Gmail News: Two Labs Graduate, Themes with Custom Background Images
Article by George Norman
On 15 Apr 2011
Google software engineers who think they came up with a feature that would enhance the functionality Gmail has to offer, roll out experiments on Gmail Labs. If these experiments turn out to be useful and popular among Gmail users, they will graduate out of Gmail Labs and become a part of Gmail. This is what happened with two Gmail experiments: Don’t forget Bob (Suggest more recipients is the actual name of this experiment) and Got the wrong Bob? (this one is actually called that).

Don’t forget Bob used to be an experiment that would suggest recipients while you were composing messages; it would suggest people you might want to include based on the groups of people you email most often. If you frequently email Bob, Dan, and Melissa together, when you started to compose a mail to Bob and Dan, Gmail would suggest Melissa. This sort of functionality is now part of Gmail, no need to turn on any Labs experiment.


What about Bob? used to be an experiment that would prevent you from sending an email to the wrong person. It would take a look at the groups of people you email most often and warn you when you've accidentally included the wrong person. Take the example presented above, the one with Bob, Dan and Melissa – Melissa Smith. If instead of Melissa Smith you included Melissa Wilde, Gmail would warn you about it. This sort of functionality is now part of Gmail as well.

“We’ve received quite a bit of positive feedback from people who avoided some embarrassing situations thanks to these features. And today, we’re excited to graduate them from Gmail Labs and start turning them on for everyone. We hope these suggestions help you avoid some sticky situations — before you hit send,” commented Google’s Assaf Ben-David.

Moving on, another cool new feature Google introduced is the option to create a Gmail theme that uses a custom image. If the themes Gmail has to offer are not enough to satisfy your esthetic needs, then pick a picture you want and use that for your custom Gmail theme.

What you have to do is go to the Themes tab in Settings and choose 'Create your own theme'. You can then select background images for the main area and the footer picking from any of your own Picasa images or uploading new images.

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