Google began allowing users to extend online searches to include messages stored in accounts at Web-based email service Gmail.
“Sometimes the best answer to your question isn’t available on the public web — it may be contained elsewhere, such as in your email,”Google search senior vice-president Amit Singhal said in a blog post. “We think you shouldn’t have to be your own mini search engine to find the most useful information; it should just work.”
Google invited people to visit google.com/experimental/gmailfieldtrial to sign up to take part in the new feature, which was still taking shape which is described as useful and unobtrusive.
The trial was limited to English language searches and messages in Gmail accounts.
Enhancements under development include a feature for organising air travel confirmation emails so a query of “my flights” would serve up results that include a concise list of bookings.
Google described this initiative as baby steps, but important ones on way to building the search engine of the future.