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Google Search Gets Built Directly Into Gmail

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Gmail is at it again...

In the latest of an impossibly busy roll-out of new Gmail 'Labs' features, Google has hit upon another gem this Bank Holiday weekend with the integration of Google Search. No, we're not talking the usual email search you find in every Gmail account but a shortcut Google web search box which can be added into the left hand column and used to bring up results directly in Gmail itself.

The logic behind such a move is simple, as Gmail software engineer Adam de Boor explained: "People would ask me questions, over chat or email, and I'd have to leave Gmail to search Google for an answer. Then I'd have to select the answer, copy it, go back to Gmail and paste the answer into the chat window or my reply. Sometimes I'd get distracted and forget to go back to Gmail, and I'd have to go through it all again when I remembered what I'd been doing."

The new Google Web search plug-in should solve this and while it does only display the first few results they are helpfully context sensitive so for example:

  • If you're reading a message, you can start a reply to the message with the search result as the first thing in your reply.
  • If you're writing a message, you can paste the result, or just the URL into your message.
  • If you're chatting with someone, you can send the result via chat.
  • You can also always compose a new message to send the search result.
Keyboard shortcuts also work (if you have them enabled from Labs) so typing 'g' then 'l' will jump you to the search box while Google does advise adding the 'Navbar drag and drop' feature so you can reorder your (possibly now overcrowded) side column to position Google search near the top (something I'd side with *slow clap applause*).

Yet another reason to ditch Outlook folks, as if you needed one...

Link:
The Official Gmail Blog

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