Gmail Launches Custom Themes: Use Your Own Picture as Background

In a blog post earlier today, Gmail Software Engineer, Greg Bullock announced that Gmail will now support custom themes. You can use your own pictures as background of Gmail.

Themes have been an important part of Gmail ever since we launched them back in 2008. Not only do they let you personalize your inbox with fun backgrounds, but they’re also practical, helping you easily differentiate between multiple Gmail inboxes (e.g. work and personal).

When we unveiled Gmail’s new look back in November, we introduced a number of new, beautiful HD themes. We also heard that many of you wanted to bring an even more personal touch by setting your own background. So over the next couple of days we are rolling out a new Custom themes section with two options, Light and Dark where you can do just that.

People have always loved to give more personal feeling to everything they use. Google has had option to use own image as background in Google Search page from long, and this new features is surely gonna be welcomes by many. As expected, Google is pushing Google+ more with this feature as you can directly import pictures from your Google+ account and use them as background picture. There will be two options available for customization, Light and Dark

Personalize Gmail Background

You can upload your own images directly, select from your Google+ photos or simply paste any image URL. Or, if you don’t have a particular image in mind, you can browse our searchable Featured Photos section to find one that speaks to you. With so many great options, it may be hard to choose, so to get a sense of the images available, try searching for ‘hdr scenery’ or ‘bokeh wallpaper’ in the Featured tab.

Google also notes that it will be rolling out the feature in next few days, so if you can’t see the option as yet, don’t worry.

Gmail Introduces Delegation Feature: Let Other People Answer Your Emails

I use two Gmail accounts: one is my personal account and the other I share with my family (we use it to subscribe to groups like my children’s classroom mailing list). Checking these two different accounts used to mean I had to sign out and back in to Gmail all the time. Not anymore.

Yes, Gmail now supports full email delegation. By way of a new feature in settings, you can grant another Google account holder access to your email account. This allows another person to both send and receive emails on behalf of your account.

This feature has been available for some time for Google Apps accounts. But sometimes regular people have assistants too — or simply email addresses that they’d like multiple people to manage in a more coherent way. For example, when a message is sent from the account with access to yours, it appear as being from your address, but with include “sent by XXXX@gmail.com”. Nifty.

To grant access to another account, click the Settings link in the top right corner of Gmail. On the “Accounts” tab, you’ll see a new section where you can “Grant access to your account.”

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The account you add will get a verification email with links to accept or deny access. Once the account accepts, a small down arrow will appear beside the email address at the top right corner of Gmail which can be used to toggle between accounts.


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Each account will open in a different browser tab or window so you can view both accounts simultaneously, all while signed into your primary account. When you send a message from hikingfanfamily@gmail.com while signed in as hikingfan@gmail.com, it will appear as being sent by hikingfan@gmail.com on behalf of hikingfanfamily@gmail.com.

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Signing out of any one of the accounts will sign you out of all the accounts you’re currently viewing, and, of course, you can revoke access at any time.

Gmail releases 5 new themes

Gmail has launched 5 new good looking themes for its users. Here is a post from official gmail blog:

Manu: Hey, how would you fancy some new Gmail themes?
Jake: Sure, I would love that! How usable are they?
Manu: Huh, usable? Well, there’s a flishy-flashy theme that blinks every…
Jake: What? I don’t want things to flash, I want to read my email.
Manu: No? Well then, what about this fluorescent pink theme that will make your screen look very special when your friends are looking at…
Jake: No pink please!
Manu: Oh. Then maybe this hyper dynamic and playful theme that makes all links on the page jump away each time you try to click on…
Jake: Are you insane? Please, just give me something usable. If I want flashy game-like graphics, I can use High Score. If I want something dapper for my friends to look at, I can use Shiny. If I want cartoon characters hanging out here and there in my Gmail, I can use Zoozimps. I just want something dead simple.
Manu: What about stripping the Gmail interface to the bare bones, like these two new themes, Basic Black and Basic White?


Jake: That’s better. The dark one may be good for my eyes.
Manu: Great! Do you have an Android phone?
Jake: Yes.
Manu: Then you may like this Android theme too. How about that?


Jake: Nice! Some graphics but still subtle. Give me more.
Manu: Relaxing tree tops? This one ain’t blinking.


Jake: Not bad! What about something that would feel more handmade?
Manu: You’re in luck, sir. I have this cool Marker theme in store for you. Very unprofessional.


Jake: Nice — I’m gonna stick with this one for now.
Manu: Good choice! See you next time for some more.

Sparrow-The new mail for Mac

sparrow email for mac gmail beta

Sparrowt.gif is a super-simple Mac client for Gmail. If you’ve used Tweetie for Mac (which is now owned by Twitter, but development is more or less frozen), you’ll feel right at home here. On the right hand toolbar you’ll find a big icon for you account (again, just like Tweetie), your inbox, your starred items, your replies, your drafts, and your trash. Along the top of the window, you’ll see an option to compose, reply to, archive, or delete. Naturally, there is also a search bar as well.

Syncing your message initially takes a little bit of time, but not too long. And the number of items you have starred is shown under the star menu area. A new message indicator is installed in the top toolbar on your Mac, and it also supports Growl. The minimalist UI can be expanded a bit if you choose to use the Preview pane — which does exactly what you thinking: shows you a preview of the email you select.

But the best part of Sparrow may be the multiple account support. You can add as many Gmail accounts as you’d like and switch between them with a mouse-click in the left-hand menu (once again, just like Tweetie for Mac).

There are several other subtle UI elements that are great, and a nice change of pace from the comparatively utilitarian Gmail. And yes, Sparrow even supports Gmail message threading.

What’s next ?

Sparrow will soon support several IMAP email providers and integrate labels for Gmail users.

Download free beta from here

Make Calls From Your Gmail-Gmail’s New Service

Gmail has started its new service which allows users to make calls.
Gmail voice and video chat makes it easy to stay in touch with friends and family using your computer’s microphone and speakers. But until now, this required both people to be at their computers, signed into Gmail at the same time. Given that most of us don’t spend all day in front of our computers, we thought, “wouldn’t it be nice if you could call people directly on their phones?”

Starting today, you can call any phone right from Gmail.

Calls to the U.S. and Canada will be free for at least the rest of the year and calls to other countries will be billed at our very low rates. We worked hard to make these rates really cheap (see comparison table) with calls to the U.K., France, Germany, China, Japan—and many more countries—for as little as $0.02 per minute.

Dialing a phone number works just like a normal phone. Just click “Call phone” at the top of your chat list and dial a number or enter a contact’s name.

We’ve been testing this feature internally and have found it to be useful in a lot of situations, ranging from making a quick call to a restaurant to placing a call when you’re in an area with bad reception.

If you have a Google Voice phone number, calls made from Gmail will display this number as the outbound caller ID. And if you decide to, you can receive calls made to this number right inside Gmail (seeinstructions).

We’re rolling out this feature to U.S. based Gmail users over the next few days, so you’ll be ready to get started once “Call Phones” shows up in your chat list (you will need to install the voice and video plug-in if you haven’t already). If you’re using Google Apps for your school or business, then you won’t see it quite yet. We’re working on making this available more broadly – so stay tuned!