Google Apps Script for Developers

Google Apps Script makes it is easy for you to integrate data and functionality from Gmail, Google Drive, Google Maps, YouTube, and most other Google APIs. Apps Script is JavaScript under the hood so you don’t have to learn a new language and you don’t have to manage any servers since all your code runs on the Google Cloud, not your browser.

In this video tutorial, you’ll learn how to develop Google Apps Script projects locally on your computer inside Visual Studio Code. You can write your code in modern JavaScript, neatly organized in modules, and the build environment will use Babel and Webpack to transform your code into a version of JavaScript that is compatible with Apps Script.

Modern Development with Google Apps Script

There are quite a few advantages with having a local development environment vis-a-vis writing code in the Apps Script Cloud IDE.

  1. You can write code with ES6 Classes, Arrow Functions, Modules, Destructing and use all the other modern JavaScript features.
  2. The development experience inside VS Code is unmatched and tools like ESLint and Prettier make it easier for you to catch errors early in the development.
  3. The build and deployment process can be completely automated with npm scripts and CLASP, Google’s command line utility for Apps Script.
  4. VS Code has built-in support for Git and integrates with source control providers like Github and Gitlab. It is therefore easier to track changes and restore previous versions of the code.
  5. You can quickly integrate JavaScript libraries like LoDash, Moment, Underscore and any of the NPM packages into your code.
  6. You can use modern frameworks like React, Vue.js and Angular to build the HTML frontend that connects to the backend with the Google Script Client API.

Getting Started with the Apps Script Starter

The Starter kit is a boilerplate for quickly getting started with local Apps Script development locally inside VS Code. Open your terminal and run the following commands:

1. Clone the Github repository to a local folder

git clone https://github.com/labnol/apps-script-start my-project

2. Switch to the project folder

cd my-project

3. Install all the project dependencies and utilities

npm install

4. Connect CLASP to your Google account

npx clasp login

5. Create a new Google Apps Script project in your Google Drive with CLASP

npx clasp create "My Project" --rootDir ./dist

This command will create a new .clasp.json file in your project folder that links the local folder with your Apps Script project. During build, Webpack will bundle all your code in a single JavaScript file and add it to the ./dist folder that Clasp will push to your Apps Script project.

Next, open the current project folder inside VS Code with the code . command. It includes some sample code but we will start with a blank folder so delete everything that’s inside the src folder.

Inside the src folder, create a new file – email.js – and write a simple arrow function that prints a list of all the email addresses connected to your Gmail account.

apps-script-starter (1).png

Next, create an index.js file (entry point) in the src folder, import the email function that you’ve created inside the email.js file and add it to the global object. This is a requirement of the Webpack plugin for Google Apps Script.

You can also add a function expression to the global object directly, like doGet in the example below.

htmlservice-doget.png

Now that your JavaScript code is ready, open the appsscript.json file in your project folder and modify the oAuthScopes property to only include the scopes that are required by your project.

Next, jump to the command line terminal and run the deploy command to push your code to the Apps Script project.

npm run deploy

After the deployment is complete, open the associated script in the browser with the CLASP open command.

npx clasp open

Inside the Apps Script Editor, go to the Run menu and choose the getEmailAddress function from the list. Open the logs and you should see your email addresses in the window.

Then go to the Publish menu, choose Deploy as web app and open the URL in a new browser tab to check the program output. That’s how easy it is to build projects with the Google Apps Script starter kit.

Using Git with Google Apps Script

Create a new repository in Github and make a note of the URL of the new repository. Next, open the terminal and run the following commands to push your Apps Script project to Github.

github-apps-script.png

Also see: Most Useful Google Apps Scripts

The same approach is used by Digital Inspiration for building popular Google add-ons including Gmail Mail MergeGoogle Forms Notifications and Document Studio.

