Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Gmail and Changing My Name

I got an email from my dad over the weekend asking me whether Mr. EB and I wanted to join him and my mom for a wine tasting event in a couple of weeks. This is not an abnormal type of email to receive from him, given his love of wine and the fun he has finding new wineries to add to his list of favorites. But at the very end of his email he made an off-hand comment saying "Mrs. EB I see you've changed your name. Cool."

My reaction to this email was: 1) Heck yes on the wine tasting! and 2) Huh? I haven't done anything about changing my name yet. What on earth is he talking about? 

So I asked him that and he said that in Gmail (which is the email program that we both use) when he typed my name into the address bar it came up as FirstName NewLastName, even though he could see that my email address was still FirstName.OldLastName@gmail.com. 

I have to admit, this one had me stumped. 

He hadn't changed anything in Gmail on his end, and I hadn't done anything yet to change my name in any of my online accounts, so I had no idea how this had happened! I sat there for awhile thinking that Gmail truly did know all and had mined my emails and blogger posts where I talked about how I was planning on changing my name, and they figured out what my new name was going to be and they totally changed it for me!

Um, no. They didn't. Turns out my dad had changed my name in his phone (which uses the Android operating system) and it ended up filtering out to his Gmail account a day or so later.

So while Gmail may be all powerful in many ways, they have not yet started changing peoples' names for them. Yet.

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