Gmail’s new features – Atom feed and “inline” Contact list

In: Neat Stuff

4 Oct 2004

Just noticed this:

Screenshot of Gmail atom feed button

They’ve made the Contacts page “inline” instead of popping up a new window.

Obviously the Atom feed won’t work unless you are authenticated (so RSS/Atom feed readers won’t be able to get anything). I wonder how this can be used. Hmm… I smell something cool.

We’ll know soon enough when Google updates the New Features page.

22 Responses to Gmail’s new features – Atom feed and “inline” Contact list



October 4th, 2004 at 6pm

I didn’t see these features in my account yet, what’s the issue ??!!



October 4th, 2004 at 7pm

Yeah, I don’t see these yet either. Looks like they’re rolling them out to users in some particular order.



October 4th, 2004 at 8pm

It’s cool!
But really… how does it work? Authentication via URL parameter?!

P.S. I also can’t see the icon yet…



October 4th, 2004 at 11pm

I don’t see the new features yet either, but in my estimation the Atom feed should work with Firefox’s Livemarks, since you would be already authenticated through FF.

:insert more gbrowser rumours here:



October 5th, 2004 at 12am

I got the new features this morning in my inbox. The Atom feed can be used with something like the Sage extension for Firefox that allows you to basically have a simple RSS/Atom feed reader in a Firefox sidebar. I added the Gmail Atom feed into Sage and now I can use that to check my Gmail account without opening up Gmail in the browser.

I wrote up a little entry about it on my blog if anyone is interested:


Strang's Blog

October 5th, 2004 at 1am

GMail and atom
Some sites have reported that Gmail will support Atom-feeds soon. However, the feature doesn’t seem to have propagated to all accounts yet. I guess we’ll notice when it does….



October 5th, 2004 at 2am

Don’t see it myself, but I’ve seen more and more people who’ve noticed it.

I don’t know if it was mentioned before but most modern feedreaders do support authentication.

I think it’ll simple http auth. some encryption would be nice, although I’ve noticed that gmail will go SSL if you open the url after you’ve been authenticated.


Jeff Mesnil

October 5th, 2004 at 3am

On my Gmail account, I also have the possibility to save drafts and to forward email to another email address (some screenshots).

Did you get that too?




October 5th, 2004 at 6am

I don’t have the drafts feature or the atom. I feel so left out :(


Richard Soderberg

October 5th, 2004 at 7am

Obviously the Atom feed won’t work unless you are authenticated (so RSS/Atom feed readers won’t be able to get anything).

Several of the newsreaders I’m aware of integrate with the web browser’s authentication handler for web services, including cookie-based authentication; I reported one or two WebKit crashes with regards to the cookie sharing stuff. The browser-based readers and the .NET-based readers also are likely to have access to authentication cookies, but in any case it matters very much how GMail does things now and how each individual reader integrates with the user’s process properly.



October 5th, 2004 at 11am

After a second thought, it’s cool, BUT useless…

I also have the Gmail notifier for Mozilla/Firefox. Google also had released its own Gmail notifier.

If someone doesn’t use these tools, he/she needs to login Gmail first before using the feed. So how useful can it be? :-/



October 5th, 2004 at 4pm

I dont have the options yet, but the inline Contacts isa big step in the right direction, for both speed and usability.
Personally, I’m waiting / hoping for them in allow contacts to be grouped, and thus emails filtered based on their respecive groupings (Family, university, accounts etc).

Nice site btw :)



Just Another Blog

October 5th, 2004 at 11pm

Gmail’s New Features
Some people are more lucky more I! Cheah Chu Yeow found Atom feed and inline contact list and Jeff Mesnil found drafts and mail forwarding. These new features are not available to most users, so stay calm. :-)

It’s nice to see these improvements. …



October 6th, 2004 at 4am

If anyone hasn’t got the Atom feed, you can find it at

Interestingly, you can use HTTP auth. This means you can use the [email protected] construct in alot of feed readers. Add this to your feed reader:

http://gmailusername:[email protected]/gmail/feed/atom/

If you use Livemarks or Sage and GMail is always logged in, you don’t need to do this, but its probably better to do so.


Nathan Wong

October 6th, 2004 at 9am

Hmm, I’m not seeing the Atom feed either, and it’s not mentioned on the new features.. I take it’s in beta testing, and perhaps they’ll rewrite the way it works somehow.. like a hash key (similar to WHM (CPanel Web Host Manager) remote sort of thing), instead of your raw password.. something you can regenerate easily, and something that doesn’t expose anything.



October 11th, 2004 at 10am

i haven’t seen the atom icon yet. but i’d think the atom feed may be incorporated into notifier, while the atom feed may include not only gmail, but also google group and google alert.



October 12th, 2004 at 12am

And in GMail related news…
Skinning GMail Over at, Hammers has used the URLid extension for Firefox to create a personal skin for GMail using CSS. The result is less than stunning, however does show the potential. Personally, GMail’s interface has put me of…



October 12th, 2004 at 10am

Como me registro en Gmail Porfavor ayudenme !
[email protected]



October 17th, 2004 at 9pm

The Atom-icon was shown for just a little period of time (testing purposes only). I think this means that it will be perfectionised so don’t worry ;)



October 29th, 2004 at 10pm

In Firefox, create a livemark pointing to:
https://username:[email protected]/gmail/feed/atom
Note that only the messages marked as new will be displayed.
Hope it helps.


Jeff Mesnil’s Weblog » Blog Archive » Gmail new features: Drafts and Mail Forwarding

May 3rd, 2006 at 3am

[…] Google has updated Gmail and added a few features such as inline contacts and atom feed (more details). […]


Mohan Pathare

October 11th, 2007 at 5pm

It is really very nice. But when i use link in which username and password is mentioned i get error. i am not getting what is actually that.