No, Google Isn’t Sunsetting Gmail

No, Google Isn’t Sunsetting Gmail

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket (Getty Images)

Have you seen a claim on social media that Google is “sunsetting” Gmail this coming August? What appears to be a screenshot from an official Google announcement has gone viral on X, but it’s completely fake.

“We are reaching out to share an important update about Gmail. After years of connecting millions worldwide, enabling seamless communication, and fostering countless connections, the journey of Gmail is coming to a close,” the viral notice reads.

“As of August 1, 2024, Gmail will officially be sunsetted, marking the end of its service. This means that as of this date, Gmail will no longer support sending, receiving, or storing emails,” the fake notice continues.

The fake screenshot has been viewed over 1 million times on X at the time of this writing. But, again, this isn’t real. The joke appears to be a photoshopped version of a notice that went out last year notifying users that Gmail Basic HTML view was going away.

Google didn’t immediately respond to questions emailed Thursday afternoon.

Gmail is obviously an enormously popular product, with over 1.8 billion active users, according to DemandSage. And getting rid of that many email accounts would be tremendously disruptive to the world economy.

But perhaps this is a great reminder that we’re all beholden to just a handful of global tech companies that we entrust to keep our data safe. What would happen if Google decided to get rid of a product like Gmail, even if they gave users plenty of notice?

This viral joke also demonstrates just how easy it is to get fake viral claims to go viral on X, ever since billionaire Elon Musk bought the platform. Musk got rid of so-called “legacy” checkmarks, allowing anyone with $8 to buy so-called verification. But X doesn’t verify the identity of anyone who buys a blue checkmark like it did previously, and the X algorithm artificially boosts paying users to give them more visibility.

How Google Plans to Eliminate Spam in Your Gmail Inbox

How Google Plans to Eliminate Spam in Your Gmail Inbox

Gmail users will soon see even less spam in their inboxes. Google is taking strict action to reduce spam emails and the firm has recently updated its Email Sender Guidelines, adding a long list of requirements from bulk senders, and shared a timeline for enforcing action. Gmail now requires bulk senders to authenticate their accounts to avoid getting error messages on sent emails, and eventually having them rejected. The tech giant first announced the planned changes to reduce spam in October last year and highlighted that starting in 2024, it will begin adding Gmail protections for a safer email inbox.

Bulk senders will now be required to follow a long list of guidelines to avoid being blocked by the company. These include setting up SPF and DKIM email authentication, ensuring domains have valid forward and reverse DNS records, keeping spam rates below 0.1 percent and avoiding ever reaching more than 0.3 percent, and more. Further, Google now requires marketing messages and subscribed messages to come with a one-click unsubscribe button and a visible unsubscribe link in the message body.

As per Google’s updated FAQ, a bulk sender is someone who sends more than 5,000 emails to personal Gmail accounts in a 24-hour cycle. All emails sent from a primary domain will count towards this number. Emails sent to Google Workspace accounts will not be considered a part of this, however, if a Workspace account sends messages to personal Gmail accounts, the rule will apply. Once an account has been assigned as a bulk sender, it cannot be removed.

The guidelines have come into effect starting in February. As per the shared timeline, bulk senders who do not meet the abovementioned requirements will begin receiving an error message on a small percentage of non-compliant emails. These errors will be temporary so the senders can resolve the issue at their end.

After April 2024, a certain percentage of non-compliant emails be rejected by the tech giant, and upon further repetition, the percentage will gradually increase. Google has not revealed the exact percentage for this.

Meanwhile, the guidelines highlight that the compliant portion of the emails will not be affected. Bulk senders also have till June 1, to add the one-click unsubscribe to all commercial and promotional emails. Further, users with more than 0.3 percent spam rate will not be eligible for mitigation of their status.


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How to Add Multiple Users to Your Google Home (Nest) Device | Digital Trends

How to Add Multiple Users to Your Google Home (Nest) Device | Digital Trends

Google Home makes it easy to control all your smart home gadgets from a single location. From smart thermostats and smart speakers to smart bulbs and more, Google Home offers incredible support for all aspects of your household. Part of what makes the application so great is that it can be personalized for each person in your home, allowing each user to have customized settings that fit their needs and preferences.

Adding multiple users to Google Home lets you keep calendars, playlists, and news briefings separated, and it makes your devices more useful than ever. Google Home can even learn to detect your voice, meaning it’ll automatically activate your settings based on who is giving it commands.

