Of all Google apps, Gmail is updated less frequently, and even when it’s updated, the changes are not that much. That has changed now as Google launched the biggest updates to Gmail some days ago. This includes some changes in the UI and a lot of changes in functionalities.
This article covers how you can start using the new Gmail right now, and the new features that come with it.
How to Enable the new Gmail
It’s easy. Just click on the Settings icon in the top right corner of Gmail and select Try the new Gmail, follow the prompts and you’re good to go.
Looking for a “Settings icon” in the top right corner of your Gmail mobile app? Oops, you won’t find it. Most of these new features are only available on Gmail for the web, and only about two are ported over to the mobile app (the features available on mobile will be indicated below).
But should you try out the new Gmail? Is it worth it? Read through its new features below and decide 😉
PS: If you don’t find the try option, relax. It’s being rolled out gradually and not all Gmail users have received the option yet.
Features of the new Gmail
Floating Action Buttons
You no longer have to open your email to perform actions like Archive, Delete, Mark as Unread and Snooze. When you hover your mouse over an email, the buttons for these actions will appear and you can perform them right from your Inbox folder.
Of course, you can still perform these actions on an email while reading it. All except Snooze.
Wait, what the hell is Snooze?
Google has added the ability to snooze emails right from the inbox with the new snooze action button. You can choose the duration for which your emails are snoozed from a preset list ranging from Later in the Day to Some Day, or specify a date and time yourself.
Nudges and Smart Replies – Google AI
Google has incorporated some of its Artificial Intelligence into Gmail. The service now uses AI to determine if an email is important to you, and brings it back to the top of your inbox if you’ve not read or replied it after some time. This most times means all emails you haven’t replied to.
Google has also brought over Smart Replies from the mobile app to the web. Smart Replies uses AI to present you with some reply phrases you might want to use to quickly answer a mail.
This mode prevents your recipient from forwarding, downloading, printing or copying/pasting the content of your mail. You can also set an expiry date for your emails.
If the email is that much of a security risk, you can add two-factor authentication and have your recipient provide a Google-generated passcode (sent via SMS) in order to read your message.
Unsubscribe from Newsletters
Once Google notices you haven’t read a newsletter for a long time, it automatically suggests that you unsubscribe it. From there, you’re just one tap away from unsubscribing. Not huge but useful for those of us who are subscribed to many newsletters and find it hell organizing our inbox as a result.
This is also available in an update to the Gmail mobile app, along with high-priority notifications (for the most important emails).
Integration with Google Apps
If you’re neck-deep into the Google Apps ecosystem, the new Gmail takes you an inch deeper. It comes with a right sidebar that allows you to use other Google apps. It comes with Calendar, Keep and Tasks by default, but you can add other Google Apps as well as any Gmail add-on.
You can switch back to the old Gmail by following the same procedure that brought you to the new, though I’ll have to ask what planet you are from if you choose to do that.
So, how do you feel about this Gmail revamp? Share your thoughts in the comments section.