Gmail and Calendar App May Get a Navigation Drawer; Google Now "Topics" Page is Back

Gmail and Calendar app for Android would "soon" get new navigation drawer. Google Now's "Topics Page" now available on Android through new research cards--shows you how much Google knows about you.

During a "Structure in Android App Design" session at the 2013 I/O conference, Google quietly leaked screenshots of a revamped interface for the Gmail app.

Google's Jens Nagel showed during his presentation, the new design would use a "navigation drawer" that users can pop out from the left side of the screen, and that should make using it quite a bit easier "especially for those who use lots of labels in Gmail."

Currently, Google uses what it calls a "spinner," the drop-down menu at the top of the screen you've probably seen in numerous Android apps.

Google also showed a mock-up of the new "Calendar app" with the new navigation drawer, but Nagel explicitly noted that while they could use this as the main interface for Calendar, however, the sidebar does "look a bit underpopulated," especially on a tablet.

Here is how would Gmail and Calendar nav drawer would look like:

Gmail Navigation Drawer

Google Calendar with new Navigation Drawer

Here is the full video presentation of the above session (with new Gmail interface starts at about 23 minutes):

Google Now Topics Page that shows a list of topics that Google shows you based on your search history is back again, but it's a bit different from the earlier leaked page. Unlike Google's search history page, however, this feature shows you an aggregate view of what Google believes you are interested in, not just a list of all of your searches.

The update is now available on Android by going through Google Now's research cards.

On this page, you can still see many of the topics that Google thinks you might interested in. The feature will now pop up at the bottom of Google's research cards, which often appear after Google realizes that you've been researching a certain topic in depth. One of the reasons for this card to pop up, for example, would be when Google detects you are planning a trip.

To see this information, "Google Now offers a link will appear underneath these cards ("Explore now," then look for the "More of your topics" links in the top right) that allows you to delve a bit deeper into the topics you recently looked for and to get a different view of your search history," informs Techcrunch.

New Google Now Topics Page available on Android through Research Cards

Update 05/28: Do you want to find the Gmail receipts--here is an easy way to find the message receipts using a new filter: search for label:^smartlabel_receipt.

"The Smart Label feature from Gmail Labs creates filters that automatically label messages and convert system labels like ^smartlabel_receipt to user labels like Receipts. You can manually do that for receipts: click the arrow from the search box, type label:^smartlabel_receipt in the "has the words" field, click "create filter with this search", click "OK" and ignore the warning, select "Apply the label" and then "new label", create a label called "Receipts", check "Also apply filter to * matching conversations" and click "Create filter". You'll get a receipts label," explains Google.

Gmail filter to find message receipts Gmail Search Lable Receipts

Also, a newly added feature Gmail now pops-up a message when a message is marked as "spam mail" from your contacts--see the picture below:

"Normally, we'd expect that you would want to get messages from people on your Gmail contact list. So when you mark one as spam, we'd like to understand why. [When you] click 'Message looks suspicious' within the alert, the message will be marked as 'sent from a compromised account,' and you'll send a report to the Gmail team to help us improve our detection of compromised accounts. Your contact's account will not be penalized and you'll continue to receive messages from this account in the future."

Gmail Spam from Contact Message pop-up

Update 05/29: With the BBQ season now in full swing, Google has added new search filter on its search results page, now when you visit google.com and search for [grill brush] and then click on the Shopping button--"you'll see results for nearby locations that sell grill brushes and the results can be filtered by price, store and brand."

To change your location--click Change next to your current location and enter the name of another place.

new BBQ search filters on Google search results page

Google has also made improvements to getting answers about travel itinerary, package status, or your plans for the evening "easier and much faster."

In addition to typing your question, you can now just speak it. Just tap on the mic next to the search box, ask your question in natural language, and Google will speak back the answer.

You can also ask Google "show me my emails from Ethan" or "what does my day look like tomorrow?" No more wondering when the UPS delivery man will knock on your door--just ask "when does my package arrive" and let your device speak the answer back. You can also try "when is my restaurant reservation?" to make sure you leave work on time for dinner.

Google Now adds Travel Cards: Voice Search Travel question on Google

voice search travel question on Google

Combining voice search and natural language understanding with our Search field trial is just the handy assistant you need, especially when you're on the go. You can join the field trial at https://www.google.com/experimental/gmailfieldtrial for an early preview of how this assistant can work for you!