For anyone living in a home with multiple family members, here’s a look at how to set up multiple users on your Google Home device. This includes how to teach Google your voice, invite others to your household, and how to manage multiple Google Home accounts.


Image used with permission by copyright holder

Teach Google your voice

Before you begin, it’s a good idea to teach Google Assistant your own voice. This feature, called Voice Match, is what lets you share your Google Home device with other members of the household, but still get a personalized Google Assistant experience. Here’s how to set up Voice Match.

Step 1: Open the Google Home app.

Step 2: Tap Settings at the bottom right of the screen and open the Google Assistant menu.

Step 3: Tap Voice Match.

Step 4: Tap Add a Device, and add the compatible Google smart device(s) in your home.

It’s a pretty straightforward process that involves you saying the phrases, “Hey, Google” and “OK, Google” out loud to help Google learn the sound of your voice. We walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to set up Voice Match.

how to add multiple users google home voice match

Image used with permission by copyright holder

how to add multiple users google home invite members

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Invite others to create accounts

Once you’ve completed the voice training, you’ll have the option to tap Invite, which will send notifications to people you choose, inviting them to set up their own personalized accounts and voices on Google Home. New users will have to download the Google Home app on their devices to connect their music accounts and customize their preferences. Using the app, they can tweak their preferred news sources, calendar updates, and more.

If you don’t want to invite people while you are setting up Voice Match, you can do it at any other time. If you’ve never invited anyone before, you’ll want to select the Invite Home Member tab on the Google Home screen. This step immediately opens your Google/Gmail contact list, allowing you to search for names or emails and send invites.

The person to whom you send the email will need to follow the instructions to properly connect, but this is all you need to do on your end.

Accepting a Google Home invite

Step 1: For those receiving a Google Home multiuser invite, the first thing you’ll want to do is open the invite email and accept the actual invite. Once confirmed, the invitee should download the Google Home app on their preferred mobile device.

Step 2: Next, tap the Home View tab (button with the house icon) and tap 1 Pending Invitation. A message will appear that will inform the user of the many things they’ll be able to do under a shared Google Home network.

Step 3: Tap More, then scroll down and tap Accept. You’ll then be prompted to create a nickname for your Home account.

Step 4: After doing so, tap Next to begin setting up your Voice Match profile. Follow the series of prompts to complete your account setup.

Manage multiple Google Home accounts

At this time, Google Home devices support up to six accounts, so everyone from your spouse to your children to frequent houseguests can create accounts. You can view all active accounts on a Google Home device at any time by tapping your connected device, then tapping Settings > Linked accounts.

Need to remove an account? Maybe your roommate moved out, or one of your children lost interest in the device. You can easily remove accounts using the app. Simply tap Account (the icon with the circled person), then Settings > Home Members. Find the account that’s no longer needed, and tap Remove.

Chances are if you have children running around at home, you probably want to control your Google Home settings. You can successfully restrict selected content by setting up parental controls, which allows you to protect your kids from inappropriate content from YouTube, Google Play Music, and other platforms. With content in your control, you can rest assured that your children will be safe, even if they are home alone with the device.

Here’s a look at everything you can limit with parental controls.

  • Set up media controls for music and videos
  • Block news and podcasts
  • Schedule downtime
  • Manage other Assistant features
  • Add children to devices with support for Google Assistant

Note that Google says you’ll need to ensure both your devices and app are up to date in order for these features to work properly.

Enjoy multiuser support on Google Home

Once everyone who will be using Google Home has a personal account, switching between them is easy. The Google Assistant will recognize a speaker’s voice and switch to the appropriate account with no hesitation. For example, if you say, “Hey Google, tell me about my day,” your device will tell you what traffic is like on your route and inform you of what’s on your calendar. If you ask Google Home about music, it will access and begin playing your saved playlists on Spotify and Google Play Music platforms.

It’s worth noting that it’s possible to accidentally open someone else’s account if your voices are similar in tone. If this happens, all you need to do is say, “Stop,” and restart the process to avoid accessing their private information.

We have a handy eight-step guide that can teach you more about Google Home, including how to link music accounts and adjust individual settings, like the “wake word.”

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How to add a signature in Gmail on desktop and mobile | Digital Trends

How to add a signature in Gmail on desktop and mobile | Digital Trends

Email signatures are a great way to automatically include your contact information to your email correspondence. If you’d like to add a signature to your emails in Gmail, it’s easy enough to add one. You’ll just need to go through your Gmail settings to do it.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to add a signature in Gmail whether you’re using the desktop website version of Gmail or its mobile app.