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The Essential Tools for Programmers

This is a list of essential tools and services from my coding workflow that I think should be part of every web programmer’s toolkit. Whether you a building a simple “Hello World” app or a complex web application, these tools should make your coding easier and increase productivity.

programmers-toolkit.jpg

The Web Developer’s Toolkit

1. devdocs.io — API documentation for all popular programming languages and frameworks. Includes instant search and works offline too.

2. glitch.com — create your own web apps in the browser, import GitHub repos, use any NPM package or build on any popular frameworks and directly deploy to Firebase.

3. bundlephobia.com — quickly find the import cost (download size) of any package in the NPM registry. Or upload your package.json file to scan all dependencies in your project.

4. babeljs.io/repl — Write your code in modern JavaScript and let Babel transform your code into JavaScript that is compatible with even older browsers.

5. codeply.com — quickly build frontend responsive layouts with frameworks like Bootstrap, Materialize CSS and SemanticUI.

6. httpie.org — a command-line tool that is useful for making HTTP requests to web servers and RESTful APIs. Almost as powerful as CURL and Wget but simpler.

7. regexr.com — A good tool for testing your regular expressions in the browser.

8. jex.im/regulex — Write any regular expression into the editor and get a visual representation of how the pieces work.

9. buildregex.com — Construct regular expressions visually.

Also see: The Most Useful Websites on the Internet

10. explainshell.com — Type any Unix command and get a visual explanation of each flag and argument in the command.

11. tldr.ostera.io — Unix man pages are long and complex. This site offers practical examples for all popular Unix command without you having to dive into the man pages.

12. mockaroo.com — quickly generate dummy test data in the browser in CSV, JSON, SQL and other export formats.

13. jsdelivr.com — Serve any GitHub file or WordPress plugin through a CDN. Combine multiple files in a single URL, add “.min” to any JS/CSS file to get a minified version automatically. Also see unpkg.com.

14. carbon.now.sh — create beautiful screenshots of your source code. Offers syntax highlighting for all popular languages.

15. wakatime.com — know exactly how long you spend coding with detailed metrics per file and even language. Integrates with VS Code, Sublime text, and all popular code editors.

16. astexplorer.net — paste your JavaScript code into the editor and generate the Abstract Syntax Tree that will help you understand how the JavaScript parser works.

17. hyper.is — A better alternative to the command line terminal and also iTerm. Use with the Oh My Zsh shell and add superpowers to your terminal.

18. curlbuilder.com — make your own CURL requests in the browser.

19. htaccess.madewithlove.be — easily test the redirect and rewrite rules in the .htaccess file of your Apache server. See useful .htaccess snippets.

Also see: The Best Places to Download HTML Templates

20. trackjs.com — monitor errors in your JavaScript based web projects and get instant email notifications when a new error is detected.

21. ngrok.com — Start a local web server, fire up ngrok, point to the port where the localhost is running and get a public URL of your tunnel.

22. codeshare.io — An online code editor for pair programming, live interviews with video conferences or for teaching code to students remotely.

23. webhooks.site — Easily inspect the payloads and debug HTTP webhooks in the browser. All HTTP requests are logged in real-time. Another good alternative is RequestBin.

24. surge.sh — the easiest way to deploy web pages and other static content from the command line. Supports custom domains and SSL. Also see Zeit Now.

25. visbug — A must-have add-on for web developers that brings useful web design tools right in your browser. Available for Google Chrome and Firefox.

26. puppeteersandbox.com — Puppeteer is a Node.js framework for automating Google Chrome. Use the sandbox to quickly test your scripts in the browser. Also see try-puppeteer.com.

27. prettier.io/playground — Beautify your JavaScript and TypeScript code using Prettier, the favorite code formatter of programmers.

28. json.parser.online.fr — The only JSON parser you’ll ever need to analyze and beautify your complex JSON strings.

29. scrimba.com — Create your own programming screencasts in the browser or watch other developers code.code.

30. katacoda.com — A training platform for software developers where anyone can create their own dedicated and interactive training environments.

31. codesandbox.io — A full-featured online IDE where you can create web applications in all popular languages including vanilla JavaScript, React, TypeScript, Vue and Angular. Also see StackBlitz.com and Repl.it.

