John Galea's Blog

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Gmail priority inbox

I use Gmail for all my email. Recently Google introduced some exciting new changes to include the ability to sync only some folders and only notify based on labels. They also introduced the concept of a priority inbox. I get a lot of emails which means my phone goes off frequently for emails that are unimportant. There are lots of articles on the way this works such as this one but there were some critical details left off. First of all you need to update your gmail client on Android. 2.3.5 or newer has the features your looking for. The next step is you need to enable priority inbox on your account. For me this was disabled by default. I had to go into settings priority inbox enable on gmail from a web browser to enable it. Prior to this on Android in the settings for gmail the priority inbox was not even showed. A little silly, they should have left it grayed out rather than not showed. I only stumbled on the settings. I originally thought it was because I was using google to host my domain email, but that was not right.

Once set then I could see the setting in the Android gmail client setup for the account. From there you can control notifications so that you have a different ring tone for priority inbox items or no ring tone for items not in your priority inbox. Perfect! The items still come in, are still sync’d but you don’t get bothered for them. I love the flexibility this brings!

Next up you need to train Google to know what is a priority and what is not. Unfortunately Google do not allow you to simply define people as the priority. This is how I would prefer to do it. Instead Gmail uses some arbitrary algorithms to figure out what is and is not important. Fortunately you can go in and define things as being important (or not) manually and Google will learn from it. Not perfect but it works! Check it out!

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August 2, 2011 - Posted by | Android

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