A Faster Gmail With More Power User Features

Earlier this week some GMail users reported seeing links to a "newer version" in their accounts and now Google has officially detailed the changes, though they still might not show up in your account for a little while.

Among the changes are speed boosts, a new contacts app that will also show up in other Google apps and a new rich text editor like the one found in Groups and Page Creator. You also might notice that there's some new keyboard shortcuts. Most of the keyboard shortcuts were previously available with the Gmail Macro Greasemonkey scripts (or through the Better GMail extension which we've reviewed before), but now even users without Greasemonkey can use the shortcuts.

For now the changes will be limited to Firefox 2 and Internet Explorer 7 users, though Google will be adding additional browser support as time goes on.

Also worth noting is that it appears GTalk may soon support multiple protocols. Those that have the new features enabled in their accounts report that the Address Book now offers drop down menus to choose what chat networks your contacts are using. Although the GMail blog post doesn't mention it, the rumor is that GTalk will soon be leveraging Jabber Transports to allow multi-protocol chats within GTalk and Gmail.

The bad news is that many of your favorite add-ons may not work with the new version of GMail. The GMail Blog post says that the GMail team has sent out details of the changes to developers of popular add-ons, but for the time being many, including the catch-all Better GMail add-on for Firefox, don't work with the new version.


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