How to retract a message in Gmail

I guess at some point in time everyone’s wished that they can retract some emails they’d accidentally sent to the wrong person or perhaps with incorrect spelling or incomplete information? Well, it just happened to me a few minutes ago. Really wish that I’d remember about this setting before sending the email!

Initial impressions of Google Chromecast

Google Chromecast was easy to set up as many people have said online. I configured mine from my Android phone (JB 4.3). However as Chromecast has not been officially released internationally the Chromecast app was not available in PlayStore (when accessing in Singapore); this app was eventually found in a link on XDA forum which is not ideal from a security perspective. By the way the equivalent Chromecast app was available on iTunes store but I stuck to the Android app because iOS route seems to involve a few more steps so I decided on going the simpler route.

The concept of Chromecast is simple and brilliant. After your device – be it an iOS or Android device, or even a PC as long as they are on the same network – has done the necessary handshaking with some cloud-based service, such as YouTube, Netflix or Google TV content, the final step is taken over by Chromecast, bypassing the original device. Since I don’t have a Netflix account, my testing involved only streaming of YouTube content – console game reviews actually 🙂 . While I already own an Android-based media player, the Veolo 2 from AC Ryan, to search, select and queue clips from YouTube on my iPad (and presumably on other Android tablets and phones) is a vastly superior experience to doing the same using the air mouse to navigate and keying in the search terms. A touch interface directly in front of you is simply more intuitive and accurate than waving a mouse on the screen some distance away from my experience.

A second aspect which I think Chromecast has an advantage over other streaming-type gadgets (and I include most network media players), basically any app (mobile or otherwise) which is Cast-compatible can make use of the device, no additional wires needed, provided they are on the same network. Ultimately this means that while being able to project to a larger screen (presumably that is the main reason for getting the Chromecast!?) is a bonus, you don’t need to go to great lengths/pains to extend the existing user experience.

Here’s hoping that Google will open up the Chromecast APIs at some point and that more apps will be available which will make use of these APIs.

iOS 7

Apple’s latest iOS 7 was released to the public (globally I might add) yesterday, depending on your timezone. As usual there has been quite a bit of Apple-bashing online, rightly or wrongly, about the new (or the lack of, as the case may be) changes. I found this video, though made soon after the Apple WWDC a few months ago, presents a more balanced view of features of iOS7 and indirectly reflects how the smartphone landscape has changed since the original iPhone revolutionised this industry.

Productivity tools

Although I have dabbled with (as a user) a number of productivity/to-do list/GTD/project management tools in the past, it’s not until this year that I have taken them more seriously. In all cases, I almost invariably only try applications when there is an accompanying mobile app because I figured without the mobile support, I probably wouldn’t be using the app so frequently. In hindsight, I think having some sort of discipline is essential – regardless of whether using a mobile app or not, although the mobile aspect adds to the motivation definitely.

  • Basecamp (Android, iOS, sort-of): Enterprise-grade project management. My big peeve is that there is no good mobile app and the email notifications are not sufficiently informative for ease of keeping track of conversations.
  • Dropbox: No explanations needed…
  • Evernote (Android, iOS): Heard of this app since its beginning a few years ago. Didn’t take it seriously until recently when I decided to use it to store online resources; still not really using it to track documents and stuff.
  • Google Docs: This online office suite and repository of documents is extremely powerful, in case you have not discovered the power of it. Can’t live without it! 🙂
  • Google Keep(Android only?): New addition to the Google Drive family. Simple – as in with limitations – app for jotting down short notes. Has the obvious advantage that notes to synced to Google Drive.
  • Todo (iOS): For a couple of years my favourite for its simple interface, until I switched to Android 1.5 years ago.
  • Trello (Android): Discovered it a few months ago, but only now beginning to discover innovative ways of using this deceptively simple app. May replace Wunderlist down the line. Very fast for synchronisation and mobile UI.
  • Wunderlist (Android, iOS): Started using since last year. Liked it for the simple interface and user-experience was somewhat similar ti Todo.

Honorable mentions which I eventually discarded:

  • Google tasks
  • Remember the milk
  • Things
  • Toodledoo