Google Changes Gmail’s Looks and Control Over Ads Displayed

Google has announced via it’s official blog, changes to Gmail, its popular, free, web based email application. Cosmetic changes include the ability to size the mailbox, posts, chats and conversations. Google has also changed how ads are chosen for display in Google emails, allowing users more control over what that are shown.

The new changes to the Gmail interface will go into effect sometime this month, or if users prefer they can make them happen now by selecting the “Switch to the new look” link at the bottom right side of their Gmail screen.

Overall, the new design is intended to be less cluttered-looking than the current one, and Google seems to have achieved that. The new look is sharper and more dense. It’s also more customizable. Users can change the size of the entire email box (comfortable, cozy, or compact) to suit their needs and can also change the size of the mail and chat labels that are shown on the left side of the screen. In addition, behind the scenes changes have gone on that make sure the default screen fits exactly in the window in which it is opened; something some users had experienced problems with in past generations of the product.

Conversations have also been modified to better allow users to follow along with who said what. Also, icons are now included as part of both messages and conversations, but only if that other person is also using Gmail; and has an icon selected for themselves. Google has also modified the search feature to make it easier to customize and modify search criteria to more accurately define what is being looked for. They’ve also added the ability to use filters.

Another big improvement is the addition of a lot of new high resolution styles. This is something many users have been waiting for as up till now the choices have been very limited.

Something else many users will are the changes coming that allow users some control over the ads that show up in their messages. Google will display the words, “Why these ads?” with a link to allow users to see why they have been targeted with particular ads. Also users will be able to use the Ads Preference Manager to let Google know which types of ads they’d rather see or to block certain messages from advertisers that they don’t.

Industry experts suggest that the new interface for Gmail is in part due to users complaining about differences between it and the social media site Google+.

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