32. apify.com — Write your own web scrapers using JavaScript and schedule your scrapers to run at specific intervals automatically.

33. vim-adventures.com — The Vim text editor is hugely popular among programmers. The site will help you master the various key commands through a game.

34. insomnia.rest — A desktop based REST client that lets you create HTTP requests and view response details all in a easy-to-use interface. Advanced users may consider Postman.

Also see: The Most Awesome Teachers for Learning Web Development

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YouTube Uploader – Let Others Upload Videos to your YouTube Channel

It is easy to upload videos to your own YouTube channel but there’s one limitation. Only the owner of the channel can upload videos to their YouTube account and they cannot delegate the task to someone else in the team.

Google Drive has the concept of shared folders. A folder can have multiple collaborators and anyone can upload files to that folder. Wouldn’t it be useful if such a feature were available for YouTube channels as well? You maintain a single YouTube account and multiple people can upload videos to your common account without the owner having their the Google account credentials with anyone.

youtube-video-uploader.png

YouTube Video Uploader for Collaboration

Introducing YouTube Uploader, a simple file upload form that lets anyone upload videos to your YouTube channel from their desktop or mobile phone. The uploader doesn’t even need a Google account and they’ll still be able to upload video files of any size to your YouTube channel.

Before we get into the implementation details, open this live demo page and upload a video file. Once the file is uploaded, YouTube will take a minute or two to process the video and it will go live immediately on the YouTube channel.

Make your Own YouTube Uploader

If you have a collaborative YouTube channel with multiple contributors, you may consider setting up your own private YouTube Uploader form and any of the contributors will be able to upload their work on your channel directly via the form.

Here’s how you can build a YouTube uploader in 3 easy steps.

  1. Click here to make a copy of the YouTube uploader script in your Google Drive. It is recommended that you create a new Google account to test the YouTube uploader before using it with your main account.
  2. Enable the YouTube API for your Google project. Go to Resources > Cloud Platform Project, click the project name and enable the YouTube Data API from the API library. Watch the video guide for details.
  3. While inside the script editor, go to Publish > Deploy as Web App and click Update.
  4. You’ll be presented with an authorization screen as the script needs permission to upload videos on your behalf and also send email notifications when a new video is uploaded. Click Allow.

That’s it. You’ll be presented with a unique URL that you can share with your team members.

The user is presented with a simple web form where they can fill in the video title, description, the video category, and the privacy mode (should the video be private,  public or unlisted). All they have to do is select a file and click “Upload” to send the video to your YouTube channel directly.

YouTube Uploader Settings

Important Points to Know:

  • When deploying the web app,  choose “Me” under the “Execute the App as” section and “Anyone, even anonymous” under the “Who has access to the app” section.
  • If you would like to disable the uploader, go to Resources > Deploy as web app and choose “Disable web app.”
  • The uploader is written in JavaScript (ES6) and compiled to Google Apps Script with Babel, Clasp and the Apps Script starter kit.
  • Keep the YouTube Uploader URL secret and only share with people you know.
  • This program comes as it is with no warranty. It may not be used for commercial applications.

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The Most Awesome Online Teachers for Learning Web Development

For the past few months, I have been on a learning spree looking to enhance my existing coding skills and also learn new programming languages and frameworks. In this process, I have watched a countless number of video tutorials and online courses that pertain to programming and, specifically, web development.

In my quest to become a better developer, I’ve come across several awesome “teachers” who aren’t just excellent programmers but awesome educators and have the art of explaining complex and difficult concepts.

Learn Modern Web Programming with the Best Online Teachers

This is an attempt to highlight the best instructors on the Internet for JavaScript, React, Redux, Node.js, Firebase (database and storage), Docker, Google Golang, Typescript, Flutter (for mobile app development), Dart, Git, Webpack and Parcel bundler.

I’ve taken courses by every single instructor mentioned here (PDF) and recommend them highly.

