Gmail Gets Themes

At last get rid of that dull styling...

Well, it is only a beta…

Yep, more than four and a half years since it first launched Gmail has added what many would deem a welcome but rather basic feature: themes, finally adding a degree of flexibility into the service’s famously stripped down look.

“Gmail fans have been building unofficial extensions to spice up their inboxes for a while, but up til now themes haven’t been an integral part of Gmail,” admitted the company on its official Gmail blog. “We wanted to go beyond simple color customization, so out of the 30 odd themes we’re launching today, there’s a shiny theme with chrome styling, another one that turns your inbox into a retro notepad, nature themes that change scenery over time, weather driven themes that can rain on your mailbox, and fun characters to keep you in good company.”

Amusingly the blog also said an ascii theme is available as the result of a bet between two of its programmers (see story thumbnail) – anyone geeky enough to pick that? At the same time the Gmail default look has been slightly tweaked but you’ll need good eyes to spot the difference.

As always, Google is to upgrade customers incrementally (got mine already!) and you’ll get a notification at the top of your screen when the feature is available to you. In addition it can be found as its own tab under the ‘Settings’ link. Custom themes? Sadly not, but then again knowing some of you lot I shudder to think what images would adorn your inboxes…

Gmail Themes Official Announcement

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