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Composing a new email is as commonplace as toasting a bagel. Well, not if Google has anything say about it. Today, the company unveiled a funky twist to the age-old process of writing and responding to email.

In a preview release of Gmail announced Tuesday, the big red “compose” button now directs you to a window pop-up that takes over the entire Gmail experience.

The message pop-up acts like a bigger chat window and allows a person to refer to other emails, search, and see incoming email messages all without ever needing to close the draft.

Why the radical change? Product manager Phil Sharp breaks down the problem:

How many times have you been writing an email and had to reference something in another message? Saving a draft, opening the old email, and then reopening your draft wastes valuable minutes.

And you know what? He’s right. When composing email messages, I find myself needing to stop, save, and search for email addresses, older message threads, and so forth. It is a pain. Is this funky and fresh new compose window the answer? I don’t know. I’m of the ilk that finds Google chat windows rather annoying, so treating messages like chats seems odd to me.

The new compose experience also comes with additional features such as inline image insert, profile pictures of contacts in autocomplete, and the ability to drag and drop contacts between to:, cc:, and bcc: fields.

Sharp said the company is releasing a preview of the new features today. The funktified compose option will arrive for all Gmail users in a few months.

Photo credit: zilverbat./Flickr


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