Google boffins are starting to play with colors. The good thing is that now we can too! This Wednesday, Google rolled out a much awaited feature to Gmail. Bright, colorful, fantastic themes! I wouldn’t have caught it but for the little feed Google gives on the signing page. And lo and behold, just a little trip over to the Gmail settings and there is a spanking fresh ‘themes’ tab. I counted 31 new designs (one for each day of the month?) and surely there would be a lot more to come.
From the plain Jane mono-color ones like ‘New Blue’ to the more slick ‘Planets’. There’s one which resembles an old IBM PC screen; it’s called ‘Terminal’…and I won’t hazard a bet that it’s only for a dyed-in-the-wool geek.
It’s always better when add-ons, plugins or themes have an official sanction and it’s even better when it is done ‘in-office’. Themes have existed for Gmail before, but for that, one needed to install third party skinning scripts. Now, it’s far smoother – select and click. The official Google blog says that most of the themes were designed by in-house artists and only three were by outsiders.
Another atypical feature with regards to themes is that you can set some of them by ‘country’ too. For instance, the theme ‘Planets’ asks you to choose your ‘Country’ and ‘City’ through a dropdown. Google says that some themes change automatically during the course of the day and the change synchronizes with this region/city information. For that you might want to try out some of the nature based themes. If you decide not to give your city, Google defaults to the capital city of the country chosen. That’s cool!
The ‘Themes’ feature is being rolled out gradually over the next few days. I got it for my oldest Gmail account but not yet for the latter ones…so in all probability, if you still haven’t got to play around with it, wait – you are in the queue.
Google is changing and for most of the features it’s a well thought out change. Personalization is rapidly becoming the byword for net denizens and Google is coming around to that pretty fast. Isn’t it a departure that some of the themes have a different sort of Google logo from the set one? Google can afford to, as it garners a major part of our mindspace and with this feature it will take in some more from those who like a bit of color in their lives.
Have you tried it out yet? Let us know what Gmail in technicolor means to you.