A new look for Gmail

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Google has redesign his main interface for Gmail, and has finally got a new contact manager, which is 100 times better than the earlier one. The new contact manager is fast and easier to use, and is definitely a welcome change to one of the best email services available online today.

The new contacts manager has a more prominent link as seen in the first screenshot above and will also work pretty much like Gmail works, fast. The new contacts manager now supports Keyboard shortcuts, sorting by name, custom labels for contact fields, ability to undo changes you made and automatic saving just like Gmail compose among other things.

In addition to the contact manager changes, Gmail also sports links to Mail, Contacts and Tasks in the top left and displays a Compose mail button instead of a text. There is also some screen estate recovery thanks to the reduction in the header area. However, Google has also made it a bit painful to select messages by removing the links and putting it into a dropdown.

Overall these changes are pretty good and make Gmail the best free email service out there. The new changes to the Gmail contact manager and overall email layout will be rolled out to all users in a phased manner.

Concisely, Gmail Team has done following changes …

  • Mail, Contacts, and Tasks links have moved to the top left of Gmail.
  • Compose mail is now a button rather than a link.
  • A smaller header area puts the first message in your inbox about 16 pixels higher on the screen.
  • The Select AllNoneReadUnread, and Starred links that used to be above your messages are now options in a drop-down menu, next to theArchive button.

Updates to Contacts
They have also done a major overhaul to Contacts, adding a bunch of features people requested and making Contacts easier to use.

  • Contacts work a lot more like Mail. Keyboard shortcuts now work in Contacts too, and  made selecting and grouping contacts more like selecting and labeling email.
  • Sort contacts by last name. Look under More actions for this option.
  • Use custom labels for phone numbers and other fields. For example, you can label a phone number as “Vacation home.” Please be aware, ActiveSync for iPhone and Blackberry Sync don’t yet support custom labels so custom labeled numbers/emails/etc. may not appear on your phone.
  • Undo. Now, when you make changes to your contacts, you can undo your recent changes.
  • Automatic saving. You no longer need to worry about “edit” mode or “view” mode — just edit away and Gmail will save your changes.
  • Structured name fields. You can now set name components (i.e. Title, First, Middle, Last and Suffix) explicitly or continue to use the name field as a free form area if you prefer a less structured approach.
  • Manual and bulk contact merge. You can now merge contacts from the More actions menu. Just select the contacts you’d like to merge and select Merge contacts from under the More actions menu. Or, to get a list of suggestions for contacts to merge, select Find and merge duplicates.

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One thought on “A new look for Gmail

    Muhammad Yaqoob said:
    August 11, 2010 at 22:55

    A very timely informative post. thanks for the share.

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