Google adds more shortcuts to Gmail

In its ongoing efforts to simplify Gmail’s inbox management, Google has rolled out more buttons to let people perform common actions without having to open messages.

The new batch of “quick-action buttons,” as Google calls them, let users rate restaurants they ordered food from using Seamless, change restaurant reservations made with OpenTable, open Dropbox folders, and launch Google Docs files.

Google already offered buttons for rating restaurants, viewing flight information, renewing magazine subscriptions, and responding to event invitations.

The company is encouraging website and Web app developers to learn how they can add these and other action buttons to the emails they send to Gmail users.

Google also announced separately that users can now view email attachments on Gmail and save them directly to Google Drive, instead of having to first download them to their computers.

This new feature will be turned on for all Gmail users progressively over the next week. There are now about 120 million active users of the Drive cloud storage service

Tools to tame email

Taming email overload remains a challenge for many users, and webmail providers like Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo regularly add tools to their services for filtering, prioritizing, organizing, and sorting inbox messages.

In May, Google introduced a redesigned inbox for Gmail that sorts incoming messages into different tabbed categories, diverting messages from social media sites and commercial offers into Social and Promotions categories, respectively.

Gmail also detects dates within the body of email messages and asks users if they wish to create a Google Calendar entry.

A few years ago, Google launched its Priority Inbox technology for Gmail, designed to automatically assign different levels of importance to messages and, based on that, give them more or less prominence in the inbox.

Updated 11/12/2013 at 11 a.m. to add information about Google updates on email attachments

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