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Google Tweaks Gmail Layout & Stalks Your Friends

Gordon Kelly


Google Tweaks Gmail Layout & Stalks Your Friends

Google has certainly come flying out the traps in 2009. In its latest slew of announcements, the search giant has added usefulness and well, stalker potential....

Starting with the non-scary first and Gmail is getting yet another helpful tweak with 'Move to' and 'Labels' shortcuts added to the layout which saves users from continually having to dig on down into the menus. It seems trivial, but for anyone who owns a Gmail account it represents highly welcome click savings and may have just made my day (it's the little things!).

On top of this Gmail Tasks has finally become more useful after undergoing a huge revamp which enables it to be used offline and easily accessed outside of Gmail and iGoogle on any mobile phone with a web browser. The end of pen and paper? Maybe not, but it's a highly welcome step in the right direction.

Lastly, and here's the freaky bit: 'Google Latitude'. Designed to be used either from a PC or Android, BlackBerry, Symbian S60 or Windows Mobile phones (iPhone and Sony Ericsson handsets 'coming soon') it lets users share their location with one another and track them on Google Maps. Naturally there are full privacy controls with this feature to limit exactly who can see what and even where and when your location will show up.

Yep, it's the feature every teenager with a computer literate parent has been dreading...

As is typical of Google all this stuff is available immediately and free. Can't say fairer than that.

Update: And the tweaks keep coming. The latest for Gmail is multiple inboxes, not in the truest sense (multiple account inboxes) but the ability to display the contents of your labelled mail simultaneously. The image below speaks a thousand words...


Gmail Layout Annoucement

Gmail Tasks Announcement

Google Latitude


February 4, 2009, 9:16 pm

With phones with GPS built in i think the tracking thing could be really useful finding your mates at festivals etc. And you can always turn it off if you don't like it.

Matt G Baish

February 4, 2009, 9:32 pm

Well downloaded it - set it all up (with gears to detect location via PC) & all looked & worked nicely.

Until I refreshed the page & then got a `The Latitude iGoogle gadget is not currently available for your location :(` message!

Both on Firefox & IE 6.0 (Yes, I know but limited by cruddy Windows 2000 O/S I have here @ work - Grrrrrr!)


February 4, 2009, 9:42 pm

Just hoping the other half doesn't find out about this and figure out how to use it or that my Diamond supports it!

Matt G Baish

February 4, 2009, 9:43 pm

Ok fixed my Latitude problem - if using iGoogle make sure you use;


and not just


since the latter redirects to .co.uk & breaks latitude etc

Matt G Baish

February 4, 2009, 9:53 pm

Or more accurately;




February 4, 2009, 11:24 pm

It won't be long till we can do the surveillance of a secret agent...I'm not really a fan of these social features even with the privacy features. As facebook has proved, settings can always "accidentally" reset themselves or behave eratically. Plus it's difficult to see the effect of privacy settings unless using another account to see the access restrictions you have enforced have worked.

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