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Google brings 'multitasking' to GMail

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Google brings 'multitasking' to GMail

Post by Justin_Romile on Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:09 pm

To make its free Gmail service faster, search giant Google has introduced a new feature that sends email in the background.

Google software engineer Patrick Doyle said that the feature, now available in Gmail Labs, will allow Gmail users to work on other tasks while the email is being sent.

"Once you turn it on from the Labs tab in Settings, you can get on with what you’re doing while Gmail quietly sends off your mail in the background. You can keep reading your inbox, compose new messages, chat with people — all the things you’d usually do. You can even send more than one message in the background at the same time," Doyle said in a blog post.

He said that one of the most common delays happens after one hits the “Send" button.

After hitting "Send," a Gmail user usually has to wait for a couple seconds for Gmail to send the message, he noted.

"If you send a lot of email, that can add up to a lot of lost time," he said.

Doyle added that, if anything goes wrong —such as getting an email address wrong, or if the connection had a hiccup— a warning message will pop up.

The message will then prompt the Gmail user to go back and fix the issue, or to try again later.

"The 'Send error' message will stay around until you decide to fix things, so you don’t have to stop whatever you’re doing right away. The only catch is that you should wait for your mail to finish sending before you close Gmail or shut down your computer," he said.

But Doyle also warned that if messages are still being sent in the background when Gmail is shut down, "your messages are probably going to be lost."

"We’ve been trying out Background Send for a while here at Google, and we like it a lot. We hope you like it too, and we hope it gives you back a little bit of your day!" he said.
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