Los Angeles — Search engine giant Google Inc., which recently launched voice and video chat utility for its beloved Gmail, is now ripe with another cool offering. Google, on Wednesday has released more than “30 Themes” you can choose from to make your in-box look more colorful, cool or just better tuned to your personality.
The move echoes Google’s introduction of iGoogle artist themes in April, released with much flair by Google search guru Marissa Mayer in Manhattan in summer 2008. And now the similar concept has been rolled out to the popular Gmail service.
Google’s Gmail service lags far behind the likes of Microsoft’s Live Hotmail and Yahoo mail, but it has taken a considerable chunk of the market. And Google now claims that it aims Gmail at the technological elite, and by rolling out themes for Gmail, a feature that allows people to customize the appearance of the Webmail application with a variety of new looks. Perhaps more interesting from a brand perspective, Google is even willing to give up the Gmail logo in some of the skins.
“Gmail fans have been building unofficial extensions to spice up their inboxes for a while, but up till now themes have not been an integral part of Gmail,” said Gmail engineer Annie Chen in a blog post. “We wanted to go beyond simple color customization, so out of the 30 odd themes we are launching today, there is a shiny theme with chrome styling, another one that turns your in-box into a retro notepad, nature themes that change scenery over time, weather driven themes that can rain on your mailbox, and fun characters to keep you in good company.”
The themes include the likes of beach, planets, ninja, pebbles and a whole host of color changes.
To personalize your in-box with a new theme, select the “Settings” tab in Gmail and click on the “Themes” tab. However, if you do not see such a tab yet should see one in a few days, as the Gmail update propagates across Google’s servers.
Gmail has been the focus of much attention from Google lately. Just last week, Google added voice and video chat to Gmail. Also last month, Google announced seven new features for Gmail: Gmail Gadgets, emoticons for messages, Gmail for mobile version 2.0, Canned Responses, contact manager improvements, advanced IMAP controls, and Mail Goggles.