If you use Google's Gmail as your business's email provider, you might have noticed something new today. Google has unveiled a new look and feel for Gmail that it says makes the service more "clean, simple and intuitive."
Here's a rundown of what to expect from Gmail's new features and how business users can benefit from them:
• Streamlined conversations. This will most likely be the first change you'll notice. Google has redesigned the email "conversation" view in an effort to make reading through email threads easier. Conversations now contain profile pictures for your contacts which, Google says, should make it easier for users to keep track of who said what. This can be useful for business users who often have numerous colleagues or clients communicating on the same email conversation.
• Expanded search. If you click the dropdown in the search box, you'll see an advanced search panel that allows you to search your emails by sender, recipient, for subject lines and keywords. This can help save time when searching for specific emails.
• Updated navigation. Users can now expand the chatting and label areas. This can be especially helpful for business owners who use Gchat to communicate with employees in satellite offices or use a significant number of labels to help organize their emails.
• New display features. One new feature automatically adapts the window pane to display content in full no matter the size of the window on your computer screen. This can be helpful for busy entrepreneurs who have a million windows open at one time. Another feature allows users to adjust "display density," meaning you can control the spacing between emails on your screen. This will be beneficial for users who often check business email on mobile devices, which of course have smaller screens.
When you sign into Gmail, you should notice a link in the bottom-right corner of the screen that says "Switch to the new look." Once you click on that you will be prompted to either switch to the new design or continue using the old version. No matter what you choose now, Google says it will automatically switch all users to the new design "soon."
What are your thoughts on the new features? Let us know in the comments section below.