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Gmail Review and Screenshots

It looks like writing a review for Gmail is as cool as having an account right now! Here’s my review for those who’re interested. If you don’t know yet, Gmail is Google‘s upcoming webmail application. I got my Gmail account thanks to Sanat Gersappa. You will also need to note that this review is only after 2 to 3 days of Gmail usage.

What so cool about it?

  • Semi-threaded messages, and the quick reply feature:
    Gmail Screenshot 1

  • The Contacts feature needs more work, definitely:
    (one existing contact and one in edit mode)
    Gmail Screenshot 2

  • Well, there are loads of other sites with screenshots so I’ll stop here!

What else?
  • Labels instead of Folders make life very easy

  • The overall speed of the entire application is excellent

  • Subaddressing is supported, which is a useful feature. Imagine giving out email addresses like [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], etc and having filters to sort them into appropriate labels?

  • The message listing shows a little bit of a preview which is helpful. If you find it irritating, you can switch it off in your Settings

  • Logins are SSL secured by default and you have the option of using a completely secure interface too. Slower, definitely but probably worth the pain at public access points

  • The spell checker… Simply awesome!

  • The keyboard shortcuts… slurp! Think ‘u’ for update, ‘gi’ to access your Inbox from anywhere, ‘j’ for next, ‘k’ for previous, so on

  • So what about marking emails for follow-ups? There’s a concept of stars. You can add a star to an email to remind yourself. You can sort a view by stars

  • Spam Filtering. I’ve seen conflicting reports about this one and I have nothing to add to it. I haven’t tested this feature yet.

  • Archiving emails… is probably a good feature but again, I haven’t been able to test it yet. When you archive an email, it’s not visible in the normal folder views, except when you click on “All Mail”. You can view mails for a particular label by choosing to Apply a Label to the All Mail listing

  • Threading is superb. There are reviews about it not being good but they are silly. One goes “Oh I changed the subject line, why is it still threaded under the parent?”. Good question but to solve this we would need to loose the ability to thread altogether, or unnecessarily overcompilate it all! Read more about how it works, will ya? Honestly, the beauty of the Gmail Threading needs to be felt to be believed!

  • Attachments aren’t displayed inline, which is definitely a good thing to me

  • 1GB space… I don’t know if I agree with Google on that being enough for a life-time but I’d definitely go for a paid-option (if any) to increase space when necessary!

  • Advertisements: I honestly can’t remember seeing a single one. Maybe it needs more emails before it starts. Either way, from the screenshots I’ve seen around the net I can definitely live with them.

    In fact, I think I’ll come to love those ads! Imagine getting an email from a friend about the Hummer and right next to it a link to sites with more information on the Hummer? How is that not a good thing?!

  • Privacy Concerns? I have none. I think those who have the concerns simply shouldn’t sign-up for the service. Simple! You could check this out too.

Search? Beautiful! Except that it doesn’t search for substrings/partial words. (Yet?) So a search for (FROM: Dude) is not the same as (FROM: Dud).

I also found that this search doesn’t work on my attachments. Maybe I should give the indexer some time? For example, I forwarded myself some PDFs and DOCs and attempted to do some searches. I got 0 results. This feature will help a load. I hope they have this in their plans. Yes, I did suggest the feature and got a near-instant auto-reply with Support ID 9,515,984! Phew.

In the auto-reply was news about upcoming features — Automatic forwarding of emails to another account, Plain HTML Version of Google (cant wait to check this out) and the ability to Import/Export Contacts.

Gmail Gems and Gmail Forums are pretty cool sites to check out.

April 30th, 2004 at 12:36 pm

Nice review :-)

Sal
June 27th, 2004 at 4:08 am

Do you know how to send an email to a group of people in one click? or how to make a groupin Gmail?

Sal

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