The business and culture of our digital lives,
from the L.A. Times

« Previous Post | Technology Home | Next Post »

Google tries to prevent email embarrassment with new Gmail feature

April 15, 2011 |  7:33 pm


We've all been there.

After a bad day, you write a long, rambling complaint in email form to a friend -- then almost send the missive to another contact with a name similar to your buddy's.

On Wednesday, two popular features from Gmail Labs started rolling out to all users to help curb those missteps. Dubbed "Don't forget Bob" and "Got the wrong Bob?", the features aim to "prevent you from making two common mistakes: forgetting to include someone on an email, and sending a message to the wrong person with a similar name to the person you meant to email -- like emailing Bob (your boss) instead of Bob (your friend)," according to the official Gmail blog.

Once the feature is turned on for your Gmail account, Google will automatically suggest extra recipients for your emails based on the folks you email most often. If you see a suggestion for someone you missed, just click on their name to add them. The feature will also ask if you mistook one recipient for another with questions like "Did you mean: Charles instead of Charlotte"? Just click on the suggestion to replace the "wrong Bob" with the right one.

Sort of like Google Goggles, which tests users to prevent late-night, alcohol-driven emails, this could save people a lot of embarrassment.


Google to toughen privacy policy, undergo regular audits, in FTC settlement

China says Google's accusations about Gmail tampering are 'unacceptable'

Happy April Fools' Day from around the Web

-- Shan Li

Photo: "Got the wrong Bob?" feature at work in Gmail. Credit: Official Gmail blog