This is part of a regular series of Google Apps updates that we post every couple of weeks. Look for the label “Google Apps highlights” and subscribe to the series. – Ed.
In the last couple of weeks, we’ve helped you personalize Gmail in new ways, made our applications speedier to use, brought text recognition and editing powers to Android phones, and given you a glimpse into the inner workings of a Google data center.
Customize Gmail with a favorite photo
For a long while, Gmail has had themes so your inbox can reflect a bit of your personality. Now, you can set Gmail’s background to a photo from your computer or Picasa Web Albums. So if Gmail’s standard theme choices don’t quite float your boat, now we’re sure you can create a theme you’ll love.
Faster multitasking in Gmail with the Background Send Lab
Features like nearly-instant search and integrated instant messaging help you save time in your inbox, but we’re always looking for new ways to speed up your experience in Gmail. On Monday we released a new feature in Labs called Background Send that can shave off a few seconds each time you hit “Send.” With this feature enabled, you can start working with other messages while your outgoing message is processed in the background without slowing you down. Give it a try from the Labs tab of Gmail Settings.
Streamlined file uploads in Google Docs
On Monday, we sped up the Google Docs experience with improvements to file uploads. Now you can upload a whole folder at once, and if you use Chrome, Safari or Firefox, you can even drag and drop files from your desktop into the documents list or specific collections. You’ll also see an upload progress window right in the documents list.
New Google Docs app for Android
Thanks to a brand new Google Docs app for Android, it’s easier to browse, search, edit and share your documents right from your mobile phone. You can even create new documents by snapping a picture of text with your phone’s camera, and thanks to Google Docs’ optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities, words in the image are converted to text that you can continue editing from your phone or computer.
100 new fonts in Google SitesWith more design choices in Google Sites, you can create better looking sites that match the look and feel you want to achieve. This Wednesday, we added