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Whenever I open up my inbox at work, I'm never surprised to find several new messages waiting to be read. The same thing can't always be said about my personal Gmail account. Sometimes I end up checking my mail only to find nothing new there.

No big deal, really. But now imagine that you access Gmail on a super slow connection from a remote place in Ethopia where it might take minutes to completely load your inbox. The disappointment is larger when you find out that there is nothing new to read and you could have saved all that time.

To ease this pain a bit, we created a new feature in Gmail Labs called Inbox Preview. While Gmail is loading, a simple, static preview of your inbox with your ten most recent messages is displayed. 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.

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Back in the early days of human existence, before language had fully developed, our caveman ancestors probably did a lot of grunting. Language, and thus life, were pretty simple: watch out for that saber-toothed tiger ("Blorg! AIYA!!!"); stop riding the wooly mammoth and help me pick some berries ("Argh. Zagle zorg!"); man, it's cold in this Ice Age ("Brrrr.").

Somewhere along the line, all those grunts diverged into thousands of distinct languages, and life became both richer and more complicated. And for the last few eons or so, we've struggled to communicate in a multilingual world. Which brings us to today. Since the heart and soul of Gmail is about helping people communicate, I'm proud to announce the integration of Google's automatic translation technology directly into Gmail.



Simply enable "Message Translation" from the Labs tab under Settings, and when you receive an email in a language other than your own, Gmail will help you translate it into a language you can understand. In one click.


If all parties are using Gmail, you can have entire conversations in multiple languages with each participant reading the messages in whatever language is most comfortable for them. It's not quite the universal translators we're so fond of from science fiction, but thanks to Google Translate, it's an exciting step in the right direction. I use this feature everyday to help me work with teammates around the globe (they think my Japanese is much better than it really is...shhhh!).

Whether you're reading a family update from inlaws on the other side of the world, working with a multinational team, or just trying to bring about world peace, don't worry, Gmail's got your back.

Till next time, adiós, またね, tchau, and 再見!

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Gmail users can be a passionate bunch. Many of us have, at one time or another, encouraged or cajoled friends and family to join us @gmail.com. But switching email accounts can be pretty painful. It's like getting out of a relationship. You have so much baggage — years of emails and contacts, memories of past Christmases and Valentine's Days — so the easier your new email account can make it, the better. My wife flirted with the idea for two years before she finally took the plunge with Gmail. The reason she finally made the switch might also convince your friends that it's a good time to adopt a shiny new Gmail address.

Gmail now migrates email and contacts from other email providers, including Yahoo!, Hotmail, AOL, and many more. It's much easier to make the transition now that you can bring along all your old email and contacts. You can even have your messages forwarded from your old account for 30 days, giving you time to take Gmail for a test drive while you make up your mind.


This new feature is available in all newly-created Gmail accounts, and it is slowly being rolled out to all existing accounts. It'll take longer than the few hours or days that most Gmail features take to get out to everyone. You'll know it's on for your account when you see the Accounts and Import tab (formerly just called Accounts) under Settings. Sorry, businesses and schools using Google Apps won't see these new migration options.


Everyone can still use POP3 mail fetching and upload your contacts in a CSV file, but this new way is much simpler for basic imports. And we like it when you can access and move your data the way you want — it's been easy to auto-forward all your Gmail messages to any other service, and now it's a little easier to go the other direction too.

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Ever since we launched Google Calendar, people in our forum have been pretty vocal about a missing piece -- an integrated task list. "To-do would be tooo-rific," "I really, really, really need to use a to-do list," and my favorite: "I'll join your team to help you get it done!" The rumble turned into a roar a few months ago when we launched Tasks in Gmail Labs. Now we've integrated Tasks into Google Calendar as well.


To get started, open Calendar and click on the "Tasks" link on the left hand side. You'll see the familiar task list you're used to using in Gmail, with some Calendar-specific additions:
  • Tasks that have due dates will automatically appear on your calendar. To create a task with a due date in Calendar, click on an empty space in month view or the all-day section of week view, and be sure select the "Task" option.


  • To attach a due date to an existing task, click the right-arrow from within the task list, and then click on the calendar icon.
  • You can modify a task's due date by dragging it to a different date, just as you would with a regular calendar event.
  • To mark a task completed from within Calendar, just click on the task's checkbox. (Isn't that satisfying, overachievers?)
  • To keep track of due dates before they arrive, there's a nifty new "Sort by due date" feature available in the Actions menu at the bottom of your task list. While sorting by due date, you can reschedule a task by clicking on it in your list, then pressing control and the up or down arrow key.


While working to help bring this feature to you, I used it to keep track of my own tasks. Now I can finally check off the last one in that list: "write blog post." Phew.

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We recently announced that Google profile results now appear at the bottom of U.S. name-query search pages. Creating a profile gives you greater control over what people find when they search for your name on Google. Your profile can include online photos, links to your blog or other online profiles, and ways for people to contact you -- and you can restrict contact information like your address and phone number to only the people and groups you choose.



When creating a profile, you have the option to use your Gmail username as a your profile URL (profiles.google.com/yourusername), so it's easier to remember and share. Some examples:
http://profiles.google.com/mattcutts
http://profiles.google.com/felicia.day

If you want people to be able to contact you, but don't want to reveal your email address to the world, you can hide your username and use a 24 digit number instead. Turn on the 'Send a message' feature, and anyone with a Google Account can send you a message through your profile, without having your email address revealed to them.

Don't have a profile? Go to www.google.com/profiles to get started.