Gmail Changes that Keep Google Busy: Contacts, PGP Signature, Offline Attachments
Article by George Norman
On 13 Feb 2009
Mountain View search engine giant Google is certainly keeping busy these days, especially when it comes to Gmail, their take on the mail client. Besides the option to use Gmail offline and sign with your location which we’ve already reported upon, here are some other improvements that Gmail has recently received.

In the “Contacts” department, we have seen a total of 4 modifications: nothing too groundbreaking, but small little changes that aid in increasing your overall user experience. As Program Manager with Google Contacts, Benjamin Grol puts it, the changes “should make it easier to organize the contacts you want and get rid of some of the cruft”.

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The 4 changes I was talking about are as follows:
1. The option to merge duplicate contacts (see a more detailed article on this feature here).
2. Suggested Contacts has been replaced with All Contacts. You can see all the people on your contacts list by clicking on All Contacts; you can see Suggested Contacts by clicking on View Suggestions.
3. In My Contacts, it is now possible to remove the contacts you do not want in there. Will come in handy when syncing your Contacts with your smartphone or iPhone with Google Sync.
4. The Search feature has been enhanced to incorporate phone numbers, notes fields, and mailing addresses, not just names and email addresses. According to Benjamin Grol, this was one improvement that users have been asking for; and by that I mean complaining about the fact they can only search for names and emails.

PGP, which stands for Pretty Good Privacy, is normally used for security purposes, things like encrypting, decrypting and signing emails. Google is currently experimenting with a feature that would run PGP verification in Gmail. The major benefit of using PGP is the fact that it lets you verify the source of the message is authentic and also verify that the information you received is intact.

Last but not least, it must be said that Offline Gmail, the Google Gears powered feature that as it says lets you use Gmail without an internet connection, now lets you select a maximum size for attached files.



Tags: Google, Gmail
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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