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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Redesigned Gmail Compose box is now default

1:13 PM
If you loved Gmail’s new compose window that pops out like a "larger" chat window, you’d be pleased to know that it is now the default mode to compose emails. In an official announcement, Google’s Product Manager Phil Sharp has confirmed that the new compose will be rolling out to all Gmail users over the next few days. Sharp adds, "In addition to telling us what you love about the new compose experience (like how much easier it is to multitask!) you’ve also been sending us helpful suggestions for what features you'd like to see added. As a result of your input, we're now ready to introduce the new compose experience as the default for everyone. We're looking forward to hearing what you think!" 

Google showed off its new compose window in October last year, and just to give it a try, many switched to the redesigned format and with a good reason. Mails, unlike instant messaging services, tend to become a lengthy process. It becomes cumbersome when one has to keep switching between viewing older mails for reference, saving the current mail as a draft and searching for that mail from last month.

Compose box has been redesigned

At the time of the October announcement, Sharp had announced that while users would spot the option to preview the redesigned Compose box right away, it would enable it to everyone only once it is fully ready. Over the months following this announcement, Google added a bunch of new features to its new Compose experience, including a new way to send files with Google Drive, features like pop-out replies, the Canned Responses lab, to name a few.

In addition to these, users can now add labels and stars to their messages right in the new compose on Gmail, thereby organising their emails in a better way. To do it, users will have to click on the More options menu in the new compose at the bottom right and hover on the Label option there.

With its redesigned Compose box, Google has made it easier for users to multitask. What this means is all the controls will still be accessible, but won't come in the user's way when not needed. Users can now also easily insert inline images, and Google promises that there is more to come. Interestingly, now when users add recipients to their messages, profile pictures of their contacts will show up in autocomplete, letting them be sure of sending mails to the intended recipient. Users can drag and drop the new address chips between to:, cc: and bcc:. Once users are done adding recipients, the address bar collapses automatically.

It is now possible for users to search their Gmail messages by size. The enhanced Search has more flexible date options, exact match, and other parameters, as per an official blog post by Christian Kurmann, software engineer at Google. For example, emails 5MB or larger in size can be quickly located by using the operator "size:5m" or "larger:5m". To search for email that are over a year older, users can enter "older_than:1y" in the search box. Kurmann shares that this latest update is in line with the other recent enhancements done to Search, such as improved autocomplete predictions – a field trial for instant results from Gmail, Google Drive, and more – as you type.


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