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Your initial feedback on Gmail’s new look

Category: Gmail | Jul 25, 2011

Posted by Mark Striebeck, Engineering Manager

A few weeks ago, we released a preview of Gmail’s new look via two new themes. We asked you to try them out and send us your feedback. So far, less than 5% of Gmail usage is happening through these themes, but we’re getting some good feedback on what’s working and useful advice about what to improve from you early adopters.

What you like

  • The clean and minimalist look of the new design
  • Seeing a consistent “look” across Google products

“The new Preview theme is wonderful! It’s clean and crisp, easy to read and really focused on the one thing that matters most in Gmail — the mail! Thanks!”

What you want to change

  • Too much whitespace and not enough information (though interestingly, many people reported that they appreciated to lower information density after a while)
  • Not enough contrast
  • Darker theme options

“Even with the ‘dense’ version, I still have listings of about 30% fewer messages. The lack of visual differentiation between content and UI chrome is also harder to process (e.g., where does the conversation list end and the toolbar begin).”

We’re working on improvements for the final release, but it is very encouraging that a visual update like this was generally greeted with such a positive response. If you haven’t tried out the new themes yet, give them a go and tell us what you think.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/aiVQd3OnlqM/your-initial-feedback-on-gmails-new.html

Your initial feedback on Gmail’s new look

Category: Gmail | Jul 25, 2011

Posted by Mark Striebeck, Engineering Manager

A few weeks ago, we released a preview of Gmail’s new look via two new themes. We asked you to try them out and send us your feedback. So far, less than 5% of Gmail usage is happening through these themes, but we’re getting some good feedback on what’s working and useful advice about what to improve from you early adopters.

What you like

  • The clean and minimalist look of the new design
  • Seeing a consistent “look” across Google products

“The new Preview theme is wonderful! It’s clean and crisp, easy to read and really focused on the one thing that matters most in Gmail — the mail! Thanks!”

What you want to change

  • Too much whitespace and not enough information (though interestingly, many people reported that they appreciated to lower information density after a while)
  • Not enough contrast
  • Darker theme options

“Even with the ‘dense’ version, I still have listings of about 30% fewer messages. The lack of visual differentiation between content and UI chrome is also harder to process (e.g., where does the conversation list end and the toolbar begin).”

We’re working on improvements for the final release, but it is very encouraging that a visual update like this was generally greeted with such a positive response. If you haven’t tried out the new themes yet, give them a go and tell us what you think.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/aiVQd3OnlqM/your-initial-feedback-on-gmails-new.html

Faces of Gmail: Sarah Price

Category: Gmail | Jul 21, 2011

Posted by Kathleen Chen, Consumer Operations

In this month’s Faces of Gmail we’re profiling Sarah Price, our history-loving, lindy-hopping community manager.

What do you do on the Gmail team?
I’m the Community Manager for Gmail. That means that I watch over Gmail’s user forum and talk with Gmail users in other places. For example, I’m one of the people behind @gmail on Twitter and Facebook. If you use Google+, you can follow me there, too!


What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Gmail users have high expectations for us. They think of Gmail as their own and have great ideas about how to make it better. I love this about our users. Sometimes, though, we make a change that some people love and some people don’t like as much. For the people who don’t like the change, it can be hard to help them understand why we made it, and that we are still listening to their feedback.

What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love that I get to work with such an amazing product, and I love meeting Gmail users from all over the world, including the “Top Contributors” in our Help Forum. I also love helping people get to know each other. It’s very powerful when people come together over a common interest in Gmail.

What did you do before coming to Google?
I studied Latin Literature at Yale and Ancient History at Oxford. You are probably wondering how I ended up at Google! While I was a student, I also worked as a computer repair technician. I enjoy solving problems and teaching people about technology.


What’s your favorite lab?
How can I pick just one? I couldn’t live without Multiple Inboxes, which I combine with Superstars. Inbox Preview is really cool, too.

Which theme do you use?
I recently switched to the Preview (Dense) theme. It took a day or two to get used to it, but I like how clean it feels.

What’s something you think every Gmail user should know about Gmail?
Everyone should take a tour through settings. Just click through the pages and see what you find. There’s a lot of great stuff in there, and some really important things, too, like options for recovering your account if you ever lose access.

What do you do when you’re not working on Gmail?
I rehearse and perform with my fusion social dance group, Decadance. We do everything from hip hop to waltz — sometimes in the same piece! I joined Decadance because I love the lead/follow dynamic in partner dance. When I’m not dancing, I love to read, travel and play games, both board games and video games. I’m also starting to plan my wedding.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?
I hate waste when it’s easily avoidable. For example, when someone leaves the door ajar on the refrigerator in the office kitchen, or throws away a plastic bottle when there is a recycling bin nearby.

If you want to meet Sarah, she will be “hanging out” on Google+ today from 1-2:30pm PDT (8-9:30pm GMT).

