Gmail Overhaul On the Way?
Gmail, everybody's favorite beta product, may be getting ready for its first major update since launching in 2004. At the time of launch, Gmail was revolutionary, breaking the mold for what a Web mail application could be with unprecedented ease of use, storage and attachment size allowance. But in the ensuing years, Gmail has aged and other services have caught up. While many still consider it to be the best Web mail system, it could definitely stand to add a few new features.
Now, it seems an update is in the works -- this according to texts and screen shots spotted by Google translators. You see, Google gets help from everyday users across the globe with translating text for the localized versions of the company's own sites and services. Google saves a bunch of money by using the general public instead of several expensive translation services -- unfortunately that makes it kind of hard for the company to keep any secrets. Just check of the screen shots of Gmail-related text awaiting translation into various languages.
One of the rumored new features is one that many of us has been clamoring for: the integration of Google Gears -- an experimental technology that allows you to access Google's online services when you're offline. That would give Gmail users the ability to read and draft messages when they're away from an Internet connection, something that's always been a shortfall of Web-based e-mail.
Also amongst the piles of untranslated texts are phrases that seem to point to an account activity tracking feature. So, if you suspect your girlfriend of snooping, or are just plain paranoid that someone may have gotten hold of your password, you'll be able to see when and where your account has been accessed from.
When Gmail might receive this update, or how drastic the facelift might be are currently unknown. Here's hoping the answers are 'soon' and 'really drastic, with out ruining what we already love'.
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