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Before social media, there were really two main forms of communication utilized by the vast majority of netizens: email and Instant Messaging (IM). These two systems were largely separate but over time, email, the more formal of the two, has become simply an extended version of an IM. This is most evident to Gmail users who have access to Chat and email in the same site. Google has decided to make the two even closer with a new update to Gmail.
The lastest change to Gmail comes in how we compose emails. In previous versions of Gmail, tapping Compose opened up the compose window, thereby making it hard to view your inbox without having another tab open on your browser. The update marries Gchat with Compose.
A new way to Compose
When you press Compose a large chat-style window pops-up from the lower right corner, similar to a Gchat conversation. When first brought up, you’ll notice New Message at the top left-hand side of the window. The window is comprised of four main fields:
The coolest thing about the new Compose is that it doesn’t load a new window when you click Compose. Instead, the message hovers above the main Gmail window, and pressing the minimize button on the top right of the message will show your full inbox. This should really help in the creation of new emails based off of different emails. The only real downside at this point is that a number of functions, like emoticons, calendar invitations and many of the extra options, aren’t available in the new view. Knowing Google, this will likely be fixed over the next month.
Not a fan of the new message system? Press the downward facing grey arrow in the bottom of the message and select Switch back to old compose. This will load a new window with the more familiar Compose window. Or, you can press the pop-out arrow located beside X in the top-right of the screen which will put the message into its own window, which should be a little more familiar. If you don’t see the new layout, press Compose and you should be given an option to try the new layout to the right of the contacts field.
All Gmail users should be on the new message system, if not, you will be soon. If you are using the new system, what do you think of it? Let us know.
Published on 13th November 2012 by Jeanne DeWitt.