Feeds

Google upgrades Gmail interface, now less 'drafty'

Shifting email towards instant messaging

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Google has begun a series of upgrades to its Gmail user interface, starting with a "compose and reply experience" that brings email composition much closer to an instant messaging format.

When you're writing an email and you need to reference another message, the current system of saving to draft, searching for the new email, getting the information, and then reopening the original draft, is a pain in the neck, Google product manager Phil Sharp points out in a blog post. El Reg forum users have been pointing this out for some time.

The new function will give you a choice when the Compose button is hit of a floating email window, similar to that used by Google's IM client. This leaves the inbox view in the background, but it's still usable to search for and open other emails in a similar manner as needed. Attachments, text, and email addresses can then be pulled into the original draft.

"This makes it easy to reference any other emails without ever having to close your draft," Sharp writes. "You can even do a search or keep an eye on new mail as it comes in. And because the compose window works the same way as chats, you can write multiple messages at once and minimize a message to finish it later."

GMail update

Google Talk users may find this familiar (click to enlarge)

The new message pane could best be described as functional, with basic formatting tools for the moment, and the pane expands to fit the amount of information needed, to save on-screen acreage. The Save Now button is gone, since everything's auto-saved, and with each email recipient you can start a new email string with a click on their address.

Google is going to roll out the feature to some users within the next 48 hours, a spokeswoman told El Reg, and Google Apps customers on the scheduled release track will see the link in approximately two weeks.

Over the next couple of months, Google will add more features to the Gmail composition windows, including canned responses, inserting emoticons and event invitations, printing and label-generating options, and a read receipt alert option for Apps customers – so HR will know you've scanned the latest corporate missive. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.