Today was the first I had heard of Google working on a new version of Gmail after Phillipp Lessen from Google Blogoscoped posted a bunch of screenshots of what the update will look like.  According to Lessen, one of the biggest changes behind Gmail 2.0 is speed. I’ve never really noticed speed issues, but he says it’s supposed to be faster thanks to a JavaScript back-end rewrite. Aside from the speed changes, there are also a few other things which we’ll mention in just a minute.

 gmail changes

If you use Gmail, go check your account real quick because you may already have the update.  If you do, you’ll see a link at the top which says “New version.” If you click on this link, you’ll be taken to the newer version, and then you’ll see a link with “older version” so that you can always switch back.  Between the accounts that Ryan and I have, we haven’t received this newer version yet, but some people are already reporting that they have it.

One of the major visual changes is a brand new contacts manager. From the looks of it, it’ll be much nicer to view and add your contacts with an entirely new look. Take a look at the image below, and I think you’ll agree — this is a huge improvement to this feature:

 gmail contacts changes

A few other changes include:

  • “More Actions” menu has a new “Filter messages like these” option
  • Pop-up window appears when hovering over a name
  • New chat options
  • New look for spell checker
  • When adding a picture for one of your contacts- Picasa Web Albums is now an option to choose from

Now that you know some of the changes that are in store, is there anything else that you’d like Google to change with Gmail? We know some of you are STILL waiting for Gmail’s IMAP access, so if you don’t have that yet, just add the updated Gmail 2.0 to your “waiting” list, and hopefully Google will push these updates and features your way soon. To those of you who already have both IMAP access and Gmail 2.0 — consider yourself lucky! :)

Sources: Google Blogoscoped, Go2Web2 (more screenshots at both of these sites)

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There Are 14 Comments

  1. New contacts looks a lot like Yahoo!’s. Sounds like there isn’t much new in Gmail 2 right now, but since there’s the switch back link I’m guessing they’ll update it regularly, like the new Y!Mail and old Y!Mail. You would think the idea of two versions is that you can switch back to the old one if you need better stability. Strangely in this case the old version is still in (perpetual) beta.

  2. I like the look of the new contact list, and it is definitely better than what they currently have. I’m actually surprised that they are going to offer the “switch back” option considering the changes aren’t that big, but I guess they are beta features. Does that mean this is Gmail Beta Beta? ;)

  3. I have been using GMail for the last year or two, but had to give it up for a hosted Exchange server, and I’m glad I did.

    Having folders back is just heaven – I didnt like labels at all – now I can keep my inbox 100% empty. Its so relaxing.

    And to have my work, home, laptop, and Blackberry all 100% synced all the time with contacts, email, calendar, and tasks is fantastic.

    I wouldnt go back to POP with Outlook but Exchange was worth every penny.

  4. Hey seth, why not just use webmail like Yahoo! It has folders and most desktop features (like drag&drop sorting and preview pane), and since it’s web based syncing is a non-issue.

  5. “Saved Search (Contact)” GreaseMonkey script causes problem with the new UI. Pop-up error message like “Cannot create contact” and then log-out form gmail.

  6. The current GMail contacts management needed an overhaul. Not very user friendly. Looking forward to playing with this when it becomes available.

  7. seth brundle wrote:
    I have been using GMail for the last year or two, but had to give it up for a hosted Exchange server, and I’m glad I did.

    Having folders back is just heaven – I didnt like labels at all – now I can keep my inbox 100% empty. Its so relaxing.

    And to have my work, home, laptop, and Blackberry all 100% synced all the time with contacts, email, calendar, and tasks is fantastic.

    I wouldnt go back to POP with Outlook but Exchange was worth every penny.

    I use Gmail’s Label system just like a folder system. Essentially, I have a label for any folder that I’d create using a different mail service. All I have to do is apply the label to a message and click archive — and that way, I keep my Inbox empty.

  8. W/ Y!Mail, you just drag it to a folder. Much quicker :)

  9. Mike C. wrote:
    “Saved Search (Contact)” GreaseMonkey script causes problem with the new UI. Pop-up error message like “Cannot create contact” and then log-out form gmail.

    I’m sure the new site will screw up a lot of the scripts.

  10. Has this thing been widely released yet? I just decided to test it out and I don’t see it yet.

  11. I don’t see the new version either. I’ve been waiting but nothing yet. I live in the UK so I assumed it was lagging a few months behind the US, but that may not be the case. Maybe it is a phased roll out.

  12. From what I’ve gathered this was widely released, but it might not be yet. I’ve got it in all of my accounts already.

  13. Apparently Gmail 2.0 does not support Opera. In Fx I see the link, but in Opera (9.5b1) I don’t.

    I clicked the link to the info about the AIM chat, and it says at the top, “Note: AIM, colored labels, group chat and rich emoticons only work in the latest version of Gmail, currently available for Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2. Please upgrade your browser to take advantage of these new features.”

    I tried masking as Fx, but that didn’t do anything. You use Fx for your mail?

  14. Yeah, I mentioned that in one of the articles. Google says that they only support Firefox and IE right now. I hate when they do that!

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