Technology Tuesday – Gmail and Google Reader’s New Changes

As I’m sure most of you know by now, Google officially rolled out the changes to Gmail and Reader today. Wondering what the new changes are? Well…

Gmail now allows for quicker and more fluid switching between Mail, Contacts, and Tasks, as well as switching between Gchat and sending a Gmail invitation to a friend (although most people probably won’t use this very much.) If you have multiple labels, rolling over the label sidebar expands it, and taking the cursor off minimizes it. The toolbar is also collapsed, so the Archive, Spam, Delete, Move to, and Labels options only come up when you check the box next to a message. Everything else (Mark As Important, Add to Tasks, etc.) remains in the More menu as it did in the old version.

Also of note, under the Settings menu (the one to the left of the message count), is the option to change the display to either Comfortable, Cozy, or Compact. Comfortable is the largest display (and the easiest on the eyes, in my opinion), Cozy is in the middle, and Compact is the smallest. For reference, the size of the old design is what is now Compact in this new version.

For those of you who want to personalize your Gmail, the new version still has the same themes as its predecessor, but it also has the addition of HD themes, courtesy of iStockphoto. The cool thing about the theme I’m using, Ocean, is that it changes color (I’m guessing based on what time it is? I didn’t really notice).

I personally haven’t used Google Reader very much, so I can’t really speak to its changes other than to say it has the same clean, sleek look as Gmail. It’s more modern, easier on the eyes, and apparently has Google Plus integration, namely the +1 feature. Speaking of Google Plus, its Android app got a new UI.

You can read all about the new changes to Gmail here.

What do you guys think of the changes? Like them or hate them? As far as Gmail goes, you can keep the old version for a time, but it won’t be long before the new version is permanent.

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