Google has announced new Gmail features as the company seeks to out-compete traditional corporate email systems by consistently adding to and improving its capabilities.
Firstly, the firm has added a tool under its Labs banner called Background Send, which is designed to reduce the time users have to spend waiting for emails to send before they can switch to other tasks.
Patrick Doyle, a software engineer at Google, said that the feature could help to improve productivity.
"We're always looking for ways to make Gmail faster. One of the most common delays happens after you hit send, when you're waiting patiently for a couple of seconds for Gmail to send your message. If you send a lot of email that can add up to a lot of lost time," he said in a blog post.
"Once you turn Background Send on you can get on with what you're doing while Gmail quietly sends your mail in the background. You can keep reading your inbox, compose new messages or chat with people."
The tool, which is being used internally at Google, also alerts users if there is an issue with any emails it is trying to send.
Secondly, the firm has increased the character limit for labels that can be attached to emails from 40 to 225, which it said will help to ensure that people switching from Outlook or accessing Gmail through IMAP connections will still see the labels.
The updates follow on from features rolled out in recent weeks that offer self-generating suggestions for other email contacts when composing messages, and the ability to warn users if they appear to be sending an email to the wrong person.
On the storage side, Google is rolling out a series of new capabilities for its Documents tool that allows users to upload entire folders, and their sub-folders, to simplify the sharing and storing of multiple documents.
The tool is available only for the latest versions of Firefox, Safari and Chrome, and Firefox and Safari users have to install a small applet on their desktops to use this function.
The update also now allows for individual files to be dragged and dropped in the document list, removing the need to open the upload windows, although this will not work for folders owing to the limitations of browsers, Google explained.
Google software engineer Mike Procopio explained that the feature will be rolled out in the next month, and that users will be alerted that they have these new capabilities with a popup message when they log in to Google Docs.
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