Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Gmail for African snails

The Internet is still relatively slow in many places in Africa. Google has now also realized this and even acted upon it by launching a new feature in Gmail Labs: Inbox preview.

While Gmail is loading, a simple, static preview of your inbox with your ten most recent messages is displayed. This allows users to be productive even before Gmail has completed loading.

Turn it on from the Labs tab under Settings and, if you're on a slow connection, you'll know from the start if it's worth the wait. I tried it out, and the difference is remarkable indeed.

So this is really a very cool development by Google engineers, but interestingly, the Labs tab under Settings is NOT available when you are using the Basic HTML View rather than the Standard View to access your Gmail, and it is exactly this Basic HTML View which is used by many Gmail users with snail connections. Google, are you listening? Another improvement would be to allow users to set the number of recent messages to be displayed in Inbox preview, since different users receive different numbers of messages and have different frequencies of accessing their Gmail accounts as well.


Nairobian said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Biche said...

Hi Rafiki,

Thanks for sharing this. Before getting to the end of your post, I clicked over to Gmail and immediately enabled this feature. I cannot tell you how much time I have spent in the recent past just waiting for my gmail inbox(es) to appear. Thanks for sharing!


pesa tu said...

The advantage of having a google office in Nairobi- they understand our peculiar issues sorrounding the speed and stability of our internet connections


This is a good step for the consumers.

neema divine said...

is this only availbale in Africa?

coldtusker said...

Also check out google gears

hesbon kerongo said...

thanks for informing us am happy about it.keep up

E-Nyce said...

The fact that we are the only Africans on this list probably indicates our higher level of financial sophistication relative to other African countries.

You have got to be kidding...

Rafiki said...

@ Biche: Glad you appreciate it

@ pesa tu: Peculiar issues? Reminds me of Safaricom: Kenyans have peculiar calling habits.

@ SOLOMONSYDELLE: Google always puts consumers first, even before shareholders.

@ neema divine: I think it is available everywhere.

@ coldtusker: And Google Squared.

@ hesbon kerongo: Welcome, glad to know you are happy about it.

@ E-Nyce: I have no idea what you may be referring to.