Nov 8, 2007

[Google] First Look at the New Gmail

The New Gmail

After a fair amount of waiting, my Gmail account finally got converted to the new Gmail here at home since I don't have Firefox 2 or IE 7 at the office - curse you Windows 2000!

Anyway, the changes are indeed subtle and for now I have to live without my beloved Better Gmail extension in exchange for a new toy to tinker with while they get the codes to work together.

I am such a Google freak.

The changes thus far are minor and while there is a slight speed increase between messages due to the prefetching, as was promised, initial loading time is a tad longer than before. I was pleased that switching between Gmail with or without Chat enabled doesn't cause the entire page to refresh and instead only seems to collapse the chat window. The contact search box remains available all the time even when chat is disabled, which is a great change.

I would have blogged about this sooner had I not stopped to tinker with the new Address Book, which is structured horizontally as you can see above. The arrangement appeals to me though since I'm pretty fussy with address books and they moved away from all entires starting with home and work fields and just leaving expandable options for numbers and email addresses. Plus it can now capture IM accounts, which some speculate may lead to inter-connectivity with other IM networks via Google Talk. Keen! I'm keeping my fingers crossed, hehe.

There are other new options like selecting userpics for your contacts directly from your Picasa Web Albums instead of just manually uploading them from your computer. It's also easier to control whether or not users appear in your chat list or if you want conversations from that user to be shown when you pull up their contact list entry.

Plus with the structure changes, you can refresh the page from any view in Gmail without being brought back to the Inbox by default - the URL changes! Great if you don't like starting at the inbox and want to go directly to a label for example.

Of course there's bound to be even more to come and for now I'm pretty happy with the changes. I can only wonder what the change in the underlying code will mean in the long run for Gmail users. I guess this is why they still claim to be in beta, hahaha.


  1. I should probably check my Google mail more closely to see its nifty features and stuff

  2. you have the best chances of seeing the new features if you're using at least Firefox 2.0 although it's also working for some IE7 users.

    Good luck and enjoy!