Photos by Cody Bratt, Google Talk team

Update 12:18pm: Removed reference to Gmail Labs feature that’s not out yet (but that Sarah was testing).


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/KASIm09KHu4/faces-of-gmail-sarah-price.html

Make multiple calls in Gmail

Category: Gmail | Jul 20, 2011

Posted by Richard Dunn, Software Engineer

Over the years, we’ve expanded Gmail’s communication abilities by allowing you to make voice and video calls to other computers and more recently call phones. Until now, though, you were limited to making one call at a time. Today we’re excited to relax that restriction and allow you to make or receive multiple calls in Gmail.

If you’re in a call and make a second one, your first call will be put on hold while you talk on your new call. You can switch between calls by pressing the “Resume” button on the call you want to talk on, which will automatically put the previous call on hold.


Receiving incoming calls while you’re in another call is just as easy: you’ll receive a notification of the incoming call and can choose to accept it or not. If you take the new call, the previous call will be put on hold.

Whether you make a second call or not, you can now put any call on hold — useful in case you need to talk to someone in the room or grab something off the stove. Just press the “Hold” button and then “Resume” to start talking again.

This feature works across all call types (voice, video, and phone); the only restriction is that a maximum of two outgoing calls to physical phones can be placed at once.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/pUbPoNdZ6CY/make-multiple-calls-in-gmail.html

Make multiple calls in Gmail

Category: Gmail | Jul 20, 2011

Posted by Richard Dunn, Software Engineer

Over the years, we’ve expanded Gmail’s communication abilities by allowing you to make voice and video calls to other computers and more recently call phones. Until now, though, you were limited to making one call at a time. Today we’re excited to relax that restriction and allow you to make or receive multiple calls in Gmail.

If you’re in a call and make a second one, your first call will be put on hold while you talk on your new call. You can switch between calls by pressing the “Resume” button on the call you want to talk on, which will automatically put the previous call on hold.


Receiving incoming calls while you’re in another call is just as easy: you’ll receive a notification of the incoming call and can choose to accept it or not. If you take the new call, the previous call will be put on hold.

Whether you make a second call or not, you can now put any call on hold — useful in case you need to talk to someone in the room or grab something off the stove. Just press the “Hold” button and then “Resume” to start talking again.

This feature works across all call types (voice, video, and phone); the only restriction is that a maximum of two outgoing calls to physical phones can be placed at once.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/pUbPoNdZ6CY/make-multiple-calls-in-gmail.html

A new and improved Gmail gadget for iGoogle

Category: Gmail | Jul 19, 2011

Posted by David Yonge-Mallo, Software Engineer, Gmail

With iGoogle, you can personalize your homepage with the information on the web that’s most useful and relevant to you. You can check email, watch videos, catch up on the latest news, check the weather, and more. One of the most common iGoogle requests we’ve been hearing is to update the iGoogle Gmail gadget. Because the Gmail gadget has to share space with other gadgets on the screen, the Gmail experience can be limited to an area not much larger than the size of a business card. Since we’ve already built an experience optimized for small screens with Gmail for mobile, we decided to adapt the mobile web version for iGoogle and are now rolling out an updated gadget.


The new Gmail gadget is pretty similar to the mobile experience — it’s fast, looks good in small spaces, and includes popular features like search and labeling. By default, it appears in a minimized window (shown above); if you expand it into canvas mode by clicking on the maximize button in the upper right hand corner, you get the two pane view until now provided only on tablet devices (shown below). Going forward, the Gmail gadget will be updated with new features in tandem with the mobile edition.

Click the image above to see a larger version.

We’ll be rolling out the new Gmail gadget over the next couple weeks. If you’re already using the gadget, it will update automatically. If you’re not, you can add it to your iGoogle page here. Keep in mind that the new gadget currently requires a WebKit compatible browser, such as Chrome or Safari.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/fT-RYIdk7Rs/new-and-improved-gmail-gadget-for.html

A new and improved Gmail gadget for iGoogle

Category: Gmail | Jul 19, 2011

Posted by David Yonge-Mallo, Software Engineer, Gmail

With iGoogle, you can personalize your homepage with the information on the web that’s most useful and relevant to you. You can check email, watch videos, catch up on the latest news, check the weather, and more. One of the most common iGoogle requests we’ve been hearing is to update the iGoogle Gmail gadget. Because the Gmail gadget has to share space with other gadgets on the screen, the Gmail experience can be limited to an area not much larger than the size of a business card. Since we’ve already built an experience optimized for small screens with Gmail for mobile, we decided to adapt the mobile web version for iGoogle and are now rolling out an updated gadget.


The new Gmail gadget is pretty similar to the mobile experience — it’s fast, looks good in small spaces, and includes popular features like search and labeling. By default, it appears in a minimized window (shown above); if you expand it into canvas mode by clicking on the maximize button in the upper right hand corner, you get the two pane view until now provided only on tablet devices (shown below). Going forward, the Gmail gadget will be updated with new features in tandem with the mobile edition.

