File Under: Web Services

Gmail: Now With Custom Themes

Google is adding custom themes to Gmail.

Gmail’s web interface has long offered themes, allowing you to change its appearance to suit your whims, but choices were limited to the few canned options Google made available. The color schemes in Gmail themes are still limited to Google’s picks, but now Google is allowing users to upload their own images to create custom backgrounds.

To try out the new options head to Gmail’s settings menu and click the Themes link. Then look for the Custom Themes section where you’ll see a link to “Change your background image.”

To add a custom background you can upload your own images directly, select from your Google+ photos or point Gmail to an online image with a URL. There’s also a featured photos section you can browse and search for some high-quality images.

The new custom images aren’t going to change the way you use Gmail by any means, but if you’re like us and you differentiate accounts by appearance, themes aren’t just eye candy, they’re practical, helping you immediately know which account you’re logged into.

If you aren’t seeing the new Custom Themes section just yet, be patient; as with most Google updates this one is rolling out gradually. In the mean time you can see themes in action in this video from Google: