Saturday, January 5, 2013

I Love Gmail, But....

Ok, so I don't "love" Gmail, but I like it for many reasons.  Mainly, it blocks spam better than anything else I've ever seen.  It's free, will do POP3 & IMAP for email clients and it's fast.

However, in the past year*, Google changed the Gmail interface as well as the rest of its products' screens.  To their credit, Google made them look similar, with flat, colored buttons and added their own menu bar.  Over time, I would become more accustomed to the new look, as I also use Calendar, Maps, YouTube as well as the ubiquitous Search.

Or would I?  I still don't like the flat, icon buttons that appear when a message is selected from the list or a message is opened:

From the Settings page, icons can be replaced with text:

Note that 'Refresh' has no equivalent button when icons are displayed.

When Google first introduced this version of the Gmail interface, the biggest complaint was the difference between the unread & read messages was barely perceptible.  Well, they added a Hi-Contrast theme that - originally did not look much better - they eventually gave it more contrast.  I'd prefer either (a) still more contrast or (b) the ability to choose the background color for the read messages.  But I'm OK with the current one.  

Also - while I'm ranting - I did not like the new style because when the first message was selected, the icons would appear - and push down the list of emails.  It was jarring to see the whole list shift down, or back up if or when the message was unselected.  Plus, selecting the next message required me to jump over the message that I'd already selected.  Well, they fixed that.

Hey, I don't love it, but I do like Gmail.

But before I step off the soapbox, may I please sort the messages by something other than date?  

PS - CES starts January 8th.

January 18th:  Well, CES is over, not much to report but *Google did it again!  They're tweaking Gmail - especially the Compose view.  It's OK, I think it's improved.