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A Gmail refresh is rolling out

Google adds a compose feature
Thu Nov 01 2012, 09:48
Gmail by Google logo

INTERNET SERVICES GIANT Google has tweaked its Gmail experience to make it easier for users to refer to old messages while composing new ones.

Previously, starting a new email in Gmail closed the door on the rest of your inbox. If you wanted to check another email for some detail or other you would have to close the box you were working in, saving the message as draft.

Now though, new emails open in their own floating window. This hovers above your Gmail page and lets you access all of your other messages and content. Users aren't tied to writing just one email either, and the new look will let you compose two or more emails at once. Just be very careful that you don't send the wrong message to the wrong person, though.

Google is supporting both options concurrently. Soon however, the hammer will fall on the old email composition mode and you will have to embrace the new one. But not to worry, we tried it and found it to be good.

In an introductory blog post Google described the change as a new focus on the message, rather than the medium.

"You can now write messages in a cleaner, simpler experience that puts the focus on your message itself, not all the features around it," Google said. According to the post the focus is on speed, power and simplicity.

Things do look less cluttered and the icons for things like adding a new photo have been hidden away. They are easily found, though, and when the new composition feature is invoked it is joined by pop up walkthroughs. It is also easy to switch back to the old way of Gmail email composition. µ


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