Gmail 2.0

Google recently announced they want to release an updated version of Gmail that’s supposed to be even faster than the current one. Speed increases are due mainly to a complete rewrite of the JavaScript back-end. The main goal of the new version is to improve contacts management. “Gmail 2.0” is apparently available already and slowly migrating for users who choose to go ahead and update before it is officially released. If you would like to do the same then you can do so by following the link below:

https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2

Until Gmail 2.0 is completely stable, you will have the option of switching between classic Gmail and Gmail 2.0 interfaces on the fly. I have attempted to update my Gmail account using the above link, however, I’ve read that they have began to slow down and the migration is not immediate any longer. So there is no telling how long you will have to wait, but rest assured it will eventually migrate to the new interface. Now for some previews:

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New Contacts Manager
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New Contacts Manager with lots of information options
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Nice new avatar selection dialog (excellent example of the power of Web 2.0 design!)
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The select box (drop down box) has been replaced by a more
dynamic approach to the select box (using divs that are updated)!
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All in all the updates do appear to be small, however, word on the virtual street is that the overall speed of Gmail has been improved on tremendously! I’ve heard of small complaints about slow initial load times, but that it is very snappy and fast after initially loading. I’ve also heard reports that the chat window is no longer hide-able, however, this may be temporary as it has not been publicly released yet and is not a final product.

Google, or more specifically Gmail, is one of the best examples on the world wide web of just how awesome Web 2.0 is! Let’s define “Web 2.0” right quick:

Web 2.0 according to Wikipedia.org:
Web 2.0 refers to a perceived second generation of web-based communities and hosted services — such as social-networking sites, wikis and folksonomies — which aim to facilitate collaboration and sharing between users. The term became popular following the first O’Reilly Media Web 2.0 conference in 2004. Although the term suggests a new version of the World Wide Web, it does not refer to an update to any technical specifications, but to changes in the ways software developers and end-users use the internet. According to Tim O’Reilly, “Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform.”

Web 2.0 is bringing the internet to a more personalized level. Web sites are beginning to ride the fence between being an application and being just a web site. The look and feel of web pages are starting to become oddly similar to many desktop applications that we use daily.

Just think about it. What are some applications that you use on your computer on a daily basis (or atleast once a week)? I’ll make a small list:

2 thoughts on “Gmail 2.0”

  1. using Opera 9 Opera 9 on GNU/Linux GNU/Linux
    Opera/9.50 (X11; Linux x86_64; U; en)

    My company just upgraded to the new Microsoft Outlook Web Access, and it’s the most comprehensive web application I’ve used yet. It is extremely functional and is really close to the actual Outlook application. The only downside is one you’ll just love: the full version is of course only available using IE, you have to use the “light” version in Firefox and Opera. The light version is still great, but not as smooth as the full version.

  2. using Opera 9 Opera 9 on GNU/Linux GNU/Linux
    Opera/9.50 (X11; Linux x86_64; U; en)

    Haha, you know how I am too well Hannah. 😀 Microsoft’s “Windows Live Hotmail” (what kind of catchy name is that?) also has a “light” version that is forced on Opera, however, I’ve not tested it in Firefox in a while so I’m not sure if it is forced there also. I seem to remember them making a version that was almost full for Firefox. They just don’t know how to code well enough to code it correctly the first time. 😛

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