Online giant Google has recently reveals plans to make changes to its email service Gmail by giving it its biggest revamp in the last five years.
The planned redesign has been in the pipeline for two years and intends to make the platform compete better against Microsoft Outlook, especially in the business sector. It is also an attempt to modernise the interface by giving it a new look, improved privacy settings and some new advanced AI-powered functionality.
The lead product manager, Jacob Bank, described the plans as an entire rewrite for the company’s flagship product, which is used by nearly 1.5 billion people per month.
One of the new features that should catch the attention of users is the ability to ‘snooze’ emails. This would work in a similar way to an alarm clock, which allows a user to delay the sending of an email until a date or time specified by the user. Furthermore, it will also be including a function to be called ‘nudge’, which acts as a little notification that displays messages with reminders to respond to certain messages, so that users don’t forget to reply to important emails.
The new and improved Gmail interface will also bring some features that are already available on the mobile app version of the platform to the desktop version, with one of these being smart reply. This suggests a number of quick replies that are based on the contents of the message received. These are sent by the click of a button and are designed to save users the time of having to type out a reply.
Cosmetic adjustments to the platform are set to bring Gmail on par with Microsoft Office, with the addition of the Google Calendar, note-taking services and tasks all being housed in one place, along with its instant message options.
Protection against scams and phishing will also be improved with the updated version of Gmail, with more prominent warnings regarding suspicious emails set to be introduced alongside a new function called ‘confidential mode’. This will allow users to send messages with expiration dates on them in order to prevent forwarding, printing and copying emails. Previously sent emails will also be able to be called back and revoked, and it will allow users to send locked emails that require a one-time code to be input by the recipient in order to be read in order, thus ensuring only the intended recipient has access to the information.
The changes to Gmail are set to be rolled out in the coming weeks, and users of the platform are able to preview the them by opting into the new design by clicking “Try the new Gmail” option in the settings bar once it has become available.