The changes, officially announced in a blog post Tuesday, allow Gmail users much more control over the look of the service. You can drag sidebars around to your preferred size and width, choose from a wider selection of high-resolution background pictures, and decide whether you want lots of email on your screen or more white space between mails. (Your choice of email density is between “Comfortable,” “Cozy” and “Compact.”)
Heavy Gmail users will also be pleased to learn that there’s a new search function — that is, you can now access Advanced Search by clicking on the search bar. Conversations have been condensed, and profile pictures added.
These are more features than Google offered in its sneak peek of the new Gmail, which started in July. Here’s the video about the new features Google mistakenly made public last week:
For now, at least, the new features will be opt-in — and not all of us will be able to access them immediately. “If you like what you see, over the next few days you’ll be able to switch to the new look by clicking on Switch to the new look in the bottom-right of Gmail,” writes Google user experience designer Jason Cornwell.