The major Gmail redesign, the biggest in years, is now officially rolling out, with big changes such as confidential and self-destructing emails, nudging, email snoozing, and more.
The changes have been gradually leaking recently and now the update is finally live, albeit the rollout is phased so it might take a while to reach all users. Gmail has a massive 1.4 billion users and not all will get the changes at once, but the global rollout will nonetheless hit all users soon.
For now, those who are among the first to receive the update will get an invite for an opt-in to use the new features and redesign.
Gmail Features Borrowed From Inbox
Inbox by Gmail brought a less cluttered, more organized inbox experience, sporting some neat features to make things easier. Gmail is now borrowing some of those features such as the ability to take various actions without actually opening an email.
For instance, simply hovering over an email will trigger action icons with options to delete, archive, mark as read, or snooze. The latter option allows users to snooze an email just like they would an alarm and have it resurface later in the day, the next day, later in the week, or even later on.
This snoozing option could prove useful when an important email is not urgent and the users rather not have it clutter in their inbox, but still want to make sure they don't forget about it.
It's worth pointing out, however, that this snoozing option seems to be available only when hovering over an email from the inbox, and not when the email is actually opened.
Alternately, Gmail now also offers a "nudging" option, which will remind the users of certain emails that are deemed important, prompting them to reply or follow up. To determine which emails are important enough for a nudge, Google relies on artificial intelligence.
At the same time, Gmail is finally getting smart replies for the web version as well. The smart replies feature has been available in Inbox and the Gmail mobile apps for a while now, but so far, the web version of Gmail has not offered this option.
Gmail Confidential Mode With Self-Destructing Emails And More
The confidential mode is among the biggest new features of the Gmail redesign, bringing extra security and self-destructing emails. Upon sending an email, one can now choose for how long it will be available. Once that set period expires, the email will self-destruct and the recipient will no longer be able to access it.
At the same time, those who receive emails in confidential mode will not be able to forward the content, copy-paste it, download, or print it. On the other hand, there's no measure in place to prevent the recipient from taking screenshots, but at least the email would be gone once the timer expires.
For extra security, senders can also enable two-factor authentication, which would require the recipient to enter a Google-generated passcode received via SMS to access the email.
Gmail Sidebar And Offline Mode
Gmail is also getting a new offline mode, allowing users to stop up to 90 days of emails and access them offline. Moreover, Google has also added a new sidebar on the right side, allowing users to have Google Calendar, Google Keep, and Google Tasks for quick access.
This sidebar marks the most prominent visual change in the latest Gmail redesign, but users can also choose to collapse it and focus their attention on the inbox. The panel on the left side, meanwhile, can now be collapsed as well.
Lastly, Google also added some new machine learning algorithms to Gmail, designed to further protect users against phishing scams.