What’s Gotten Into Gmail?

By  |  Friday, May 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm

My, how hyperactive Gmail has become.

Google’s web mail service just rolled out a “people widget,” which shows information about the person you’re e-mailing right next to the message, but that’s not the only change we’ve seen recently in Gmail. Here’s a quick rundown of other changes:

  • Importance Markers: Like a light version of Gmail’s priority inbox, these little yellow tabs attempt to decipher which e-mails are truly important. You can help the algorithm out by using plus and minus markers in the top navigation bar.
  • AIM in GChat: AOL now lets Instant Messenger users migrate their buddies to Gmail’s chat service. You can add individual buddies by typing their screen names followed by “@aol.com,” or add everyone by choosing “options” in AIM, clicking “Add to Buddy List” and selecting “Set up Google Talk.”
  • Advanced advertisements:¬†Google’s been rolling out a new automated ad system for Gmail that looks not only at the content of e-mails, but at whether the user is reading or deleting messages. The idea is to make ads smarter by pinning down the user’s main interests.

I don’t know what’s going on in the Googleplex, but Yahoo, meanwhile, has been rolling out its own big upgrades for Yahoo Mail, and they’re quite nice.¬†Perhaps Google is rapidly releasing its own new features to stay competitive, or maybe it’s just coincidence.

Whatever the case, I don’t find any of Gmail’s recent changes intrusive or offensive, but they’re not game-changers, either. And that’s okay; I like Gmail just the way it is.


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11 Comments For This Post

  1. z3l4d0r Says:

    Well, I'd rather use the new Yahoo Mail. It has an awesome interface and some options 'in natura' which are implemented only when you activate Labs features in Gmail. But it lacks IMAP support. So, I'm still stucked with Google.

  2. Muay Thai Says:

    Yea, most desktop mail programs only work with IMAP. Too bad for POP! Muay Thai Combinations | Muay Thai Kick | Martial Arts for Children

  3. Madison Says:

    I like most of the new features Gmail has rolled out, except for the message scanning part. I know, I know, Gmail has to make money too, but I just don't appreciate them looking through my emails to give me "personalized" ads.

  4. Kyruss Says:

    First thing i do when i reinstall a browser on my system is get an extension to ‘clean up’ gmail.

    Left in it’s default state, gmail might well be the busiest, ugliest email interface around. Something like the Minimalist add-on for Chrome strips gmail down to what it really should look like.

  5. Collins Says:

    Just like Kyruss, I don't like GMail's UI; it's cluttered with unnecessary widgets by default and doesn't allow me to 'preview' an e-mail without leaving my inbox.

    That's why I use a client to access and manage my e-mails. I only log onto the webmail interface to modify or remove filters and change some settings.

  6. Tony Says:

    I still prefer Yahoo Mail, even though Yahoo seems to load slow sometimes. I'm not a fan of Gmail.

  7. Gerard Willemse Says:

    I love Gmail as it allows me to access my mail with an email client like Microsoft Outlook. Yahoo does not allow this and I hate having to login to webmail just to read my email. Using an email client just makes everything faster.

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  10. Julien Says:

    Just like you, I like Gmail the way it is. Now that they've updated, I am still using the old version.

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