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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gmail Launches People Widget - Another Enhancement of Gmail or Just an Useless Addon?

Ya as you may have already guessed I am an extensive user of Gmail and none of the enhancements in it goes unnoticed by me. So this time its a new widget from Google which caught my eye. Actually, it was presented in such a way that it should caught the eye, something usual with Google product updates.

People Widget - shows up your contacts, who are mentioned in the current email you have opened, in the right top corner of the mail chain or as Google would say conversation list. I can understand Google realized it very strongly that emails conversations are all about the people you are communicating with. So they are showing additional information about that contact of yours.

So what additional information Gmail People Widget is going to show?

Those additional information includes the following -

  • Information like email address, occupation etc. about that person from your saved Contact Manager.
  • Your recent conversations with that person
  • Latest buzz the person may have posted
  • Shared Google documents
  • Shared events from Google Calendar
  • Option to chat, email, call, and change chat preferences with that person


Is it necessary to divert me and clutter my real state?

Of course not. Not even when you can get all those information easily from your chat box. But another school of thought will definitely say - "Hey man, you don't have any useful information in that space so don't we have that there?". Ok agreed. But wouldn't it been better if we had some different interaction there? Maybe the option to change the details of that particular contact right there. If he/she is offline, then I might like to know until when he/she was online so that I can have the idea how much time he/she was on Gmail waiting for my reply.

Whatever use can users make out of it, I am totally confused with the Email option there. If I am already reading his/her email with the Reply/Reply to All options, will I ever create a new email from that people widget?


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