Awesome Web Teachers
Language / PlatformTeacher / Course
React.jsAndrew Mead, Maximilian Schwarzmüller, Stephen Grider, Ryan FlorenceScott Tolinski, Elijah Manor, Brian Holt, Dave CeddiaKirupa Chinnathambi
Advanced JavaScript / ES6 / ES2017Anthony Alicea, Wes Bos, Mark Zamoyta, Tyler McGinnis,  Mosh HamedaniKent C. DoddsKyle SimpsonKyle Robinson YoungBrandon Morelli, Cody Seibert
ReduxDan AbramovShaun PellingBucky RobertsCory House
Dart & FlutterMary Xia & Matt SullivanStephen Grider, Maximilian Schwarzmüller, Filip & Emily Fortuna
Docker / KubernetesJake Wright, Stephen Grider, James Lee
Webpack / Parcel web bundlerAndrew MeadLawrence Whiteside, Sean LarkinPetr TichyBrad TraversyMax Schwarzmüller
Node.jsMaximilian SchwarzmüllerStephen GriderAndrew MeadAzat MardanAnthony AliceaSamer Buna
Git & GithubTrevor MillerAlex Garret-SmithTom Preson-Werner, Daniel Shiffman
Go LanguageTodd McLeod, Stephen Grider, Derek Banas, Jon Calhoun, Harrison Kinsley
TypeScriptTodd MottoJohn LidquistBasarat Ali SyedMarius Schulz
Firebase / FirestoreDavid East, Doug Stevenson, Shaun Pelling, Todd Kerpelman, Steve Kinney
Google Chrome Dev ToolsPaul Irish, Surma, Umar Hansa, Jon Kuperman
GraphQLAndrew Mead, Stephen Grider

Also see: Learn How to Code Online

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How to Automatically Create PDFs with Google Form Responses

Google Forms are the best tool for creating online polls, surveys, quizzes, and questionnaires. The form submissions are automatically stored in Google Spreadsheets, making it easier for you to analyse the submissions, and your forms can receive an unlimited number of responses.

When a user submits your Google Form, a row is added to the destination Google Sheet with all the answers. The tutorial explains how you can save your Google Form responses in a customized PDF file in Google Drive and have it emailed automatically to one or more recipients via Gmail.

For this example, we are building an event registration form with Google Forms. The attendees fill the form, select the session(s) they wish to attend and an email confirmation is sent to them instantly. A PDF document is attached and it contains the form answers and also a dynamic QR Code that can be scanned at the event venue.

Create PDFs with Google Forms – DEMO

Before we get into the implementation details, please try the live workflow so you have a better idea of what we are building.

First, fill-in this Google Form and submit. Your form response is saved in this Google Sheet and, within a few seconds, you’ll receive a personalized email with a PDF attachment. It contains a QR code and a unique registration ID that is generated automatically with the =QRCODE() formula.

Internally, the workflow is using this Google Document to merge the Google Forms data into a PDF file. We picked PDF for this example but you can generate documents in any format including Word documents, Excel Spreadsheets, PowerPoint Slides, ePub and more.

How to Create PDF Documents with Google Form Responses

To get started, create a new Google Form and choose a destination Google Spreadsheet where the responses would get saved.

Next, create a template in either Google Docs, Google Slides or Google Sheets. In your template, the variable fields should be enclosed inside double curly braces and the field name should exactly match the question title in your Google Form.

Google Forms Merge Document

For example, if your Google Form question is “Full Name”, the marker in your document template would be {{Full Name}} and it will be automatically replaced with the answer submitted by the form submitter.

Install Document Studio

Next, install Document Studio for Google Sheets and authorize the add-on. Now open the Google Spreadsheet that is storing your Google Form responses, go to the Add-ons menu, choose Document Studio and open the sidebar to build the workflow.

First, expand the Document Merge section and choose the document template from Google Drive that you have created in the previous step. Choose a file name of the exported file – it can be a fixed name – like event.pdf – or a dynamic name like {{full name}}.pdf where the file name is customized based on file answers.

