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Archive for June 6th, 2008

Google to let users test new Gmail features

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As shared earlier in previous post, I am a Outlook / Gmail user and I certainly am a big fan of the Google Apps service for hosting email accounts… Our corporate email, personal email, wife’s company email are all hosted by Google now and it’s fantastic.

Just in recent months Google has flooded features into the already many free services available… and I find myself using the Google Docs so often that it has become our Document Management System. We used it or Project Management, Individual Project Milestone Chart, Support Document… and more.

But one main area that I still use my Outlook for is inbox management. Gmail is great and highly reliable, but it certainly lacks the rich feature of Outlook like the ability to set custom categories, tag task / reminder to an email. These are features I cannot live without… so it certainly excites me when, according to CNet News, that Google is adding new features to Gmail!

Among the new features that are possible:

• A quick-link tool that lets people bookmark specific Gmail messages. (NICE – hopefully it can match the custom categories in Outlook)

• Superstars, which lets people select custom stars to label mail. (NICE)

• The “e-mail addict” tool that lets people lock themselves out of their e-mail account for 15 minutes.

• A fixed-width font option to view a message within a font whose characters are the same width–handy for some formatting challenges.

• Mouse gestures that let users take actions based on mouse movements.

• Custom keyboard shortcuts.

• Signature tweaks that let people automatically add a signature file above quoted text in an e-mail reply.

• “Muzzle,” which conserves buddy-list screen real estate by hiding status messages.

For now at least, only Google engineers can add features. “Any engineer can code a labs feature,” Coleman said. “Once the code is written and mostly working, it’ll get into the next product build that goes to users” through the labs feature.

Eventually, though, the company is interested in opening the system up to outsiders if it can find a way to integrate outside code.

One more feature, whether coming from Google or 3rd party integration is to automatically tag the email such that it becomes a task / reminder in Google Calendar. That would be complete for me… to dump Outlook and move to Gmail. Ok! I probably won’t dump Outlook but will drastically reduce the usage other than to back up the email to PST format…

Another good to have feature is probably the ability for Gmail to add the attachment in emails straight into Google Docs and that document can be tagged, just like an email so that user can easily find reference in Google Docs on related documents.

Written by gooddealz

June 6, 2008 at 4:30 am

Posted in Great Stuff, Opinions