Gmail gains 'Web clips' feature

Google has added a feature to Gmail that lets users view links to news articles and RSS feeds within the Web mail program's interface.

Google is adding a new feature to its Gmail Web mail service that lets users display links to various types of Web content, such as news articles and blog entries, according to information posted this week on the What's New section of the Gmail Web site (http://mail.google.com/mail/help/about_whatsnew.html).

Gmail users can customize the new Web Clips feature so that it displays links from RSS (Really Simple Syndication) or Atom syndication feeds or to news articles about specific topics, for example. Web Clips items appear along the top of the Gmail screen.

"Each clip displays the source from which it was received, how long ago the clip was published, and a link to access the entire story or page containing the clip," according to an explanation of the new feature posted in Gmail's help section (http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=18219).

Last week, Yahoo integrated an RSS reader into the new version of its Yahoo Mail Web mail service, which is still in beta and not generally available yet.

Also new in Gmail is its ability to detect addresses and shipment tracking numbers in the text of e-mail messages. Gmail flags these items and gives users the option of mapping the address and getting driving directions, and of checking the shipment's delivery status.

For those uneasy about having the text of their messages scanned, Google clarifies that the automated process is done by computers and not people. "These links are produced automatically for your convenience. No humans read the content of your e-mail in order to generate these links and none of them are sponsored by advertisers," reads an information page about this feature (http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=24102).

When Gmail was first launched in April 2004, Google was harshly criticized for its decision to scan the text of messages in order to run relevant ads along with them. However, Google, like now, explained that the process was done by computers and has kept the practice to this day.

Finally, Gmail now lets users view as HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) documents with OpenOffice, Microsoft Office and Adobe Systems PDF (Portable Document Format) file formats. This is convenient for "when you're on a mobile device or you don't want to install some new software just to view a document. Or if you just want to see it faster," according to a note on the What's New section of Gmail (http://mail.google.com/mail/help/about_whatsnew.html).

Gmail is still in beta. To open a Gmail account, users must either request the service from Google by sending the company a text message from a mobile phone or be invited via e-mail by an existing Gmail user.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?