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Gmail Video Leak Reveals New Tools

Several new elements in the forthcoming Gmail redesign were accidentally revealed by Google in a You Tube video, which was taken down a few days after it was 'leaked'. The video revealed a host of changes, including a redesigned interface that shows profile pictures of the sender when you receive new emails.

The way you view Gmail messages has changed to "make it feel more like a real conversation", according to Google. The search tool has also been revamped, with new filters that make it easier to find emails. There is a range of new themes that include high-resolution images to give your inbox a more personal feel.

New Preview Panes

Another new feature will be the Preview Pane, which lets you see part of an email before you open it. Preview Panes are used in many other email services, but until now, Gmail hasn't offered it. If you don't like it, you'll easily be able to switch to the familiar 'list' view.

The changes were revealed in a one-and-a- half minute video posted to YouTube that wasn't supposed to have been shared with the public, a Google spokeswoman said. "Stay tuned, we'll be sharing more info on Gmail's new look soon," she added.

This isn't the first time Google has accidentally revealed information about its products before it was meant to. In September 2008, the Chrome browser was unveiled when a comic explaining the features of Chrome was circulated online two days before a planned announcement.

Search privacy boosted 

The news of the Gmail changes comes on the back of announcements from Google that it plans to boost the privacy of its search tool. From now on, if you use Google to search the web while signed into one of your Google accounts, such as Gmail, the results will be encrypted.

Because Google provides personalized search results for signed-in users, the encryption is designed to stop criminals accessing data relating to sites you've visited.

Meanwhile, rumors that Google is planning to launch a music-download service have surfaced again, with industry insiders expecting a November launch for a service called Google Music. No details have been officially confirmed yet, but the Wall Street Journal reported that Google has signed deals with at least two of the four major music labels. It is thought that the service will launch in the US first, with other countries, including the UK, having to wait until next year.

Google Music Beta, an invite-only service that lets members upload their music collection to the cloud and access it from any web-connected device, is already running in the US, though it's not yet accessible anywhere else.