Posted by Michael Bolognino, Product Marketing Manager Today is Father’s Day in many countries around the world, so whether your dad lives across the street, across the country or across the ocean, it’s a good day to let him know you’re thinki...Read More
Posted by Daniel Cheng, Software Engineer They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and people certainly like to spice up their emails with images. A while back, Gmail started making this easier by letting you drop images from your desktop right...Read More
Posted by Paul McDonald, Product ManagerIn 1874 the QWERTY keyboard was invented. In 1963, the world was introduced to the mouse. Some 50 years later, we’ve seen the advent of microprocessors, high resolution webcams, and spatial tracking technology....Read More
Posted by David Yonge-Mallo, Software EngineerLast year, we launched a new mobile Gmail experience for iPhone and Android-powered devices. Since then, those of us who use Gmail in English could go to gmail.com from our mobile browsers and get most of t...Read More
Posted by Pal Takacsi-Nagy, Engineering ManagerIt's been a couple of months since we first launched Priority Inbox. Since then, we’ve heard from a number of you who’ve found it helpful in combating information overload, and we’ve seen evidence of...Read More
Posted by Manu Cornet, Software EngineerManu: Hey, how would you fancy some new Gmail themes?Jake: Sure, I would love that! How usable are they?Manu: Huh, usable? Well, there’s a flishy-flashy theme that blinks every...Jake: What? I don’t want thin...Read More
Posted by Mark Knichel, Software EngineerRich text signatures have long been one of our most widely requested features. Some of you have tried your own solutions, including Greasemonkey scripts, browser plugins, and even using canned responses from Gma...Read More
Posted by Sam Goto, Software EngineerThe other day I posted this video to the version of Buzz we use inside of Google. A few people commented on it, 13 liked it, and 68 of my coworkers thought it was interesting enough that they wanted to share it with...Read More
Posted by Mussie Shore, Product ManagerWe've seen lots of people using Google Buzz to share interesting links from around the web. To do so, you had to copy and paste the link from one browser window to another — there weren't buttons that made i...Read More
Posted by Sam Schillace, Gmail Engineering DirectorIf you logged into Gmail over the last hour (or visited the Gmail homepage), you probably noticed that something looked a bit off: all the vowels are missing. We realize this makes things difficult for...Read More
Posted by Mark Knichel, Software Engineer
We launched Gmail Labs over a year and a half ago as a playground where engineers can come up with new features and let your input help decide which are good ideas and which don't quite work out. Any engineer at Google can come up with a feature, code it, and launch it quickly to tens of millions of users.
Labs started out with 13 features and quickly grew to 60, with even more on the way. We've received countless comments and kept an eye on our stats: some of these experimental features were adopted by millions and others trickled along with little usage. A couple have already graduated from Labs and we've already retired one: Tasks was the first to become a regular part of Gmail, Right-side Labels was retired when we updated the way labels work, and Offline Gmail graduated a couple months back. Today, true to the original intent of Gmail Labs, we're graduating six more features and retiring five.
These decisions were made based based mainly on usage, taking feature polish and your feedback into account. We've also tweaked some of the graduating features to improve them before making them default Gmail features. For example, we've combined Go To Label with Search Autocomplete, making it easier than ever for you to find what you're looking for.
Search Autocomplete and Go To Label
Start typing in the Gmail search box (English only for now), and Gmail suggests terms that might help you find what you're looking for — from contact names to labels and advanced search operators.
We've integrated Go To Label into this search box as well. If you have keyboard shortcuts turned on, type "g" then "l" and instead of getting the old "Go to label" pop-up, you'll be in the search box with the "label:" operator filled in for you. Start typing the label you want to go to, and autocomplete will take it from there. All you have to do is hit enter. If you want to send your cursor to the blank search field, the keyboard shortcut "/" will do it.
Forgotten Attachment Detector
From time to time, we all forget to attach a file and sheepishly send another email with the forgotten attachment. To help save you from that embarrassment, Gmail looks for phrases in your email that suggest you meant to attach a file and alerts you if it looks like you forgot an attachment.
If you're like me, your friends probably often email you links to YouTube videos. Instead of having to click on the link and wait for a new window to load before you can watch the video, Gmail now shows YouTube previews right below the message. All you have to do is click the play button and enjoy.
Custom Label Colors
Why settle for a restrictive palette when you can choose from over 4000 possible color combinations to help distinguish and organize your labels? Just click on "Add custom color" from the regular labels interface.
If you specify which dates you'll be away in advance, you won't have to remember to turn on the vacation responder when when you're actually on vacation. Set your dates in advance, and let Gmail do the rest.
Retiring features is always a tough decision — we invest in building and maintaining them and we realize some of you are probably fans of some of Gmail's lesser-used features. But Labs are experimental features, and from time to time they may break (that's why there's a quick way to disable them), or even disappear. Over the next few days, you'll see Muzzle, Fixed Width Font, Email Addict, Location in Signature, and Random Signature stop working and disappear from the Labs tab.
We'll keep working on new Labs to help make your Gmail experience even better, and we'll continue to graduate successful features and retire the ones that don’t work out to make room for new ones. Thank you to all the engineers who have worked on Labs features — especially Bruce, Darick, Jon (the intern), Ibrahim, Chris, Keith, Chad, Michael, and Marco! Please continue to send us feedback and remember that you vote for your favorite Labs features by using them and leaving comments.
Posted by Sam Schillace, Gmail Engineering DirectorIn 2008, we rolled out the option to always use https — encrypting your mail as it travels between your web browser and our servers. Using https helps protect data from being snooped by third par...Read More
Posted by Chad Yoshikawa, Software EngineerGmail chat status (those green, orange, and red bubbles) indicates if your friends are online or not. But sometimes my buddies appear green when they're not really "online online" — they just have chat o...Read More
Posted by Sarah Price, Online Operations StrategistAs part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we recently posted about how to pick a smart password. Having a strong password goes a long way in helping to protect your data, but there are a numb...Read More
Posted by Heaven Kim, Product Marketing Manager, Google MobileBack in April, we released a new version of Gmail for mobile, re-designed to be faster, more usable, and offer basic offline support on iPhone and Android devices. The improvements we made t...Read More
Posted by Ari Leichtberg, Software Engineer and Yossi Matias, Head of Israel Engineering CenterWhen's the last time you got an email from a stranger asking, "Are you sure you meant to send this to me?" and promptly realized that you didn't? Sometimes t...Read More
Posted by Marcin Brodziak, Software EngineerA few months ago, we added the ability to import your old mail and contacts to Gmail. We made this feature available for all newly-created Gmail accounts first, since people new to Gmail benefit most from bei...Read More
Posted by Brad Taylor, Gmail Spam CzarWe believe you should only get the mail you want to get. Some of you already use the "Report Spam" button on all kinds of unwanted email, and for that we're very thankful: the more spam you mark, the better our sys...Read More
Posted by Ibrahim Bokharouss, Software EngineerOn the Gmail team, we believe finding the right email among thousands of messages can be as important as finding the right web page across the billions of web pages out there. So with the aim of making sea...Read More