How to add a signature on your desktop

Step 1: Launch your favorite browser and log into your Gmail account as you normally would.

Step 2: Next, select the Settings gear icon the upper-right corner of the screen, and then select the See all settings button.

Step 3: Under the General tab, scroll down until you see Signature. Select the Create new button.

screenshot

Step 4: In the dialogue box that pops up, enter a name for your new signature. Then choose Create. Then, you’ll be taken back to the Settings screen, and a new text box will appear next to your signature’s name. Type your desired email signature into this text box.

Gmail email signature screenshot
screenshot

Optional: Below the signature field, you’ll see a check box that allows you to add your signature before quoted text in email replies. This will make your signature more visible in email threads. It’s worth toggling on if you’re using your email for professional correspondences or if you want your signature to remain visible in follow-up messages. This section below the signature field also contains two other drop-down menu options that allow you to choose if your signature shows up in new emails or in replies and forwarded emails.

Step 5: After you’re satisfied with your signature, scroll to the bottom of the page and select the Save changes button. That’s it! Your signature will now appear on all new messages and outgoing mail.

If you have an email address from Yahoo, Outlook, or another email service, you can also send emails via that address using Gmail’s Send mail as feature. You can set that feature up from within your account settings, and once you do, you’ll be able to create a different signature for that email address. Just select the drop-down menu that appears within the Signature section of the Settings page’s General tab. You should see this menu underneath the phrase Signature defaults. Choose your preferred email address from that menu. Then, from the drop-down menus beneath that menu, choose your preferences for new emails, replies, and forwarded emails. When you’re done, scroll down, and select Save changes.

How to add a signature on your Android or iOS device

Keep in mind that you won’t be able to personalize this app on your mobile device to the extent that you can on your computer. Plus, the signature you set up on the app will only appear when you send email messages from that same device, so you will have to set up your signature on each device separately.

Here’s how to customize your signature via the Gmail smartphone app.

Step 1: Download the Gmail app to your phone and launch it as you would normally.

Step 2: Select the Three horizontal lines (also known as the hamburger menu) in the upper-left corner.

Step 3: Choose the Settings option in the resulting pane. You’ll need to scroll down to see it.

Step 4: Select the account you want to add a signature for by selecting the entry. Note: if you only have one email account connected, it will be your only choice.

Step 5: On your iOS device: Select Signature settings, then select the option to enable Mobile signature. For Android devices: Choose the Mobile signature option (you can find it under the General section).

Step 6: Type your signature the way you want it.

Step 7: On iOS: When you’re finished, select Back to save your newly-minted signature. With Android: After your signature looks exactly right, select OK so it will save your updates.

Customizing your Gmail signature might inspire you to change other things in your Google account, like away messages, filtering, and even the look of your mailbox background. There are several other ways to customize your Google email account. For starters, check out our guide on how to change your Gmail account photo. With just a little work on your part, your Google profile will be cohesive, professional, and convenient everywhere you’re on the web.

Frequently asked questions

How do I add an email signature?

The method for adding an email signature will vary depending on which email service you’re using. For example, if you’re using Gmail, you can follow either of the methods outlined earlier in this article to add an email signature to your Gmail messages.

How do I add an image to my Gmail signature?

When you want to add an image to an existing Gmail signature, simply navigate to the Signature section of your Gmail settings (as described in the desktop instructions discussed earlier in this article), and then go to the signature you want to add the image to. In the text box of your signature, select the Insert image icon, which looks like a square with triangles inside of it.

Then on the Add an image window that appears, select the image you want to add; either from a URL, your Drive, or from your PC. Once the image is added, you can select the image to bring up a small menu that will allow you to pick the size of your image or delete it. For an email signature, you’ll most likely want to select Small for the image size. Once you’re done adding your image, select Save changes at the bottom of the Gmail Settings page.

What are some other ways to customize Gmail?

You can do all sorts of things to customize your Gmail experience, such as adding a dark theme to your inbox or even adding new folders to your inbox to better organize your emails.

We even have a guide to all sorts of other Gmail tips and tricks you can use to make your Gmail inbox better suited to your needs.

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How to Unsubscribe from Unwanted Emails and Newsletters | Digital Trends

How to Unsubscribe from Unwanted Emails and Newsletters | Digital Trends

Many times, we sign up to receive email newsletters from companies that interest us. Emails like this are considered subscription messages. You receive them on a regular basis, like clockwork.

