New gmail code improves performance

New gmail code is being rolled out at the moment, and it just hit my account. There are no major UI changes, but behind-the-scenes it’s apparently changed substantially. Differences I’ve spotted:

  • Emails are pre-loaded, so there’s no delay when an individual message is opened
  • The contact manager has been revamped and is much easier to use. I’m hoping there’s now an API, so we can finally sync gmail contacts with phones/outlook/whatever
  • Searches are now bookmarkable, for example: http://mail.google.com/mail/#search/chickens
  • There’s an ‘add event invitation’ option on new emails, linking directly into google calendar
  • ‘More actions’ now contains ‘mute’, previously only available as a keyboard shortcut – this automatically archives email threads that are of no interest
  • ‘More actions’ also contains ‘filter messages like this’, which sets up a filter with the appropriate fields already filled
  • What was orange is now yellow

You’ll need your language set to ‘US English’ if you want to receive the new version (major difference – ‘deleted items’ becomes ‘trash’). It certainly feels snappier to use, although that yellow is pretty sickly. Google Operating System also reports:

  • Individual emails are now bookmarkable
  • The back button works (although I thought it did before)
  • The pop-up ‘contact card’ that appears when you hover over a contact name is easier to use (good – damn thing always used to disappear half a second before I’d copied the address)

There’s apparently a new user-interface in the works, too, although there are no hints when this will be released. Unfortunately most greasemonkey scripts are now broken due to the code changes, but an upcoming API should prevent this problem reoccurring.