Click the image above to see a larger version.

We’ll be rolling out the new Gmail gadget over the next couple weeks. If you’re already using the gadget, it will update automatically. If you’re not, you can add it to your iGoogle page here. Keep in mind that the new gadget currently requires a WebKit compatible browser, such as Chrome or Safari.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/fT-RYIdk7Rs/new-and-improved-gmail-gadget-for.html

ZIP and RAR support now available in the Google Docs Viewer

Category: Gmail | Jul 18, 2011

Posted by Avner Aviad, Google Docs Viewer team

(Cross posted from the Google Docs Blog)

Downloading files that you only need to preview can create unnecessary clutter on your computer. While you can already use the Google Docs Viewer to view over 15 different file types in Gmail without downloading them, today we’ve added support for archive file types ZIP and RAR. Now, if someone sends you a ZIP or RAR file in Gmail, you’ll be able to view its contents from within your browser by clicking on View.


This will bring up a view that includes all of the files in the archive, the file types, and the size of those files.

When you hover over the list you can activate a menu by clicking the “Actions” button. You’ll be able to View items supported by Google Docs Viewer and Print (PDF) those that we offer PDF support. Save to Google Docs and Download appear for all files.

ZIP and RAR archives that are embedded inside other archives also work. For example, if you have a RAR file inside a ZIP file (like in our example above) you can just click on that file to access the embedded archive.

Go ahead and try the feature by viewing a ZIP file

This feature extends to Google Docs for mobile, too. For each viewable file (including embedded ZIP or RAR archives) there is a link to view.

We hope this removes the need to download full archives when you only need to work on select items. We’re always adding more file types to the Google Docs Viewer — let us know what file types you’d like to see support for next in the forums.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/dE8jaoraKek/zip-and-rar-support-now-available-in.html

ZIP and RAR support now available in the Google Docs Viewer

Category: Gmail | Jul 18, 2011

Posted by Avner Aviad, Google Docs Viewer team

(Cross posted from the Google Docs Blog)

Downloading files that you only need to preview can create unnecessary clutter on your computer. While you can already use the Google Docs Viewer to view over 15 different file types in Gmail without downloading them, today we’ve added support for archive file types ZIP and RAR. Now, if someone sends you a ZIP or RAR file in Gmail, you’ll be able to view its contents from within your browser by clicking on View.


This will bring up a view that includes all of the files in the archive, the file types, and the size of those files.

When you hover over the list you can activate a menu by clicking the “Actions” button. You’ll be able to View items supported by Google Docs Viewer and Print (PDF) those that we offer PDF support. Save to Google Docs and Download appear for all files.

ZIP and RAR archives that are embedded inside other archives also work. For example, if you have a RAR file inside a ZIP file (like in our example above) you can just click on that file to access the embedded archive.

Go ahead and try the feature by viewing a ZIP file

This feature extends to Google Docs for mobile, too. For each viewable file (including embedded ZIP or RAR archives) there is a link to view.

We hope this removes the need to download full archives when you only need to work on select items. We’re always adding more file types to the Google Docs Viewer — let us know what file types you’d like to see support for next in the forums.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/dE8jaoraKek/zip-and-rar-support-now-available-in.html

New! Pick your favorite inbox style

Category: Gmail | Jul 7, 2011

Posted by Andrew Moedinger, Software Engineer

Ever felt like there should be a better way to manage your inbox? There are already lots of different ways: some people read everything, some mark messages they need to take action on with stars, and others like to have their important email separated from the rest automatically — something Gmail started offering last year with Priority Inbox.

Over the coming weeks, we’re rolling out several new inbox styles to help you manage your mail in the way that works best for you. Once it’s turned on for your account, you can easily choose a style from the tabs at the top of your inbox:

  • Classic – This is the default inbox style most people are used to. In the Classic inbox, messages are ordered chronologically, with your most recent email at the top.
  • Priority Inbox – Important and unread messages appear at the top of your inbox, then starred messages, then everything else. Each section can be customized further, so you can create your own inbox style.
  • Important first – This style puts important mail at the top of the page (both read and unread messages). Everything else is in its own section at the bottom of your inbox. You may have noticed that we turned on importance arrows for everyone a few weeks ago; this inbox style separates messages with these arrows from those without.
  • Unread first – Simple: unread mail at the top; everything else at the bottom.
  • Starred first – Starred messages at the top; everything else at the bottom.

After you’ve settled on a style you like and used it for about a week, these tabs will go away, You can always change your inbox style from the drop down menu next to the Inbox label or from the Settings page.

So try on a new inbox style and see what fits you best!


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/RK3_0bhxsW8/new-pick-your-favorite-inbox-style.html