But then there are those other emails we get that we didn’t sign up for. They may come from sites that capture your email address or companies that obtain email address lists from others. Unfortunately, you can end up on a subscription list where you start receiving these unwanted messages constantly.

Here’s how to unsubscribe from emails that you no longer want to receive. We’ll walk you through the process in Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail, and Yahoo as well as give you additional methods for those one-off situations.

In Gmail

Gmail offers a simple unsubscribe option for emails that it detects are subscription-based.

Step 1: Visit Gmail, sign in, and head to your inbox.

Step 2: Open an email and select Unsubscribe at the top to the right of the sender.


Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: Confirm by selecting Unsubscribe in the pop-up window.

Unsubscribe confirmation message in Gmail.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 4: You’ll then see a message at the top of the email confirming that you’ve unsubscribed. You have the option to move the message to spam if you like.

In Outlook

Outlook, like Gmail, offers the unsubscribe option at the top of its email messages.

Step 1: Visit Outlook.com and sign in or open the Outlook desktop application.

Step 2: Open an email and select the Unsubscribe link above the sender.

Unsubscribe link in Outlook.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: Confirm by selecting Unsubscribe in the pop-up window.

Unsubscribe confirmation message in Outlook.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

In Apple Mail

If you use Apple’s Mail service, you’ll find an unsubscribe option in both the desktop application and the mobile app. Plus, you can use it for other email accounts if you use more than one like Gmail or Outlook.

Step 1: Open Mail on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad.

Step 2: Choose an email and then select Unsubscribe directly above the message body.

Apple makes these emails stand out by displaying “This message is from a mailing list” along with an option to dismiss the warning if you decide not to unsubscribe.

Unsubscribe button in Apple Mail.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: Confirm by selecting Unsubscribe in the pop-up window.

Unsubscribe confirmation message in Apple Mail.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

In Yahoo

Just like the above email services, Yahoo offers an unsubscribe option too.

Step 1: Visit Yahoo Mail, sign in, and go to your inbox.

Step 2: Open a message and select Unsubscribe at the top near the sender.

Unsubscribe link in Yahoo.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: Confirm by selecting Unsubscribe in the pop-up window.

Unsubscribe confirmation message in Yahoo.

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Step 4: You’ll see a brief message at the top letting you know that your unsubscribe request was sent. Select the X to close the message.

Unsubscribe link in an email footer in Yahoo.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Alternative unsubscribe methods

If you don’t see an unsubscribe link as described above or use a different email provider, you still have options to unsubscribe from emails.

Check the message for the unsubscribe option

Companies are supposed to provide the option for recipients to unsubscribe within the email message. You can usually find this option near the bottom of the body or in the footer of the message, as shown in the above screenshot.

Use a mass unsubscribe service

There are services like Unroll.me, Clean Email, and Cleanfox that you can use to unsubscribe from emails. These services also provide extra features such as unsubscribing in bulk and automatically deleting the emails.

Change your email preferences

If the emails you receive are news, updates, or new products from a company where you have an account, you may be able to change your email preferences. Look for a link in the email or visit the website, log in, and head to your account to view the email options to unsubscribe.

You aren’t forced to receive unwanted emails that fill up your inbox. Whether you unsubscribe using your email service’s built-in feature or one of the alternate methods, you can stop unsolicited emails.

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How to Send a Text From Email Using iPhone, Verizon & More | Digital Trends

How to Send a Text From Email Using iPhone, Verizon & More | Digital Trends

With the many different messaging apps and services available to us online and on our mobile phones, sometimes it’s easy to forget that good old SMS still exists. It may not be the spiffiest messaging technology out there, but the one great thing about SMS is that it’s universal; you may now know whether someone is on Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, but if you know their phone number, it’s nearly certain they’ll be able to receive an SMS message. What’s even better is that the message technology is pretty universal, meaning you can even send a text from email.

Well all know the person that never checks their email but constantly texts. If you’re ever in a pinch and without your phone for whatever reason, here is a guide on sending a text from email to these people.


Image used with permission by copyright holder

How to send a text from an email

This guide will walk you through a few different methods to send a text from your email account. If you find yourself sending texts through email often, you might want to download a browser extension to make your life a little easier. We’ll cover that in the next section; for now, though, the quickest way to get started sending SMS messages via email is just to use your normal mail app and the appropriate gateway addresses.

