Google Gmail Gets Apps Search, iPad Gets Stacked

Google's Gmail Labs team is letting Gmail users sift through Google Docs and Google Sites with Apps Search. Google also boosted Gmail for iPad by adding stacked conversations.

Google's Gmail Labs team is letting Gmail users sift through documents, presentations, spreadsheets and Websites with Apps Search.

When users enable this capability in the Gmail Labs tab under Settings, the "Search Mail" button that sits atop their Gmail in-box will say "Search Mail and Docs."

When users search, results for relevant Docs and Sites will appear under e-mail results in Gmail.

"You may notice that mail results show up just as fast as before while non-mail results may take a tiny bit longer," noted Google software engineer Brian Moolenarr. "That way, if you're just looking for an e-mail, having this lab enabled won't slow you down."

Users have long been able to sift through their Gmail in-box for e-mail messages using Google search. Making Google Docs and Google Sites searchable should enhance the experience for those trying to track down their documents and sites.

Google Apps Standard Edition users may use this feature immediately. Employees who use Premier and Education Edition will need their domain administrators to enable Gmail Labs from the Google Apps control panel if they haven't already done so.

The Gmail Labs team has launched more than 50 mini app experiments to test in Gmail since June 2008. Only a couple, such as Tasks, have graduated; some were jettisoned.

Google's Gmail team also upgraded its Gmail app for Apple's iPad with a crisp-looking "stacked card" user interface for managing multiple conversations.

Previously, Gmail for iPad users who wished to select conversations saw one toolbar on the bottom left and the other on the top right.

While the one on the left affected the selected conversations, the one on the right affected the currently open conversation. But because they both appeared similar, users frequently tapped the wrong toolbar by mistake.

In the new interface, there is only one toolbar on the right with selected conversations stacked for easy management.

In U.S. English only now, this upgrade comes one day after Yahoo joined the iPad party in launching Yahoo Mail for iPad, which sports a dual-pane view, and two months after Google revised its Gmail for iPad compose window.