While viewing my GMail I noticed that there was an option to view the “New Features”. After selecting it took me to a page that demonstrated the use of an avatar-like feature for emails. It reminds me of the avatars that you can use in the new Google Talk.
Also, it will now be possible to have GMail notify you with a sound when someone sends a GMail Chat message. This will make it easier for people to know when someone has sent a new message. Here are some more details on this service:
If you have Flash enabled on your computer, Gmail will play an audio notification for each incoming chat. Audio notifications are enabled by default, but you can always disable them.
I currently do not have these features and Google says they are rolling them out so everyone should eventually receive these features. Yay for new features!
News Source: GMail’s What’s New Page