Step 1: Using the email client of your choice, compose your email. You can use either your smartphone or your computer to write it, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re using a traditional mail client like Outlook or Thunderbird or a webmail service like Gmail or Yahoo.

Step 2: Instead of entering an email address in the recipient box, insert the 10-digit phone number of the person you’re trying to reach, but don’t press enter just yet.

Step 3: Instead, after entering the phone number, tack on the appropriate “@gateway” address on the end.

U.S. and Canadian carrier gateways for SMS emails

Whether you are going to send a text to an iPhone or Android phone from email, you need to know the recipients carrier. In other words, sending a text to an iPhone and Android phone could follow the same process, but sending a text to a Verizon phone from email will always differ from sending a text to T-Mobile from email.

Here’s a list we’ve put together of some of the most common service providers in the United States and Canada and their corresponding gateway addresses. Keep in mind that if you’re trying to send a message that’s more than 160 characters long, it will typically be sent using the Multimedia Message Service (MMS) rather than being split into multiple SMS messages. If the person you’re messaging doesn’t have a messaging plan that includes MMS, then they’ll either fail to receive the message or they may be charged an extra fee to open it.

Some carriers also offer specific email-to-MMS gateways. You can use these gateways to make sure longer messages get through. MMS can also send photos, albeit in very low resolutions.

Carrier SMS Gateway Domain MMS Gateway Domain
AT&T [email protected] [email protected]
Boost Mobile [email protected] [email protected]
Cricket Wireless [email protected] [email protected]
Google Project Fi [email protected] [email protected]
Republic Wireless [email protected] None
Sprint [email protected] [email protected]
Straight Talk [email protected] [email protected]
T-Mobile [email protected] [email protected]
Ting [email protected] None
Tracfone Depends on underlying carrier [email protected]
U.S. Cellular [email protected] [email protected]
Verizon [email protected] [email protected]
Virgin Mobile [email protected] [email protected]
Bell Mobility [email protected]
Rogers [email protected]
Fido [email protected]
Telus [email protected]
Koodo [email protected]
Virgin Mobile [email protected]

One final thing to note is if you use Boost, Cricket Wireless, Republic Wireless, Straight Talk, Ting, or Tracfone — all of which are mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) — you may need to enter the gateway address belonging to either Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, or AT&T, rather than those in the above list, as they all piggyback on these major networks. The same applies to Canadian carriers Fido (Rogers), Koodo and Public Mobile (Telus), and Virgin Mobile (Bell Mobility), which can also use the gateways for their respective parent networks.

CloudHQ Chrome Gmail Extension for sending email messages via SMS.

Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

How to download an extension for faster texting

If you use Chrome as your browser and want to send SMS messages using your Gmail account on a regular basis, there’s a handy extension called Send Your Email to SMS (text) that will save you quite a bit of time.

While there are quite a few more advanced features that require a paid subscription, the free version of the extension is surprisingly capable for basic texting. With the click of a button, you can enter a phone number to send an email to. And best of all, you don’t need to worry about which carrier the recipient is on, as the CloudHQ service behind the extension will figure that out for you. You can also send longer, even formatted, rich-text email messages; the recipient will get a private link to view the full message in their web browser.

Note that only U.S. and Canadian numbers are supported on the free plan, and two-way communications are limited as the messages will be sent from a generic phone number. Upgrading to one of the paid tiers will get you a custom phone number, so your recipients can send replies to your inbox. The paid version even allows you to conduct marketing campaigns via SMS right from your Gmail inbox and set up more sophisticated automations for things like notifying you of important new emails via text.

For some more affordable automation features, Google Voice users can link Google Calendar with Gmail withthe If This Then That (IFTTT) smart management system. From here, you can set up IFTTT to schedule a text using Google Voice, which some may find a faster option than going through the whole process with email.

Message Media business SMS service.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

How to use web app services (business-friendly)

There are many online services and apps for sending texts via email, which may be more suitable for businesses. Message Media is one of our favorites since it makes the process very simple, and it supports SMS, RCS, MMS, Messenger, and even WhatsApp messages.

It has a useful feature where you can see your original message and the subsequent responses, so you can quickly track a conversation. It also allows you to text international phone numbers, and for an additional cost, you can use alpha tags for identifying senders, text-to-voice, dedicated numbers, and other handy extras.

You can try Message Media for free to see if it works for you, but you’ll need to sign up for a monthly subscription to continue use after the trial period.

