed at the very left of emails subjects. Gmelius gives you the possibility to move labels from the left to the right of your inbox, making then easier to read the subject of your emails at first glance.

Move attachment icons from the right to the left of your inbox

 In Gmail, attachment icons are placed at the very right of emails subjects. With Gmelius, you can move those icons from the right to the left of your inbox, making then easier to see the type of attachment an email has.

Automatic De-obfuscation of email addresses

At Gmelius, we want to make Gmail cleaner, better but also smarter. That's why, Gmelius de-obfuscates automatically any email addresses you copy and paste from a website, making so your life a bit easier. Currently available for Gmelius Chrome and Gmelius Firefox.

Regain some space in your inbox

Gmail can look a bit cluttered. Gmelius gives you the possibility to regain some space and to clean your inbox by removing diverse elements such as chat statuses, chat, Google+ activity, footer, etc.


To be clear and to the point, Gmelius will never access, read, store, alter or transmit your personal data. If you are a Chrome user, the permission warnings come from the fact that this extension modifies the style and user interface of Gmail within your browser and so needs to know whether Gmail is open in one or several of your tabs to apply those changes to Gmail's subdomain (

Developers’ website:

Thursday, February 13, 2014

TalkTyper – your virtual online secretary

Since the previous post on the free Dictation service in Chrome attracted readers’ attention, I would like to review today another online application – TalkTyper, also offering you the opportunity to dictate your text. This so called Speech-to-Text (STT) service is absolutely free for everyone, with no need of account creation.

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How it works?

* Visit the main page at
* Select the language you need from the drop down menu at the right top corner of the pad.
* Click the microphone icon to the left and begin speaking.
* Try to dictate about one sentence at a time, and not very fast. When the speech is recognized, it will appear in red.
* If you want to hear it, click on the Speaker icon.
* If your speech wasn't recognized correctly, click the Alternatives button to view other 'recognitions', or just try again.
* If the text is acceptable, click the button with the arrow pointing down - Accept - and your text will be added to the box at the bottom.
* Repeat this process until you're finished.
* When you're all done, click the Copy button and then paste it into your document, email, blog, or tweet! (If the copy button doesn't work for you, remember that the shortcut for copying is "Ctrl-C").
* If you want the text translated, simply click the button and choose the translating language. TalkTyper automatically opens a new browser tab with your text inserted into Google Translate.

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Note that you can also dictate basic punctuation by saying things like "period", "question mark", "new paragraph", etc.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Talk you email, not write! Speech Recognition in Chrome

Do you know that you can use Google Chrome as free voice recognition software to write longer emails and documents without even installing anything on your Windows or Mac computer?

Dictation is a free web-based speech recognition application that will transcribe your voice into digital text using the Chrome Speech API. You can also install Dictation as a Chrome App.

How to Use?

Starting to use the Dictation app in Chrome is fast and easy. Just plug in the microphone to your computer, click the “Start Dictation” button (highlighted in yellow on the screenshot below) and watch as your spoken words are magically transformed into text.

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You can also use a few voice commands like:
  • Say “new sentence” to begin a new sentence. Dictation will automatically add a period to the previous sentence and capitalizes the first letter of your new sentence.
  • Say “new paragraph” to move the cursor to the next paragraph.
  • Say “stop listening” to exit the dictation mode. If you wish to resume recording, hit the “Start” button again.

If you make a mistake, or if Chrome makes an error while recognizing your speech, simple click the incorrect word and edit it manually. The entire notepad is editable as it uses the content editable attribute of HTML5.

The app is integrated with Dropbox and Google Drive so you can easily export you transcribed text to your cloud accounts. Or you can send the text to your email address.

Note that Dictation uses Chrome's Local Storage to save the transcriptions and thus you'll never lose your work.

Video Presentation:

Web-based application:

Thursday, February 6, 2014

How SaneBox improves your Gmail?

I like Gmail. It is better than all its competitors in smart filtering of spam and unsolicited promotional messages. However, it is still takes time and efforts to filter what is really important, what can wait, and what can be deleted right away. Overwhelmed with total amount of the electronic communication, one may easily oversee the items, which are really important.

A newly created free service SaneBox helps to manage the inbox with small but significant useful features. For example, it looks at your relationships and creates automatically a Gmail label called SaneTop, listing your most important contacts and placing all related communication there. Tha would be probably the first thing you would check in the morning or when you have limited amount of time. 

SanBox also creates a label called SaneLater. Here, it places the emails which are less important, not time sensitive, and can be reviewed later.

SaneBox is easy to setup with couple of clicks, allowing continuing working within Gmail, so all your settings and preferences remain intact.  

Everyone cares on the electronic communication safety, so you can be assured that SaneBox is very safe. The content of your emails is never read or stored on any servers. SaneBox only examines email headers for classification - not the content. And it is easy to roll everything back if you do not like the changes.

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