Next, expand the Mail Merge section in Document Studio’s sidebar, turn on the “Send Emails” option and create an email template using the built-in WYSIWYG editor.

HTML Email Template - Google Forms

You can customize the template by adding variable placeholders, like {{First Name}}, in the email subject and message body for personalized emails. Choose the field where you asking for the submitter’s email address to send them an email when they submit the form. You can add more emails (comma-separated) in the “Email Specific People” to notify more people when forms are submitted.

If you would like to add markers to the merged document that aren’t present in the Google Form, you can use the help of Google Sheets array formulas.

carbon.png

For instance, if your Google Form question is Full Name, you can add a new column in the Google Sheet for First Name and use the following formula to automatically get the first name from Google Form submissions that can be used in the email and document template.

Also see: How to Send Personalized Emails with Gmail

Finally, expand the “Finish and Merge” section and check the option Merge on Form Submit. Click Save to turn the workflow and submit a test entry in your Google Form.

merged-pdf-document.png

You should find a personalized email with the merged document as a PDF attachment in your Gmail sent items. A copy of the PDF file is saved in your Google Drive that you can use to automatically print the Google Form response via Google Cloud Print.

If you are stuck, please watch the video tutorial (download) for a visual walkthrough.

The post How to Automatically Create PDFs with Google Form Responses appeared first on Digital Inspiration.

Help Locate your own Email Message in Someone Else’s Gmail

You’ve sent an important email to a colleague but it is lost in the deluge of emails they receive every day, buried and forgotten. They can obviously use Gmail search operators, like FROM: or SUBJECT:, to locate that email later but wouldn’t it be useful if there were a way to directly locate that one missing email in their mailbox.

Well, there’s an alternate search trick and the sender can actually help the recipient find any specific email message that they have sent in the past.

When you send an email through Gmail, a unique Message ID is added to the email header as per the RFC 822 specification. To know the ID of your message, open the email inside Gmail, go to 3-dot menu and choose Show Original. The Message-ID will be displayed in the first line of the header as shown the screenshot.

gmail-message-id.png

The Message ID of a particular email message is exactly the same for both the sender and the recipient. That means if the recipient opens the header of your email in their mailbox, the message ID will match that of the message in your Gmail sent folder.

Gmail offers a lesser-known search operator – rfc822msgid – that helps you search emails by their message ID.

So if our message ID is xyz@mail.gmail.com, a simple search like rfc8222msgid:xyz@mail.gmail.com will return the exact email in search results.

RFC822 Message ID for Gmail

And that’s the trick. This search query will work for both the recipient and the email sender. So if you pass the message ID to the recipient, they can simply use the rfc822msgid operator to locate a specific email from you in their own mailbox.

Since the recipient ID is too complex, you can simply copy of the URL of the Gmail search page and pass them to the recipient. The URL will work for them as well since the Message ID is the same for them as well.

You can also use this search trick to bookmark emails in the browser.

Also see: Send Personalized Emails with Gmail

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The Best Places to Download HTML Templates for your Website

Are you looking for responsive, beautiful and professional looking HTML templates for your next website but don’t have the budget? Well, here are a couple of free resources on the Internet where you can regularly find good templates for use in your web projects without restrictions.

dribble-html-templates.png

Dribble is a popular community of designers for them to showcase their work online. In addition to posting screenshots of their work, designers also upload the HTML / CSS version of their projects for anyone to use. You should bookmark the freebie and the freebies tag on Dribble to never miss these projects.

Creative Market is a marketplace for website templates, themes, fonts and other design assets. It is a paid store but if you join their email newsletter, they’ll send you free design stuff every week in your inbox that can be downloaded directly to your Dropbox. And they are mostly good.

