Google Wants To Save You Time From Typing Out Email Replies With Gmail's Smart Reply


For quite some time now, a great number of users have been using Smart Reply on Inbox by Google, the company's alternative email platform, usually the one often privy to receiving Google's more experimental features.

Smart Reply Hits The Gmail App

Well, it appears smart replies are now bleeding over to Gmail. For the uninitiated, these are auto-generated responses that'll appear when you need to reply to a friend. Usually in email correspondences, you just need to say "Thanks!" or "Noted!" or even "Working on it now." Gmail saves you time by automatically suggesting these phrases when it sees fit.

For example, if you receive an email asking whether you're available for a meeting on Monday, Smart Replies will suggest you one-tap replies such as "Let's do Monday" or "Monday works for me" and so on. You can then select a response and hit send, saving you the time it takes to type out the whole sentence.

Google says Smart Reply already drives 12 percent of all replies in Inbox on mobile devices. But starting Wednesday, May 17, the feature will also hit the Gmail app for both Android and iOS.

How To Use Smart Reply On Gmail

There's no direct way to use Gmail's Smart Reply feature, since it's actually more of a passive feature that'll sprout responses from time to time. Simply put, you'll just see them at certain points, specifically when you receive certain emails that require quick, shortly worded responses.

Once they do show up, using them is just as easy as tapping. There'll be three suggestions for every email, and you may select the one that best fits your situation or the context of the email. Then you can edit the response if need be. Hit send and voilà — you just saved precious time.

Gmail Smart Reply: How It Works

The more you use it, the more Google's Smart Reply feature gets better, thanks to machine learning. If it senses the responses you pick tend to be on the shorter side, such as picking "Thanks!" over "Thank you," then Google will start using this information to give you suggestions that better fits your response style.

To get more in-depth about the technology that enables Smart Reply, Google has also published a blog post that goes deep into the principles and behaviors that take place under the hood, so for those of you interested in learning more, it's definitely worth a read. To avoid the risk of oversimplifying the incredibly complex processes involved, let's just say that the feature takes inspiration on how humans understand languages.

Smart Reply is now rolling out globally for iOS and Android. There will initially be two languages: English and Spanish, with the latter set to arrive in the coming weeks. Whether Google plans to release Smart Reply in a bunch of other languages is yet to be determined, although it's highly likely it'll eventually do so.

Thoughts about Smart Reply? Have you tried the feature already, and has it been personally useful for you? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!

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