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Monday, May 19, 2008

Will Gmail Get Themes?

A source is telling me that Gmail will get themes – custom layouts to personalize Google’s web mail client. According to the source, the launch of this may happen within the next months. There will be 12 themes to pick from, according to this information, like a black-and-green “terminal” view, as well as a flowery view.

Already, using third-party tools like Greasemonkey or custom user stylesheets, you are able to add skins to Gmail... but officially, you can only toggle Gmail views like mobile, classic HTML, or normal.

Google at this time also uses themes in products like their personalized homepage iGoogle or Google Reader’s shared items page. A Google product manager in relation to iGoogle’s themes once wrote, “for whatever reason adding a beach or a dancing pig or something else makes me feel like it’s my own.” While Google wouldn’t tell me who designed their early iGoogle themes, many signs point in the direction of Meomi – though if that’s the case it’s of course possible that someone else does the theme designs for Gmail.


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