Chicago (IL) – Google has introduced a new web search widget for its popular Gmail service. The optional feature, which can be activated in Gmail Labs under the Settings tab, allows users to search the Internet without opening a new browser window.
“People would ask me questions, over chat or email, and I’d have to leave Gmail to search Google for an answer. Then I’d have to select the answer, copy it, go back to Gmail and paste the answer into the chat window or my reply,” software engineer Adam de Boor explained in a blog post. “Sometimes I’d get distracted and forget to go back to Gmail, and I’d have to go through it all again when I remembered what I’d been doing. With the new Google Search experiment in Gmail Labs, my problem is solved. Type your search in, and a window (like a chat window, but a bit bigger) appears at the bottom of your screen with the first few search results. “
According to de Boor, users can easily insert the search results into chats and e-mails. De Boor also recommended enabling the “Navbar drag and drop” in Labs to move the web search box up to the top of the page for easier access.
Google has added a number of new features to Gmail over the past few months, including search autocomplete, support for various Indian languages and extra emoticons. The search giant has also “rewritten Gmail” for mobile devices and offline use.