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How to Back Up Your Emails in Gmail, Outlook, and iCloud

How to Back Up Your Emails in Gmail, Outlook, and iCloud

Backing up your emails, no matter what provider you use, is important because access to your digital collection of messages is less permanent than you might initially think. There are multiple points of failure to consider—what happens if something in the cloud breaks, or your connection to the internet does? What if your account gets banned or closed for whatever reason, and all of your email gets zapped with it?

Those are only a few of the potential problems. You might accidentally delete a bunch of emails you didn’t mean to; someone else could access your account and wipe everything they find; or your email provider might suddenly decide to lock you out, permanently.

With all of that in mind, access to your email doesn’t seem so assured. It might not matter for all those random newsletters, questionable deals, and politicians begging for cash that clog up your inbox, but what about emails and documents you really need access to? It’s helpful to have at least some of your emails backed up in another location so that you can always get at them, offline or otherwise.

Forward Emails to a Backup Account

Forwarding emails is one way of backing them up.

Apple via David Nield

The simplest way to get all of your emails sent to another account is to forward them, either manually one by one or automatically as they come in. From iCloud Mail, for example, you can click the cog icon (top left), then choose Settings and Mail Forwarding: Tick the box next to Forward my email to and enter another email address.

If you open up Gmail on the web, click the cog icon (top right), then See all settings. Under Forwarding and POP/IMAP, tick the box labeled Forward a copy of incoming mail to and enter your secondary email address. Gmail actually lets you create a filter for forwarded emails (messages from a specific contact, for example), so you don’t get everything forwarded—click creating a filter under Forwarding to do this. It’s worth noting that the forwarding option may not be available for your work account.

Finally, for the Outlook web client, click the cog icon (top right), then Mail, then Forwarding. Choose the Enable forwarding option, enter the secondary email address you want to use, and all of the messages that arrive in your Outlook inbox will be sent on to the other account too. In this section, you’ll also need to choose whether you want to save a copy of the forwarded emails. If something happens to your primary account, you can still at least reference your messages.

Forwarding emails is a quick and simple way of getting your messages in two places, but it’s not 100 percent reliable. When you’re forwarding your emails to another cloud account, you can still lose access to both copies if you’re ever unable to get online.

Use POP and IMAP (Remember Those?)

Both POP and IMAP can be used to back up emails.

Microsoft via David Nield

POP (Post Office Protocol) and IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) are the two main ways of getting emails in multiple places at once, and both standards are supported by most email providers. Choosing which to use for the purpose of backing up emails is a bit tricky, as they tend to be implemented in slightly different ways depending on the programs you’re using.

Everything Big Tech Killed Off in 2023

Everything Big Tech Killed Off in 2023

Google Stadia finally met its end in January this year, but it was just a drop in the bucket for the number of products and services the company killed in 2023.
Image: Colleen Michaels (Shutterstock)

Big Tech went on a murder spree in 2023. We saw the end of many once-loved products and services, all swallowed up into the great dark pit of corporate consolidation. Few companies kept their knives sheathed, and if this year taught us anything, 2024 is likely to be just as bloody.

This was a bad year to be a tech worker, and probably just as bad to be tech itself. The great tech layoff spree continued on from 2022 as Silicon Valley tried to cut costs by tossing staff to the curb and killing any products or services deemed too extraneous. As the industry’s latest fascination with artificial intelligence becomes an outright obsession, one can expect we’ll find even more shallow graves dug around the campuses of Google, Apple, TikTok, Microsoft, and Amazon.

This happens every year, but in 2023 we saw more than the usual amount of fat trimming. Big Tech didn’t just murder products people were using, it shuttered services that people depended on. As streaming has continued to refute its initial promise by forcing ads on users who can’t pay a premium, numerous services such as Apple Music and Netflix have cut off lower-cost subscription tiers.

If there were a most wanted board hanging up in the Silicon Valley sheriff’s office, then Google would have the biggest bounty on its head. The Mountain View giant has refocused its entire apparatus on pushing AI products, and that means other projects gotta go. At the top of the list is Google Stadia, the company’s cloud gaming platform that took a full six months before the coroner could file their full report. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

We saw the impacts that mega-mergers like the multi-billion Warner Bros. Discovery had on user-end products and content. Not to put too fine a point on it, everything got worse. Next year, we’ll start to see the real impact of the $69 billion Microsoft merger with Activision Blizzard. Despite exec’s assurances that everything will be just fine, we have a feeling we’ll just end up with fewer apps and less competition, all while paying more for degraded experiences.