Preview Pane: You Can Now Make Gmail Look a Little Bit More Like Outlook, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail

GMail’s new preview pane now gives users the option to switch to a more tradition, three-pane layout for Google’s web-based email client.

Google may be in the process of closing down its company-wide Google Labs site, but the Gmail Labs are still going strong. Today, the company launched a new Gmail experiment that gives Google’s web-based email client look a more traditional Outlook-like look (or Pegasus Mail-like, for those who have been on the Internet for a little bit longer). Preview Pane, as this new experiment is called, is somewhat of an admission by Google that there is still a large demand from users for a more traditional email interface.

Users can switch between a vertical and horizontal layout, which then puts your emails’ content either on the right side of the screen next.

imageAccording to Google, this new layout should work well for larger screens and indeed, after using it for a while, I’ve got the feeling that it does make for a more productive email environment on a large widescreen monitor. It doesn’t quite work as well on a small laptop screen, though, but that may just well depend on your personal preference as well (and you could always use the horizontal split view on a smaller screen as well).

Sadly, though, if you use Rapportive, Xobni for Gmail and similar plugins that run in the Gmail sidebar, those won’t work until their developers have updated their addons for the new view.

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