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Google's HTML5 plans for Gmail include 1 second-to-Inbox startup

The Download Squad staff loves their Gmail, and so do our readers (according to Sebastian's recent-but-not-at-all-scientific poll). It's an excellent app, and I can't imagine ever changing back to a desktop email client.

But Google wants to deliver a more desktop-like user experience in Gmail, and they're planning to lean on HTML5 to do it. Recently Google added drag-and-drop support via supported browsers, and it's a feature some of my less-technical friends love. Google is now working on reversing the process -- allowing us to drag files out of Gmail messages and drop them onto our local folders.

Apart from making user interaction in Gmail more like our desktop apps, Google also hopes to use HTML5 tech to turn on the afterburners. In a discussion with Technology Review's Erica Naone, Adam de Boor talks about possible performance leaps with the upcoming extension app support in Google Chrome.

Extension apps will further blur the divide between Gmail as a Web app and desktop email with permission to access additional local resources, and Boor hopes that it will eventually lead to Gmail startup times of "less than a second."

That'd be sweet... you know, if I ever closed my Gmail tab.

Stopwatch image by Flickr user Erika_Marshall
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Tags: apps, extension, gmail, google, html5, speed, web