9 Gmail features I’d like to see

It’s 2 am. You’ve had a bit to drink, and you have the urge to email that old flame, even though no good can come from it. But don’t worry — Google’s got your back with Mail Goggles. Unless you have a hankering to pass a small Gmail math test, that email isn’t going anywhere. Better to kick back and turn on the TV.

Then came Gmail’s Canned Responses — automated email responses for those lazy souls who can’t be bothered to compose personal replies to their incoming mail. And today Google announced full-color graphic emoticons. Say goodbye to 😉 — text just isn’t good enough anymore.

Which leads me to wonder, what will Gmail’s engineers think of next? I’ve come up with nine potential feature ideas:

1. Yoyo — Worried about that email you sent by mistake? Let YoYo pull it back for you before it does any damage. It also erases any potential trail.

2. Follow — Let Follow tell you where your emails are going, and who is forwarding them to whom. That way they won’t come back to haunt you later.

3. Scrubber — Questionable comments in your email? Political incorrectness? Let Scrubber clean that up for you. Select from G-, PG-, or R-rated options.

4. Chameleon — You’re sending a critical email to others in your organization. Let Chameleon rewrite your email uniquely for each recipient, based on their stored comprehension profiles. Finally you can impress everyone without any effort at all.

5. GetToThePoint — Tired of long, rambling emails? GetToThePoint will extract the nugget of useful information from the email, or tell you if there was nothing important in there at all. Think of the time you’ll save.

6. Reciprocator — Tired of spam? Reciprocator determines the spammer’s actual email address and then, using all of Google’s global resources, sends gigabytes of email back to them, decimating their bandwidth limits.

7. Psychic — Psychic checks incoming email and does a complete background search on the sender. Psychic determines if you actually want to receive email from this person, and if not, bounces it back and deletes it. Save yourself the trouble before it ever starts.

8. Eliminator — Declaring email bankruptcy? Eliminator will analyze every email in your inbox, generate an appropriate reply, and then delete the email, until you inbox is empty. You’ll want to use it every day. Perhaps you already are.

9. Translate — For some reason, perhaps my last name, I get a lot of Gmail in Portuguese and Italian. Translate would automatically render these in English (or your language of choice) so that you could figure out what they actually said, and verify that spam in other languages is just as irritating as spam written in English.

These tools might sound a bit silly at first glance, but honestly, who hasn’t wished for these things at one time or another? These features could attract legions of new users, and make Gmail even more profitable.

After all, fuel for the new corporate jet is probably going to be pretty expensive. 😉

Larry Borsato has been a software developer, marketer, consultant, public speaker, and entrepreneur, among other things. For more of his unpredictable, yet often entertaining thoughts you can read his blog at larryborsato.com.

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