With more and more people consuming their emails on tablets, it was only a matter of time before some of that experience was transferred back to the desktop experience.
Preview Pane is now available in Labs (or should we call it the soon-to-be-defunct Labs) and aims to give users the same experience as those using Gmail on tablets, where you see a preview of your email right next to your emails. While Preview Pane is available to everyone, Google says that it will work better on higher resolution screen.
Once you’ve enabled the feature in Labs, you will see a pane on the right-hand side of your email list, which gives you an overview of the message. A toggle button in the top right-hand corner allows you to revert to the normal view very easily. It also gives you the option to split the panels vertically should you have more vertical space.
By default there is a three second delay in marking a conversation as read after previewing it but this can be changed in general settings if this time delay doesn’t suit you.
We’ve been trying out the new layout for a while now this morning and we have to say that the tablet experience doesn’t translate properly to a desktop environment. The layout seems cluttered and confused, but, with a few tweaks, it could work we feel. Let us know in the comments what you think of Preview Pane.
Source: Gmail Blog