Gmail Features

By | April 8, 2004

I’ve been quiet on Gmail because I wasn’t sure it wasn’t an April Fool’s Day prank, but it appears that it’s not. The view seems to be that it’s simple, powerful and feature-packed.

What features could you put in webmail? Here are some I’ve seen referred to (see sources below):

  • easy email threading, where connected emails are viewed, one atop the other;
  • a green button at the bottom of the window indicating what mail is below the screen;
  • use of keywords, not folders, to store relevant emails, based on content. These are called labels;
  • ability to use Google search on your emails (including whole threads, not just individual messages). This issue has raised privacy concerns, which I’ll take a closer look at later);
  • assign a star to an email and it gets assigned to a special starred folder;
  • use of terms like ‘newer’ and ‘older’ rather than ‘forward’ and ‘back’ highlight attention to the user’s point of view;
  • chevrons (>>) to distinguish between emails sent directly to the user or to a mailing list;
  • ads don’t seem to be intrusive (for now); they pop up every 3 or 4 message pages. Often they’re ‘eerily relevant’ according to Kevin Fox of;
  • composing email will bring up relevant entries from your contact list;
  • no ads appended to outgoing emails.

Gmail faq

9 thoughts on “Gmail Features

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  8. claude


    I just went through a bad experience with MSN custom-made home page that I had grown dependent on. For some unknown reason, could’nt access the damm page. Then, I started to think. What if one of those days, someone at Google decides “Hey, we’re not making any money with this crap” and simply pulls the plug ? What happens to the rest of us? I understand those are free services but I am now wondering if a small fee should not be in order to help keep the service running. What do you think?


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