In a marketing one-two punch, Google has just released updates for two of their most popular projects, Gmail and Google Docs. After months of speculation over Google’s purchase of mobile manufacturers, mergers of Android and Chrome, and even a leap into the world of PC manufacturing, fans were worried that two of Google’s most popular toys would soon be forgotten. Luckily, these fears were all assuaged as multiple research teams have released a handful of updates for Google’s email and cloud memory systems.
For this project, Google’s researchers were split into multiple teams. Google Labs, Google’s traditional research and programming department, was turned into multiple sub groups to divvy up the labor. The first thing thrown out of Gmail was the user interface to give this application a more ergonomic face lift. The second, and perhaps most important update, is the changes to Gmail in a mobile browser. The somewhat outdated Gmail mobile interface has been completely redone and offers a few changes including the ability to view the app in high definition, a pull down tab to refresh, and buttons at the top of the app to simultaneously move between Gmail and Google+.
Google Doc also received a new and improved look for their interface. A whole slew of keyboard shortcuts have been added to seamlessly move through documents and manipulate them on the fly. For any users that are getting confused about the changes, typing ‘?’ will bring up a cheat sheet of each shortcut. There were also be a handful of changes to the spreadsheets that will allow for shortcuts while organizing information.
All of the changes look to be aimed at streamlining each of Google’s products to one another. The controls for each application now have an almost identical look and feel, allowing for a quick transition between Gmail, Google Docs, and Google+.