Google’s email application, GMail has added some neat features in the last few days that I thought were worth a comment.
First, they have finally rolled out Web Clips for everyone. These are RSS feeds shown one at a time just above your Inbox. It seems like a helpful way to keep in touch with what is going on in the world (whether political updates, gadget news or whatever your preference). It is completely customizable. They have some preloaded feeds that you can delete (as I did with most of them). You can then add feeds from various sites including blogs. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get it to add feeds from certain sites (e.g. I tested Eszter’s Blog, but it didn’t rec0gnize the feed).
One unfortunate aspect of this feature is that it doesn’t seem to recognize when you have followed up on a clip so it keeps showing you feeds that you have already viewed. The clips are sometimes ads, which is fine since this is an ad-supported service. It is surprisingly sophisticated. I entered a subject line of two words in Hungarian without any message body (I was just sending myself an attachment as a backup) and it gave me an ad for something in Hungarian.
Second, GMail now gives you the option of previewing attachments as a simple HTML document. This is less exciting for something like a Word file, but intriguing for something like an Excel file with numerous worksheets. It renders them quite nicely. I recommend trying this out next time you want a quick glance at the contents of an attachment.