While many of us might already own an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich device like the Galaxy Nexus only the few with things such as the ASUS Transformer Prime or the WiFi XOOM with the latest Android 4.0.3 update can enjoy the new features under the “experiments tab in Gmail. The Transformer Prime just received ICS so we gave it a look.

Ice Cream Sandwich is still fairly new but Google is already implementing new features and experimenting with possible ones and the Gmail application has a few that look promising — although nothing revolutionary or amazing. These two new options however do make Gmail feel even more complete and are quite nifty if I don’t say so myself.

The first one is pretty self explanatory and basically indexes entire messages so you can easily search and find them based on content, not just titles. The second one is what I was excited about, especially on a touch-based operating system and enables dragging contacts and they are being called “chips”. The new style for contacts are almost like tiles and we can now press and hold then move any of these contact chips wherever we need or would like. To/Cc/Bcc is as simple as a long press and dragging where you’d like. Nothing amazing here but neat nevertheless.

Obviously this is the early stages and only an experiment for now but we expect these to be present with future updates and more experimental features added as the updates roll out. If you have an Android 4.0.3 device give it a try and let us know what you think.

[via Computer World]

  • PacoBell

    I’m thinking this is a tablet-only feature as I’m running ICS on my N1 and I don’t see that option in my Gmail app.

    • Your ICS isn’t an official build for your device, so you cant judge the OS by it. 

      Experiments exist on 4.0.3 on Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus and offer this same functionality.

      • My 4.0.2 Verizon GNex doesn’t have this option.. it’s for 4.0.3 atm

      • You’re right, only for 4.0.2, GN users will have to wait a bit (wonder what Google is doing anyway). 

  • dwinsmith

    If I understand this correctly the Android Gmail is just now getting full text search, something an iPhone connected to Gmail has been able to do for awhile?? Bizarre.

    • Phil

      I believe this feature is to allow full text searching offline.. ie without being connected to the internet.

    • Bpscrapmail

      You don’t understand correctly.  That’s why you own an iPhone.

      • dwinsmith

        Oooh…good one!

  • Nevabsatisfied

    Its pretty cool! I’m running ICS on Samsung vibrant.