Gmail Parochialism

Well, perhaps parochialism isn't precisely the right word - but it's somefing like that.

Was just Gtalk IMing with my dear, wonderful cousin Michael Quinn (the other Canadian transplant in the clan - although he's set up shop way the heck over there in the lovely Laurentian Mountains, a long way from the concrete and glass of Hogtown).

Michael pointed out something strange in Gmail. If you have your default display language set to English (UK) you're missing out on a shed load of new features that have pumped into the beta in recent months. The ability to define Groups in your contact list, for example, or change the "From" address for outbound emails, or use the "Vacation Responder" (Gmail's version of the Out of Office Assistant) - these and a bundle of other extra goodies have been sneaked into the app in classic Google style, with little or no fanfare over the last however many weeks.

But the only way to access these fine features is if Google thinks you're in the US. Punters in other parts of the world clearly aren't ready for such splendid extra widgetry.

Easy fix for this, of course. Just pull up your Google account Settings from the top of Gmail, switch the default display language to "English (US)", save settings, then pop back into the app.

Woo hoo! There's all the new goodies, just waiting for you to fiddle with.