New Gmail Unveils Background Themes, Social Profiles and Advanced Search

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5 Major Changes To See When You Log Into New Gmail:


A new Gmail with different looks has arrived. Google has been updating the look of its products such as Google Adsense, Google Apps and Google Reader in the previous months since July 2011.The rollout of the new Google Mail started in earnest on the 1st of November in 2011.

To start using the new Gmail,log into your Gmail account and go to the “Switch to New Look” button at the bottom right hand corner of your dashboard.Click the button and follow the instructions:

Step 1:

Step 2:

The first thing you realize when log into the new Gmail is that the color scheme has changed from the traditional light blue to light grey. This light grey theme is the default theme you see when you make your first switch to the new Gmail.


On this default theme, the Mail, Contacts, Task and Compose links on the left side bar are now dark red brownish in color.However, you can choose your own theme in the new upgraded Themes Gallery. Once you switch to a new theme, it becomes your default theme unless you change it.


You will also notice that there are now Google Ads on the header just above the inbox in addition to the existing Ads that appear on the right sidebar when you open a message.

A quick browse of the mail folders on the left side bar shows that there are now three buttons at the top and these are the Select, Refresh and More buttons respectively.Go to your mail box and double click any message to open it. You will discover that the buttons at the top – Archive, Spam, Delete, Move To and Labels are no longer denoted in text but they are now only shown as icons. You can still see the text by hovering over the icons with your mouse.


Also while you are in your messages, you will see that the replies are presented as a conversation or thread and you can actually see the profile image of the sender against his or her name on the left side. The profile image and details of the sender are also shown on the top left side bar. On this profile, there are buttons to initiate chat, telephone calls and sms with the sender.

Suppose you received an email that has been addressed to 10 people, you will see their profiles on the left side bar in list form including that of the sender. You can click each profile name to view more details about the recipient as well as learn about his/her recent activity.

IMAGE PROFILES (Multiple Recipients)

Besides the existing “Options” gear icon at the top right, the new Gmail has a second gear icon for “Settings” at the top right just below the Options icon. Here you can change the settings for your Gmail theme as well as the Display density. The Display density is a new feature that allows you to change the display of your dashboard. You can compact the display i.e. decrease its size by selecting “Compact”. You can increase the display i.e. make it bigger by choosing “Comfortable”. The medium sized display is “Cozy”.The settings button takes you to the existing general settings page as you know it.


The most interesting addition on the settings page is the new “Background Themes”. Just click “Themes” on the settings page and you will be taken to a gallery of cool themes to choose from. It looks like iStockPhoto is the source of these themes. I made a switch to the “Turf” theme and it really looks cool on my dashboard.

ADVANCED SEARCH (Drop-down box)

A major change has been done to the Gmail Search Bar.Previously, you had the “Search Mail” and “Search the Web” buttons next to the search bar, but these have been replaced with the magnifying glass icon. A drop-down search form has been added and it allows you to do a more advanced search than before. Instead of just searching for “Mail” you can now do a more specific search in each of the folders. You can search the Inbox, Starred Mail, Sent Mail, Drafts, Spam and Trash. You can also search Read Mail and Unread Mail. On the search form, you can narrow your search even more by entering more details. You can enter the name of the sender or recipient in the [From] and [To] fields respectively. You can enter the subject headings or enter words that should be included or excluded in the search. You can also specify if you want to restrict your search to mail with attachments by ticking the [Has attachment] box at the bottom of the form.Lastly,your search criteria can be in terms of mail received or sent within a particular time period i.e. from one day to one year of a specific date. All in all, this is not a major overhaul of the old Gmail in terms of functionality but just a makeup to put Gmail in line with changes that have been made to other Google products in the past months.

MAIL SEARCH (Drop-down form)

To summarize, here are the main features in the new Gmail:

–          Gmail Background  Themes

–          Email Sender & Recipient Social Profiles

–          Threaded Conversations

–          Viewing Display Options

–          More Advanced Email Search

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