Friday, December 09, 2005

Gmail is getting better: new features

I've been very impressed and pleased with Gmail -- despite the significant privacy issues. It's true that my maximum mailbox is no longer growing (it stopped growing at about 2.6GB, so now I've used 17% -- if it were to stay at 2.7GB I'd run out in a few years), but Google is adding a lot of interesting new features. The new RSS/mail integration model is very interesting, especially given Google's disappointing standalone RSS client. Here's the current list. Note the use of Google Tooblar to integrate the desktop with the Gmail application suite (edits, emphases, comments mine):
About Gmail
  • View your favorite RSS feeds right in Gmail as “Clips” along the top of your Gmail screen. Display clips from blogs, news sites and other online sources. Pick from the latest headlines, random popular feeds, or add any RSS/Atom feed you want. [Example, RSS feed that monitors email activity in a separate Yahoo "spam" account ....]
  • When you get Microsoft Office, OpenOffice or .pdf attachments, you can view them as a web page in HTML by clicking the "View as HTML" link right next to it.
  • Gmail automatically detects addresses and tracking numbers, and displays useful information for them alongside your messages.
  • Virus scanning... [of course I'd imagined they always did this. Shame on me.]
  • Export your Gmail Contacts and save them in a file for back-up or to use in another account or service ... [noble]
  • Saves to ‘Drafts’ as you’re composing. Never lose a half-written email again. (huge)
  • Google Toolbar ... Search your mail or instantly go to your Inbox from any web page with just one click.
  • Google Desktop lets you search your computer for files, music, photos, chats, web pages you've seen, and now, your Gmail messages too. Even if you’re offline. [jf: so read access to Gmail repository when offline -- that's big. Too bad Yahoo Desktop Search is so superior to GDS.]
  • Gmail contacts are pre-loaded in Google Talk.
  • Customize the address on your outgoing messages to display another one of your addresses instead.
  • Gmail Notifier for Mac OS X even supports plug-in development.
  • Gmail now gives you over 2.5 gigabytes of free space (and growing every day)! [but mine has stopped growing]
  • Rich text formatting
  • Send up to 10MB of photos, works with Picasa
  • Gmail now works with Picasa, Google's free
  • Basic HTML view lets you access your Gmail messages from almost any computer running almost any web browser. Learn more
  • Free POP access and automatic forwarding
  • Move all your contacts from Yahoo! Mail, Outlook, and others to Gmail in just a few clicks.

No comments: