Sunday, April 6, 2014

New Features in Gmail for iPhone and Android

As Gmail has celebrated its 10th Anniversary, it gave away gifts to iPhone and Android users such as free "Shelfie" customized theme and new tabs for Purchase, Travel, and Finance. These new Gmail features for iPhone and Android are aimed to improve the mobile user interface experience. 

Image via Wired

The "Shelfie" feature in your gmail allows you to upload your personal photo as your wallpaper. You can now see your photo as you read email, chat with online friends, or browse for updates. The "Shelfie" feature notification will pop on your iPhone or Android screen as soon as you log in to your gmail account, assisting you throughout the process. Remember to go to the “Settings” tab, select “Themes”, tap “Custom Light or Custom Dark”, and then upload your photo.

More than a profile theme, "Shelfie" promotes community sharing as Gmail lets you distribute your photo through Google+. This means you can have your personal picture be seen by your friends in Gmail/Google+ and have them upload it as their own wallpaper. If you want your friends to see it, select the “Share your Theme” option and tap “Share on Google+”. This "Shelfie" Gmail feature for iPhone and Android adds itself in the loop of social media, strengthening its advantage of conducting media campaigns.

Another anniversary gift that Gmail gave away to iPhone and Android users is the Purchase/Travel/Finance new tabs. Gmail sorts your emails in a more organized way by categorizing the content further. If, previously, you see tabs such as forums, social, updates, and promotions; you will now see additional categories on your screen, with Gmail's intention of cleaning up your inbox. Simply glide through the categories, and select your priority mail to view desired message. This works better for 5" smartphones as the new tabs fits neatly within the size of your palm. These new tabs come in a fresh look, resembling the design of Gmail’s new batch of applications.

Researchers stated that Gmail is planning to launch "Pinned" and "Snooze" features soon after the 10th Anniversary celebration. Sources mentioned that the "Pinned" feature will allow you to pull similar messages together onto the upper screen for easy viewing, and move them back after reading. Again, this feature can be best experienced if you are browsing your emails through a smartphone. The fluidity of the gmail categories and the quick responses through touch are undoubtedly aimed to improve the mobile user interface.

On the other hand, the "Snooze" feature serves as a time tracking device among your important messages. You can set a time for a significant message to ring or buzz, and have it stop when you finally respond to it. This allows colleagues or co-workers to remind each other of urgent customer emails or correspondences. This feature also allows workers to remind their boss of an upcoming client meeting; vice versa, employers now can remind their employees of an upcoming project deadline. Alternatively, friends now can update each other of travel or band rehearsal schedule. These new Gmail features are also available in tablets, laptops, and personal computers.