Gmail: Long Label Names, Background Send Labs Experiment
Article by George Norman
On 27 Apr 2011
The first thing you may want to know about Gmail is that it now provides support for long labels. When I say “long” I mean that labels can now have up to 225 characters. In the past labels could have a maximum of 40 characters but according to Maciek Nowakowski, Associate Product Manager, Gmail Enterprise Team, that was not enough for users who switched from Outlook or access Gmail through IMAP.

With 225-character long labels, things could get a bit crowded. The development team behind Gmail has thought of this and to avoid cluttering your view, labels will be shortened if necessary. To see the full label if it has been shortened, all you have to do is mouse over the label.

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Moving on, the second thing you may want to know about Gmail is that a new Gmail Labs experiment has been released, experiment called Background Send. As Software Engineer Patrick Doyle explained, this experiment is an effort to make Gmail faster.

“One of the most common delays happens after you hit that ‘Send’ button, when you’re waiting patiently for a couple seconds for Gmail to send your message,” said Doyle. “If you send a lot of email, that can add up to a lot of lost time. To help give you that time back, there’s a new feature in Gmail Labs called Background Send.”

By enabling this handy Gmail Labs experiment you no longer have to wait for Gmail to send out a message. You can go on with whatever you’re doing while Gmail sends the message in the background. If the message is successfully sent, you will see a notification. If there’s a problem and the message is not sent successfully, a notification will be displayed as well; the notification will stay there until you decide to address the issue, which means you can carry on with whatever you’re doing and address the problem whenever it’s convenient for you.

There is a little catch tough: your messages will most likely be lost if you close Gmail or shut down the computer before Gmail finishes sending out the emails in the background. You have to wait until the messages are sent out before closing Gmail.

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