New Hotmail (with many new features) is being rolled out as I write this – Many users are quite impressed with the new look hotmail. My hotmail account had been dormant for past 7 years, and I logged into it just to see why everyone is raving about it – I have to say I came back un-impressed. For me, Hotmail was too sluggish in its loading of mails as well as other features. I am sure, I will not log into it for another 7 years.
However, from Google side there is a huge development that’s taken place yesterday – They have allowed third party Gadgets to be integrated with Gmail and Google Apps customers. For Apps customers, these new 3rd party apps can easily be installed from Google Apps market place.
To me comparing Hotmail & Gmail is absolutely a no brainer – Hotmail does not even come closer to what Gmail / Google Apps has to offer.
Lets take a look at the new Google offering. In short, Gmail now has ability to show contextual / social gadgets inside the mailbox. Have a look at this video posted by Google.
Google Contextual Gadgets in Gmail / Apps
Google Marketplace has many paid / free apps which could directly be integrated with apps account, however, there were no apps which could be integrated within Google Apps mail, which now is possible.
Like any other application in the Google Apps Marketplace, a Google Apps domain administrator can install a contextual gadget from the Marketplace with just a few clicks. Both before and during the install process, administrators can review the portions of an email the gadget will have access to, and can revoke that permission at any time from their control panel.
One Gadget that I am huge fan for sometime now is rapportive. What it does it shows complete social profile of person who has sent you a mail right next to your mail. Have a look at this screen-shot.
Already, there are quite a few Gadgets freely / paid available – Here are some of the popular ones that you may want to install.
- AwayFind lets you mark certain contacts or message topics as ‘Urgent’ and then alerts you via phone, SMS or IM when relevant messages arrive.
- Kwaga displays social network profiles and lists recent email exchanges with people you correspond with.
- Gist brings together information from across the web about people you’re corresponding with, providing rich person and company profiles, news and updates.
- Pixetell detects email links to video messages created with Pixetell’s video software and lets you preview, comment on, and share those videos without leaving your inbox.
- Smartsheet lets you access and update entries in Smartsheet’s sales pipeline and project management tool.
- Xobni, Manymoon, Newmind Group, and BillFLO have also launched their own contextual gadget integrations.
If you have not already tried it, you should surely go and give it a try !