>I’ve been using Gmail for over a year now. In the beginning I had my Gmail addresses only for the sake of having one and the feeling of being part of a restricted group. But these days I use Gmail almost daily and many aspect of the Google Mail make the experience pleasant.
The first feature that I really enjoy is the automatic saving of emails addresses to contacts. How does it work, basically any email address that goes through your mail (sent/receive) is saved with the sender’s name. When you have to write a message as soon as you start typing the address, Gmail suggests matches from all the addresses remembered so far and all you had to do was receive and send email.
Second most appreciated feature is the grouping of messages in conversations. I think it’s even more ground braking – for me at least- than the first one. Now there is no need to go from page to page trying to find that message this person wrote you not so long ago, they are all kept together in the most convenient way, as long as they are from the same person and on the same topic.
I wont talk about the gadgets, like the chat within Gmail. But there are of course a few negative aspects to Gmail. For instance the standard interface is somewhat heavy. I understand it’s not an issue for people with broadband internet access but if you have a poor quality internet connection you might want to avoid Gmail altogether. Otherwise you’ll end up using the basic HTML version without all the cool features.
There is one other aspect of Gmail I particularly dislike. I’ve you noticed that when you check a message to perform an action (mark as read for example or add label) unless you go and uncheck the message it’s left checked. This can be unpleasant if you happen to need to perform another action for example on other messages and forgot that you had not unchecked that first message. I don’t understand why they left it like that you would think automatic unchecking after an action is perform is something they would have obviously thought of.
As a Yahoo Mail user of almost 10 years, I think Yahoo mail (the old version) still has a few features that Gmail might want to imitate because they do make the user’s life easier, like the automatic “unchecking” mentioned early and the possibility to create folders. There is no way to create folders in Gmail. For those who think that folders are so not web 2.0, I want to say that they allow you to organize your incoming mail especially when you use them in conjunction with filters -or labels-. Adding labels help me identify specific messages but what I really want to do is have those messages delivered into one place. I have a few subscriptions and I don’t like to have my subscription messages scattered around my inbox because sometimes I like to go through those particular messages in chronological order. Am I asking too much?