July 2, 2010

G1 Report: Disappearance and Comeback of the Checkbox in Gmail

A former feature returned to my G1. Several months had passed since I last seen it. When it disappeared, I was annoyed because it was useful. Over time I got used to it being gone…then, just as unexpectedly, it reappeared. I was delighted, but also wondering why it was removed in the first place.

What I’m referring to is a Checkbox found in Gmail. May not be the climax you expected, but context makes it special to me. When used, a menu appears from the bottom of the screen with three functions: Archive, Labels, and Delete. Multiple emails can undergo any of these three functions.

When the Checkbox disappeared, I had to then (a) either open the email or select an email to display a pop-up and then (b) make a selection. These methods didn’t match the quickness of the Checkbox.

I’m wondering why something so useful was taken away. But I’m glad the Checkbox is back and hope its availability in mobile Gmail is permanent this time. It is a small thing, but big in usefulness. And when something is useful, size does not matter.

• • •

Read the previous G1 Report about Android Apps including Actor and Writer Stephen Fry’s Review of Google’s debut Android phone.