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Gmail Gets 19 New Features, 6 Of Which Are Worthwhile

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Some of you may have noticed that yesterday’s 6pm PDT launch of Gmail Labs came and went. The Gmail team promises that “We are currently in the process of rolling Labs out to English users” but I’ve yet to see it in my Gmail account.

Still, we can get a sneak peak of what to expect, thanks to TechCrunch’s screenshots:

I looked through the list of the 13 new options we’re getting and, you know what, they all suck! I mean seriously, about the only thing of use is the option (finally) to place your signature file ahead of the quoted text and not at the bottom each time. We had to wait for that to be added as an experimental feature?!?

Here are the features Gmail desperately needs:

  1. One-click, this is spam, never show again. When I mark something as spam, please give me the option–not some complex filter–to never see email from that sender again. There are many times I mark an email spam, then have to mark it again, and again.
  2. This is not spam, ever! On the opposite side, why won’t Google let me white-list email addresses? I get many false-positives, that I mark as not spam, only to find them in my spam folder again. One example, emails sent from support@trackur.com to support@trackur.com end up in my spam folder–every time!
  3. When I say forward, forward! Similar to above. I have many email addresses that I run through Google Apps. I can’t possibly log into each mail.domain.com account each day, so I forward them all to a central Gmail account. So, why is it that, even though I have a filter to send ALL email to that account, Gmail still wants to apply a spam filter first? I have to login to each account periodically, just to sift through and find the emails that should have been forwarded.
  4. Drag and drop. In Google Reader, I can drag and drop the order of my RSS feeds. Big deal. How about giving me the option to drag and drop emails into my “labels” (folders)? That would be so much easier than using the drop down menus.
  5. The Label Abyss. Speaking of labels, have you ever suffered from the label black hole? Here’s how it works. I label an email with, say, “conferences” and then hit archive. I then head to the “conferences” label and my email is not there! Nowhere to be found. If I search for the email, I find it in the search results, complete with the little icon that shows it’s labeled “conferences,” but I don’t see it when I directly navigate to that label.
  6. Mark as important, confidential etc. Maybe I’m missing it, but how about giving me the option to mark an email as confidential, private, or even important? While we’re at it, how about a read receipt request too?

I could actually go on, but I want to hear from you. Is your Gmail life complete, now that you can play a game of “Old Snakey” instead of composing an email? Or, are there Gmail features you’d like to see?

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