Update: The Google Gmail team is at it again, but this time fun is trumping hardcore functionality.
Basking in the warm reception of its new Gmail voice and video chat utility, Google has added more than 30 themes you can choose from to make your in-box look colorful, cool or just better tuned to your personality.
The move recalls Google's April introduction of iGoogle artist themes, launched with flair by Google search guru Marissa Mayer in Manhattan in summer 2008. These digitally rendered masterpieces proved popular because users could leverage the palettes from real artists to liven their iGoogle pages.
To customize your in-box, go to a new "Themes" tab under Gmail settings.
Unfortunately, I don't see it yet but I've pinged Google's Gmail team to get whitelisted. As of 6 p.m. EST, I've been whitelisted. It's pretty cool and I'm currently using the Graffiti feature until I get tired of my tabs being shrouded in darkness.
If you don't see it yet, don't fret. Gmail engineer Annie Chen said Google will be rolling out the Themes feature to all users over the next few days.
"There's a shiny theme with chrome styling, another one that turns your inbox 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. There's even an old school ascii theme (Terminal) which was the result of a bet between two engineers -- it's not exactly practical, but it's great for testing out your geek cred."
So, it looks to me like Gmail is getting prettier as well as more useful. How about you? Do you see the Gmail themes feature? What do you think?