HTML5 UP is created by the same developer that built Carrd, one of the most useful websites on the Internet. HTML5 UP is a treasure house of beautiful templates built sans the heavy Bootstrap or Material framework. All web templates are available in the Creative Commons license so can you can use them in any way with attribution.

website-theme

Envato’s Themes Forest is a premium marketplace for website templates but if create a free account with them, you get to download all the freebies that are published on their homepage every few weeks. These are paid items that the authors have made free only during the duration of the promotion to gain visibility in the marketplace.

OnePageLove is a curated directory of single page websites and they have a dedicated section for HTML templates that are free to download.

UpLabs is another online marketplace and community where creative designers share their work. The “web” section offers a variety of HTML templates that are free for both personal and commercial use.

html-podcast-layout.jpg

Manoela Ilic’s Codrops houses the most creative collection of work for web designers as well as developers. Every single project on this site, be it an image slider or a checkout page, is unlike anything you’ve seen before and the source code is up for grabs on Github.

Freebiesbug, as the name suggests, curates web freebies including fonts, PSD designs, stock photos and, of course, HTML templates. Look for the “exclusive” tag and you’ll discover HTML/CSS templates that the designers have chosen to share exclusively on this website.

And the final resource in my list that is worth adding to your bookmarks is Codepen. Chris Coyier started Codepen as a playground for writing HTML, CSS and JavaScript in the web browser but the project has evolved into a huge community of front-end developers that are putting the code in public which are free to fork and download.

PS: If you are aware of any good resource for free web templates that we missed in the above list, please let me know at amit@labnol.org – thanks!

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Make your own Saregama Carvaan with YouTube and Google Sheets

Saregama Carvaan, a digital music player that looks like an old-fashioned transistor radio and targets the non-millennial generation, has become a huge hit in India. The company analysed data from online music streaming sites like Saavn, Gaana and YouTube, came up with a catalogue of 5000+ “greatest” Hindi movie songs and pre-loaded them into Carvaan, classified by artists and moods.

Like a radio station, Saregama Carvaan mixes nostalgia with an element of surprise – the player’s algorithm plays music in a random sequence so the listener would never know which song is coming up next. Can the Carvaan experience be recreated with YouTube? Let’s find out.

1. The Songs List

A quick Google search on the Saregama website led me to this PDF document – it contains a complete list of every song that’s bundled into the Carvaan player. I imported the songs PDF into a Google Spreadsheet so the data could be easily filtered by movie names or artistes.

saregama-carvaan.png

2. The YouTube Database

The YouTube API lets you query the video database by keywords. I wrote a simple Google Script that reads the song titles from the Google Spreadsheet and finds the corresponding video on YouTube. The YouTube API returns the video link, the description, the channel of the video uploader and the thumbnail image (source code).

youtube-api-video.png

3. The Spreadsheet Formulae

Google Spreadsheet provides the IMAGE formula that helped me embed the YouTube thumbnail URLs as images into the spreadsheet cells. I used Array Formulas to apply the same formula to the entire column in the spreadsheet.

The YouTube video IDs were converted to the YouTube URLs again with the help of a simple array formula.

=ArrayFormula(CONCAT("https://youtu.be/",D2:D))

4. The YouTube Playlist

Now the spreadsheet was populated with a list of songs that are preloaded into Carvaan and their corresponding YouTube videos.

The next task was to create a YouTube playlist with all the videos. I had earlier built a tool for copying YouTube playlists and the same API was used here for building the playlist inside the spreadsheet (source code).

youtube-playlist.png

The Final Result

And here’s the final result – a YouTube playlist with 5000 songs that come bundled with Carvaan. Press the “Shuffle” icon and the songs would play in random sequence continuously.

saregama-carvaan-youtube-playlist.jpg

Useful Links

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Email Studio adds Mail Merge and Email Scheduler Directly in Gmail

Introducing Email Studio, our new open-source Gmail add-on that brings powerful capabilities like mail merge, email scheduler, copier and more to your Gmail mailbox. Unlike other solutions, Email Studio works directly in Gmail and you can even use it inside the Gmail App on your Android phone (with support for iPhone coming soon).

