Gmail gets experimental offline mode

If you ever take your laptop to places yuo can’t get online, or if your desktop doesn’t always have a connection (or if you are on dialup) you might appreciate this new feature in Gmail Labs – Offline Gmail.

Once you turn on this feature, Gmail uses Gears to download a local cache of your mail. As long as you’re connected to the network, that cache is synchronized with Gmail’s servers. When you lose your connection, Gmail automatically switches to offline mode, and uses the data stored on your computer’s hard drive instead of the information sent across the network. You can read messages, star and label them, and do all of the things you’re used to doing while reading your webmail online. Any messages you send while offline will be placed in your outbox and automatically sent the next time Gmail detects a connection.

Gmail Blog

Gmail says Offline Gmail will be available to users of Gmail in US or UK English over the next couple of days (as of Jan 27th).

More Gmail Posts (on my other blog)

Gmail Adds More Customizations – Advanced IMAP Controls

For you IMAP email users out there New in Labs: Advanced IMAP Controls talks about Gmail’s newest customizations for you through Gmail Labs; filtering which labels to sync or not, marking messages for deletion now allows either immediate deletion or a more traditional IMAP delete when folder is expunged option, and you can choose from 3 archive options – a) send archived messages to All Mail (default, no change required), b) send message to Trash when deleted from the last visible IMAP folder, or c) permanently delete message when deleted from the last visible IMAP folder.

Read New in Labs: Advanced IMAP Controls for the complete 411.

Gmail’s Mail Goggles had the right idea

Google’s new lab feature by Mail Goggles (New in Labs: Stop sending mail you later regret) has what I agree is a good idea, but possibly could be implemented better.

Many have surely sent emails we later regretted whether it be late night ramblings or angry retorts. A quick google of the terms email tips found Writing Effective E-Mail: Top 10 Tips and I was drawn to tip #5, “Be kind. Don’t flame.”

Merging Jon’s and Dennis’ ideas I’d alter a comment from Jon’s post to say “Just don’t hit ‘Send’ while you’re still angry or from late night mental fatigue.” At any rate I think a useful feature for avoiding the sending of these types of emails might be some sort of delayed sending mechanism that would ask you a couple of hours late if you still wanted to send your email, but figrung out programmatically *when* to ask would be difficult at best and would require you to mark an email to be reviewed later. That being said, to cover both late night ramblings and angry replies use that drafts feature in your email program and “Just don’t hit ‘Send’ while you’re still angry or from late night mental fatigue.

New Home for Gmail Chat and Labels

I like that Google continues to innovate and try to improve things, and today I read New in Labs: Right-side Labels and Chat where Emily Chang, a Gmail Engineer, unveils a cool new Gmail feature in Gmail Labs – Right-side Labels and Chat which lets you set your labels and/or your chat window to the right hand side of Gmail.

The other day I’d read New in Labs: 3 experiments with labels and enabled Navbar drag and drop which lets you arrange your NavBar. I was a bit disappointed at its lack of flexibility, but today I’ve happily turned it off and enabled both Right-side chat and Right-side labels. Give it a shot… Login to Gmail, click Settings, then the Labs tab, then scroll down and click enable by both or either of these features you want to turn on, then click Save changes at the bottom.

Oh, and if you want a quick read on Gmail Redesigned above, check out Lifehacker’s Google Redesigned Facelifts Gmail and GCal, just keep in mind if you visit during the the Globex Designs site during day and can’t get the site, try visiting the site again at night.

Gmail Labs roll out new features

Gmail continues to evolve to serve us Gmail users better. Recently they rolled out 3 new ways to reply in Gmail (New in Labs: Reply add-ons) and 3 new experiments with label (New in Labs: 3 experiments with labels).

3 NEW WAYS TO REPLY

In a nutshell you can now:

  • reply to only the text you select (no need to manually edit your replies)
  • you can set Reply to All as your default (currently Reply to sender only is the default)
  • use Google Calendar to set start and stop dates for your vacation responder and compose your vacation response message

Check out the new options in Gmail > Settings > Labs for yourself or read New in Labs: Reply add-ons.

3 EXPERIMENTS WITH LABELS

The folks at Gmail Labs have cooked up some new features for Labels; namely new custom label colors (beyond the original 24), the Go to label shortcut and new draggable left hand navbar area. On that latter feature I need to either play around some more, or look at turning off my Gmail Redesigned skin but its still awesome.

Visit Gmail > Settings > Labs for and play around with these new features or read New in Labs: 3 experiments with labels first.