Gmail is continuously adding new important features to make it compelling enough for users who have stayed with native email clients to start using web apps like Gmail. The latest one is a small but important feature that enables users to set Gmail as their default email client in their browsers.

So, the next time you open Gmail on Chrome, you will be greeted with a prompt like the one you see below


Once you give it a go, Google Chrome will open all the mailto: links within Gmail! Thanks to some HTML5 code running in the background. There have been several browser extensions and plugins which were doing something similar before, but with the latest update, none of those add-ons are necessary.

Google’s Michael Davidson, wrote in a blog post:

“I used to avoid clicking on email links on the web because an application on my computer that I never used would pop up and interrupt me. Instead, I would copy the email address, switch to Gmail, click compose and paste it in,”

Not anymore. For someone like me who prefers web-apps over desktop tools, these minor things matters a lot. Thankfully, the features works in other major browsers like Mozilla Firefox & Internet Explorer as well, but you won’t get the notification alert. You would have to manually set some options as explained by Softpedia:

In Firefox, go to the Preferences or Settings dialog, select the Applications section and search for “mailto.” You’ll be able to select between Gmail, Yahoo Mail or a service or app of your choosing. In Internet Explorer, click on the “wrench menu” button, go to the Search tab and select “Use Gmail for ‘Mail To’ links.”

More power to HTML5!

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