Google Merges Mail and Search Functions

Google's finally done the obvious — merged its Gmail and search functions.

"People would ask me questions, over chat or email, and I'd have to leave Gmail to search Google for an answer," gripes Google engineer Adam de Boor in a posting on the official Gmail blog. "Then I'd have to select the answer, copy it, go back to Gmail and paste the answer into the chat window or my reply."

De Boor's not the only person who's wondered why you couldn't just search Google from within Gmail, but at least he could do something about it.

"With the new Google Search experiment in Gmail Labs, my problem is solved," he continues.

Basically, once you turn it on in the "Labs" part of "Settings," a little search field appears in the left-hand navbar. Type in a term, and three or four Google search results appear in a pop-up window superimposed on the pages. Click one and it'll open a new window or tab.

It's pretty cool, and it even allows to you paste URLs into e-mails or chats automatically.

• Click here to read more about this on the Gmail blog.

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