Wednesday, February 08, 2006

How to unlock hidden features in Gmail

I often wondered (well, not often, but at least once, or maybe more) why a lot of the features in Googles Gmail weren't available to me.

For instance, there's a cool feature that lets you see snippets of any RSS feed you like, called Google Web Clips. I could read the ad. I could even read the help pages. But I couldn't use the feature. Same goes for the new "Talk in Gmail" Ad that Australian Gmail Users might've read today.

I naively assumed that rolling out new features like this to everyone in the world might cause some kind of intragoogle support explosion that might cause everyone in Mountain View to cry. (well, I didn't actually think about it that much, as is evident by my lame assumption) . I did however conclude that the magic of google was somehow preventing me from getting access to such features - that I might as well just forget that they exist, and wait for the Blessing of Larry to enliven my web mail experience if and when He saw fit.

But, thanks to this post from Mike Little, I have found an easy way to enable all the goodies that have been otherwise off-limits to us non-Americans.

Just Change your language settings to English (US)

Voila! A veritable cornucopia of features. Web Clips, Chat in Gmail, Quick Contacts, Email Forwarding - all available if you're willing to forgo a few extraneous vowels, and some crazy use of the Z from time to time.

Cool huh?

Oh, and if you don't have a Gmail account, you could ask me nicely for one...

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