Google and Yahoo Continue Email Improvements

    December 17, 2008
    Chris Crum

The Gmail Team has been very busy, as they have released yet another new feature in Labs. This time they have launched the ability to turn emails into Google Docs documents.

"No more copying and pasting the text from your email — just open the message you wish to convert, click the "Create a document" link on the right side of the page, and voila, you have a brand new document which you can then modify and share," explains Software Engineer Jeremie Lenfant-Engelmann at the Gmail Blog.

He also notes that you can open up a blank document by simply hitting g then w (as long as you have keyboard shortcuts turned on), even if you are not looking to convert a message into a document. Although, I notice using Firefox, you have to make sure you are accepting pop-ups from Gmail, because otherwise it will be blocked.

Google continues to improve upon Gmail, almost on a daily basis it seems. Other recent enhancements include a PDF viewing option, SMS capability, voice and video chat, a tasks feature, and a desktop gadget that allows you to login to multiple accounts simultaneously.

Yahoo better keep looking over its shoulder in the email department, where it actually rules over Google in market share. As Gmail continues to improve, there is a strong possibility that it will attract more users. Although a number of Gmail’s useful features are still in Labs.

To be fair though, Yahoo’s been working on improvements of their own, so don’t sail them down the river just yet. Just the other day they announced their new "smarter inbox" which gives users immediate access to third-party applications like Flickr, Flixster, and Xoopit. So far, this is only available in limited beta to Yahoo Mail power users. More on that in the video below:

2009 defintiely looks to be an interesting year for search, but we might be seeing a lot of cool new things in email services as well.