Gmail users can soon use custom themes

Gmail users have been able to change the background themes on the Gmail.com webpage for several years now. However, they have always been at the mercy of Google's own choices for colors, designs and pictures. That will all change later this week. In a new post on the official Gmail blog, Google announced that soon users will be able to put in their own background themes.

The video above gives an example of how custom themes can be put into action on Gmail. The post says that:

You can upload your own images directly, select from your Google+ photos or simply paste any image URL. Or, if you don't have a particular image in mind, you can browse our searchable Featured Photos section to find one that speaks to you.

While this is admittedly a bit of a cosmetic feature, it's one that we know all those millions of Gmail users will welcome. Soon you will be able to put in your favorite Justin Bieber background to look at while you search your growing inbox. Or perhaps a background with the Neowin logo might suit your fancy. In any case, we suspect there will be a lot of use for this small but interesting update.

Source: Gmail blog

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23 Comments

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I went into this article thinking they've finally gained some sanity.

I was wrong.

Background image =/= theme. Title should read "Gmail users can soon use custom backgrounds"

All I want is the old 'theme' back.

Using Stylish with a skin styled like the old one is just a buggy workaround and doesn't re-create the entire look or feel of the old layout.

Again, like with Youtube, they've ignored the thousands of complaints on their forums about this change and basically said "use basic HTML or GTFO" to everyone.

Gmail is now going to become even uglier, given the fact we probably look at our mail interface more than our desktop I guess this has its place.

Toysoldier said,
Gmail is now going to become even uglier, given the fact we probably look at our mail interface more than our desktop I guess this has its place.

You do realise changing your background is optional? If you hate it so much, just don't enable it..

Feinraf said,

You do realise changing your background is optional? If you hate it so much, just don't enable it..

Of corse I do, I use outlook and the client in wp7, never said I hated it just that its going to turn into MySpace ugly

Toysoldier said,
Of corse I do, I use outlook and the client in wp7, never said I hated it just that its going to turn into MySpace ugly

Except that it wouldn't? Any change you made to your profile in Myspace was viewable by everyone, but with Gmail if you change your background then it is only you that will see it, not anyone else.

I love having a custom background on my google search homepage and some of the more plain backgrounds look cool on its other apps like gmail etc. But I hate the look of gmail or igoogle or whatever with a photo background, it's too 'busy' for my liking.

I have this already. I haven't checked before reading this so I don't know how long it was there. Maybe there is more being added.

I have custom theme, light or dark and then can pick an image from their gallery, Picasa, my Android or IOS phone if I have Google+ on it, put in a URL or upload an image.

So an old feature is being touted as a new feature? I remember custom themes before Gmail switched to the new unified Google UI.

Still, I'm glad it's back.

It would be great if you could create a corporate theme and also a standard corporate signature and deploy it to everyone in your organization who use a Google Apps account.

Brian Miller said,
It would be great if you could create a corporate theme and also a standard corporate signature and deploy it to everyone in your organization who use a Google Apps account.

Lots of horrible design and human interface principle flaws incoming! D'oh...

GS:mac

Brian Miller said,
It would be great if you could create a corporate theme and also a standard corporate signature and deploy it to everyone in your organization who use a Google Apps account.

Yeah, I believe all you can do is change the GMail logo to a small logo of your own...

MrXXIV said,
It's not like..anybody's gonna see it.

Same can be said for a lot of desktop wallpapers...

d'uh, as if that was the intention.
If I used webmail, it wouldn't be too shabby to be greeted by beautiful pictures or wallpaper-esque images.
Just my 2ยข

GS:mac

Quote:
Gmail users have been able to change the background themes on
the Gmail.com webpage for several years now.
Unquote.

Themes on Gmail have been around only since November 2008, so not several years at all.
Or, have you been to the near future, and posted the article from the year 2015?!?

DJGM said,
Quote:
Gmail users have been able to change the background themes on
the Gmail.com webpage for several years now.
Unquote.

Themes on Gmail have been around only since November 2008, so not several years at all.
Or, have you been to the near future, and posted the article from the year 2015?!?


Considering this is 2012....it actually is several years since those themes change the background.

DJGM said,
Quote:
Gmail users have been able to change the background themes on
the Gmail.com webpage for several years now.
Unquote.

Themes on Gmail have been around only since November 2008, so not several years at all.
Or, have you been to the near future, and posted the article from the year 2015?!?

I thought it was Google.com that had them . . .

Soon you will be able to put in your favorite Justin Bieber background to look at while you search your growing inbox.

Them's fighting words.

That said, a bit of customization is a nice addition, even if it's a minor thing.