Google recently started rolling out a new Gmail contacts interface that includes
- New sorting features,
- Keyboard shortcuts,
- Improved labels,
- and more.
There are also a few new changes to the overall look of Gmail that makes it easier to quickly access your contacts and tasks list.
Let’s have a look at the new features:
At the top of the Gmail inbox is a new “Mail” link that takes you to your inbox when you click on it. Strangely, the Mail link does not include a count of your current unread e-mail. For that, you’ll still have to refer to the Inbox link below.
Getting Serious with Contacts
The biggest change Gmail has implemented is a completely overhauled look to the contacts manager (click on the image above to see how it’s laid out now). Your contacts are now organized horizontally across the screen similar to how your e-mail looks in Gmail. At a glance, you can see a contact’s name, e-mail address, phone number, address, and the names of any groups you’ve assigned to your contact.
Anatomy of a Contact Page
The left contacts panel has also been overhauled.At the top is a button to add a new contact, and below that are links to your contact groups as well as the option to create new groups.
There’s also a link to a list of the people you contact most often, and another link for any contacts that are not assigned to any of your groups.
Contacts now works more like the rest of Gmail
So if you know how to use Gmail, now you should automatically feel comfortable in Contacts too. And you’ll see a bunch of the features you’ve requested, including:
- Keyboard shortcuts (go to Contacts and hit “?” for the full list)
- Sort by last name (look under “More actions”)
- Custom labels for phone numbers and other fields
- The ability to undo changes you’ve just made
- Automatic saving
- Structured name fields, so you can adjust titles, suffixes, and other name components
- A bigger, more prominent notes field
The revamped Gmail is currently rolling out and you should see the new interface soon if you haven’t received it already. However, Google Apps users won’t be seeing the Gmail refresh just yet. Google says it is “actively working on making domain-specific features work well in the new interface.” But the company promises Google Apps users will get the new features soon.