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Gmail Lets Users Preview Messages

As the U.S. economy quivered on Friday, tech watchers seemed preoccupied with a seemingly trivial change to Gmail, which allows users to now preview messages in their inbox using a new feature called Preview Pane. "It may be familiar to those who have accessed Gmail via a mobile app, but now it's coming to standard Web browsers too," The Next Web writes.

"Google's still doing a fine job of ignoring Gcal's inability to routinely provide alerts and notifications to select users (nah, we're not bitter), but at least the Gmail team seems to be firing on all cylinders," Engadget quips. "Ooh la la!" exclaims MSNBC.com. "There's a new tablet-like layout hiding in your Gmail settings! It looks rather gorgeous."

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Users can also shift the preview pane to underneath the message list by selecting "horizontal split" from the drop down menu. Once they've previewed a message, there is a default 3-second delay in a conversation being marked as read. "Our initial impressions are good but it doesn't currently seem to play well with gmail plugin Rapportive [or] Boomerang," The Next Web writes.

"The concept of a Preview Pane sounds intriguing, but my initial tests lead me to conclude it's a clunky and incomplete product," writes Mashable. "It breaks up my Gmail Labels in a way that keeps them from lining up with Gmail's navigation pane."

"There ... does appear to be a few issues in the message pane in ‘vertical split' with odd width and scrolling -- hopefully these are merely early day hiccups that will be resolved soon -- it is a labs product after all," The Next Web agrees. "Either way, the new split view is much more useful for going through a big number of email messages fast," writes Softpedia.

1 comment about "Gmail Lets Users Preview Messages".
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  1. Mark Walker from aka Media Mark, August 5, 2011 at 2:30 p.m.

    Sweet!
    That little detail aside, here's how to give the new layout a trial run:

    -Open up your Gmail settings
    -Click on the "Labs" tab
    -Enable "Preview Pane"
    -Go back to your inbox and look for a toggle button in the top right corner of your message list
    -Switch back and forth between layouts

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