Gmail Turns Five

Google’s mail carrier comes of age in a time of change

At a time when trends are as fleeting as Diego Maradona’s coaching skills, it’s interesting to see that an online entity like gmail has been around for five years, with it celebrating its fifth birthday recently.

With a growth rate of just on 40 percent over last year, it certainly isn’t going anywhere fast. Gmail itself doesn’t have the exact numbers of how many people use the service, but they are quick to point out that they have a number of services that have seem to have made them popular.

New service includes offline mail, whereby you can access, filter, label and compose email through your browser just as you normally would. When you reconnect to the internet, Gmail will automatically synchronise all your changes.

Another feature is one that all of us at one wish we had access to: Undo Send. You know that immediate sense of panic when you hit “send” on an email and then see a typo, or realize that you’d selected “Reply All” instead of “Reply”?  You can use the Undo Send feature to try to avoid these mistakes.  Undo Send gives you a 5 second window to make sure your email goes out the way you want it to.  Just hit “Undo” and your message will return to draft form.  

Then there is the Canned Responses feature allows you to send your most common messages using a button next to the compose form. Used in conjunction with filters, you can also automatically send Canned Responses to certain people or related to certain events

Mail Goggles came out late last year and has proved popular for obvious reasons. It can be difficult to decide when to log off: emails sent late at night may end up being regretted the next morning. Mail Goggles allows you to send mail only if you can solve a set of simple math problems. Otherwise, get a good night’s sleep and try again in the morning. After enabling this feature, you can adjust the schedule in the Settings page.
Finally, there is email addict, which forces users to take a break by blocking the screen for 15 minutes and making you invisible in chat. The feature is activated by clicking on the link created in the top right of the screen, and can be disabled just as quickly if you decide to resume emailing before the fifteen minutes has passed.