In my ever-so-humble opinion, one of the greatest features of Gmail is its speed. Google is no stranger to using clean interfaces in the name of haste, and some recent talk from a Google engineer goes a bit more in depth with Google’s plans for the service.
According to Adam de Boor, the engineer in question, Google’s largest push right now is in HTML5 implementation. We’re already seeing the ability to drag and drop attachments into Gmail, but de Boor states that the eventual goal is for deeper HTML5 use that will allow drag and drop downloading, among other features.
de Boor also claims that with HTML5 and CSS 3, Google will be able to cut the Gmail load time by 12%. Those of us who use Google’s Chrome browser are already getting a glimpse of the future of Gmail. By enabling the Application Shortcut for Gmail, a copy of that page is saved in the background. When loaded, the browser will link to the pre-loaded page resulting in a speed increase.
Technology Review gives us the heads up on the talk, and brings about a very good point as well. With loading times under 1 second, Gmail could very well set the standard by which future web applications will be measured.