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February 16, 2008

Your Gmail Adds New Features

What do these texts have in common?

"Looks like when you're on Google Reader and click a feed that leads to an external page, it now opens within Google Reader as opposed to opening in a new window. Not sure if this feature was rolled out for everyone or if it's still in testing. It opens up in a 'Preview' pane and you can click a button to open other posts up in Google Reader as well." (The Army of Gnomes)

"I opened my Gmail to find quite the surprise this morning – there's now a Feeds link the in the left nav, and reader opens up into the mail space. It's a little awkward, but pretty cool." (mail from a reader)

"Maybe we missed it but has a new feature that was unanticipated. When you right click on a gmail email, you get a preview of the email. Just one more way to view all of that wonderful email." (NoHeat)

All the three texts talk about what seem to be new features in Gmail and Google Reader. The new features are actually introduced by Greasemonkey scripts or extensions, but people sometimes forget they installed them. Since the add-ons directly modify web pages, you'll see something else than most other people.


  1. You should mention the Gmail TASK LIST thing I saw earlier today that Garett Rogers (ZDNet) blogged about. It was the RTM for Gmail extension...

    Let me see, the URL of that post was

  2. I don't understand this post. Quite confusing.

  3. got ya. thanks for clearing this up.

    i kept looking at my gmail and reader trying to refresh and try others browsers.. hoping i was cool enough to get the new versions.

    btw RTM for gmail is killer.


  4. @voyagerfan5761:
    I also made this mistake and I wrote a post about the new task feature from Gmail, but I deleted it soon after.

  5. BTW, I have huge problem with Reader. I use English versions of Gmail, Reader, Docs and any other of Google products. Few days ago Google stared to provide other languages for Gmail 2.0 and also for a Reader. And right now I don't have almost any way to use Reader in English.

    In it's settings it is English, my language on main page of Google is set to English, but when I switch to reader Page - it's always in my language.

    Only chance to get it in English, is to use menu on the top of Gmail page - when I use it, I can choose Reader there, an it's in English.

    And whe Reader is in my language, not in English, I can't see my friends in the sidebar or the news they shared.

  6. @roody102

    Some things you could try:

    1. delete the cookies and the temporary files from your browser and open Google Reader

    2. change the language preference from Google Search:

    3. if nothing else works, bookmark (the hl parameter changes the interface language and it's used in all Google services)

  7. Thank You, but I already tried all of those and only the last one (or the link, from Gmail, as I wrote) works. Still - bookmarking the Reader, when You have notifier in Your FF is only temporary option. I hope they will fix this bug soon.

  8. It's a shame none of these features are for real... I'd like to see Mail and Reader more integrated, like in Yahoo! Mail.

  9. ...for example, some of my unread Reader items could appear as Web Clips.

  10. Can someone please repost this in English?

  11. The Task List feature that I mentioned in my article at is not RTM...

    I mentioned in the article that RTM is similar to what was reported (that's what the screenshot is of) but the user says it was only visible for a short time and then was gone again.

    Also, there are hints in the source code of it's existence.

  12. Not usre if this is because I am in England but the 'Trash' is now called 'Bin'.


  13. @ Danny:

    It is one of few differences between UK and US version of Gmail.

  14. For those who didn't understand the post: Greasemonkey scripts (and some add-ons) let you add new features to a site and sometimes they are so good that you don't realize they're actually not a part of that site.

    You linked to a post from Google Groups that describes a task feature in Gmail which looks identical to the Remember the Milk extension.

    "I read that when you STAR an email, this will automatically
    generate a TO-DO action, since the system assumes you flagged it for a
    reason that might involve a task or TO DO." - that's a feature from RTM

    "Yesterday I
    found TASKS as another tab within my Gmail Settings." - feature from RTM.

  15. So there is nothing similar to RTM, that does not involve another service, but is just a good script for Gmail?

  16. Remember the Milk is way too powerful to be replaced by a userscript, so I'd wait for the launch of Google Tasks, which should happen soon.

  17. I'll wait, but RTM is quite ok too :)

  18. @roody102: You can change your Reader language setting permanently on the Reader settings page (either click the "Settings" link in the top-right corner, or go to directly).

    Mihai Parparita
    Google Reader Engineer

  19. @Ionut: Is it really likely that Google Tasks will have the same sort of Gears implementation as RTM? If so, I'd totally switch to eliminate another account. Or figure out some way to keep the two services synchronized... :D

  20. @Mihai Parparita:

    That's the point - it does not work! The settings page is in English, it's set to English, but when I "go back to Google Reader" it's still in my language (which is Polish).

  21. And the most strange thing is that everything seems to be ok on my iMac in the office. But under Windows - we can't do anything (my friends have same problem - it's not only me).

    And in polish version of Reader You can't see items shared by Your friends!

  22. This post is hilarious.

    I love Greasemonkey scripts, and I'm really glad they fixed the Better Youtube extension. I had to downgrade for about a week until the newest release.

    RTM is OK, but I think the user interface needs some work, particularly in the Gmail extension. It's a little clunky and you have to click around too much for simple everyday tasks, such as marking an item as completed or postponing something. The GCal extension's a little better, though, but it would be nice if the checkmarks appeared only on days when you have something to do.


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