Whether you need to send personalized emails to your Google Contacts, schedule emails in Gmail for sending at a later date, auto-forward emails to another address, you can do it all and more with Email Studio. Watch the video tutorial series on YouTube to get started.

Email Studio for Gmail – Features

Here’s a complete list of modules that are bundled with Email Studio.

Mail Merge – Create a Gmail draft, choose one or more Google Contacts and personalized emails will go out to each recipient with having to use CC or BCC.

Send Later – Compose an email now and the add-on will automatically send it later at preferred date and time later. You can also set up recurring schedules that will send the same email to the same recipients but multiple times on different dates.

Auto-Forwarder – Gmail has a built-in forwarder too but it only works on new email and you can only forward emails to email accounts that are your own. Email Studio imposes no such restrictions and it just works.

Email AutoResponder – Gmail has Canned Responses but with Email Studio, you can send auto-replies to both old and new email. Your responses can also include attachments which are not supported in Gmail Canned responses.

Email Unsubscriber – Quickly remove yourself from unwanted newsletters and bulk emails. This open-source utility won the ProductHunt Lifehack of the Year award and is now bundled with Email Studio.

Draft Copier – Quickly create or more identical copies of any existing draft in your Gmail mailbox. If you want to send similar emails to a bunch of people manually but without using CC or BCC, you’ll love the copier.

Email Purge – You can set up rules to automatically delete emails that match certain criteria. For instance, I could set up a rule to automatically delete emails that contain “breaking news” in the subject and the message is older than 7 days.

Inside Email Studio

Email Studio inside Gmail Mobile App

Mail Merge with Email Studio

Draft Copier with Email Studio

Cleanup with Email Studio

Install Email Studio

* Email Studio is free for basic usage. If you need to send more than 25 emails per day with Email Studio, please upgrade to premium. It has a higher daily email quota and includes no branding.

** Email Studio includes a simple version of Mail Merge that recognizes {{First Name}} and {{Full Name}} fields of Google Contacts. If you need to include more personalized fields, track email opens or send separate attachments to different recipients, check out the more advanced Mail Merge with Attachments add-on for Google Sheets.

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How to Block Jio from Showing Ads on your Android Phone

Ever since I added the Reliance Jio 4G SIM on my Android phone, I’ve been bombarded with fullscreen overlay ads. The ads appear intermittently but they’ll almost always show up after you disconnect a phone call or when you are charging the device.

reliance-jio

I use a limited number of Android apps from known developers and was fairly certain that adware was related to the Jio phone service. After fiddling with every possible setting inside Android to disable the ads, I turned to Twitter for help.

You can read the entire Twitter thread or here’s a quickly summary:

  1. Uninstall MyJio, Jio 4G Voice and all other Jio apps.
  2. Revoke all permissions of Jio apps. Long press the app icon, press the info button, go to App Permission and uncheck everything. Also turn off the “draw over the apps” permission for Jio apps.
  3. For Android Oreo or later, go to Settings > Apps > MyJio and turn off the “App can appear on top” setting. You probably need to do this for every Jio app on the device.
  4. Root the phone and install AdAway, an ad block that uses the hosts file to block specific hostnames and IP addresses.
  5. Use Greenify to hibernate all the Jio apps and prevent the app from running in the background.
  6. Disable ‘Telephone’ access for all Jio apps. Even Jio Mags has default access to ‘Telephone’!
  7. Toggle background data to disable data access for all Jio related apps.

Unfortunately, none of these suggestions worked.

Meanwhile, the Jio team contacted me after seeing the tweet and asked for the IMEI number of the phone. A week later, I got a call from the Jio support team saying that the problem should be resolved.

Yes, I was no longer getting any pop-up ads on my phone despite having all the Jio apps as before. What changed? It turned out, the Jio support representative told me, that these ads can only be disabled by Jio for the requested phone number on the server side.

In short, if you are also feeling annoyed with Jio related ads on your phone, send a tweet to @JioCare and they should be able to help. This also reminds me of Amazon – just ping their support team and they’ll happily remove ads from your Kindle.

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