Gmail Has Your Back with New 'Bob' Features

By Tammy Wolf April 14, 2011

Just last week, I received a rather frantic GChat message from a friend who mistakenly crisscrossed names in a composed e-mail message for the ultimate correspondence faux pas:

“Oh my goodness, I just e-mailed [said boyfriend] but e-mailed [said ex-boss] by accident!” she wrote to me. I quickly asked if she had written anything “inappropriate,” in which she replied, “No, just called him ‘honey.’”

Well, it definitely could have been worse. Luckily, Google has your back.

The search engine giant has taken two pretty handy features from its Gmail Labs and implemented them into Gmail’s e-mail service to prevent users from both e-mailing the wrong person – whether it’s your ex, or a boss – and forgetting to include a correspondent in a composed message.

Starting this week, before sending off an e-mail to a recipient – be it, Andy or Andrew, Bob or Bobby, or Charles or Charlotte -- Gmail will automatically inquire whether the selected recipient is the appropriate one through its “Got the Wrong Bob?” feature.

Even further, with the “Don’t Forget Bob” feature, Gmail will also offer suggestions for other people you might have intended to include on the e-mail. So, if you’re e-mailing all your aunts, uncles and cousins, Gmail won’t let you forget Uncle Jack.

The e-mail service has been quite busy rolling out new, user-friendly features for its almost 200 million users. Google just recently unveiled a complementary feature called Smart Labels, which helps users classify and organize their Gmail messages. Once you turn it on from the Labs tab in Settings, according to Google, Smart Labels automatically categorizes incoming Bulk, Notification and Forum messages, and labels them as such.

Helpful most of the time, Gmail is also quite the prankster. During this past April Fool’s Day, Gmail played a clever prank on its loyal user-base by announcing a new way to control a Gmail account with just the movements of your body. Though the verdict is out on how on how many users actually started waving their arms in front of their computer screens, one thing is for certain: we’ve all got a friend in Gmail.

Tammy Wolf is a TechZone360 copy editor. She also writes articles for TechZone360 on a wide range of topics, including IP communications and information technology. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

TechZone360 Copy Editor

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