October 9, 2018

But what ARE the new Gmail features?

Surprise! We split this Gmail redesign launch into two parts, for easy digestion (yum). Here we’ll look at the actual changes from a features perspective. If you want commentary on its potential impact, head over here for my thoughts. Now, on to the good stuff…

Offline mode: Replaces the Gmail Offline Chrome app. Users will be able to search, compose, reply, delete, and archive up to 90 days worth of messages offline. It’s supported by the Chrome browser only. Simply type in “mail.google.com” in Chrome and you’re good to go.

Confidential mode: One of the more discussed features, composing an email in confidential mode allows a user to remove the option to forward, copy, download, or print messages sent to other users. It also allows an expiration date to be set to control access of the information in the email. Ideal for use cases such as sending customer proposals, sensitive information, tax returns, PII info, or financial information.

GSuite Apps Integrated Sidebar: Available on the right side of the new redesign, this sidebar allows you quickly reference or manage other Gsuite apps’ actions, like creating or editing Calendar invites, adding notes in Keep or managing a list of to-do’s in Tasks, all from a side panel in your inbox. The side panel also allows third-party apps to be added in.

Hover-Over Quick Actions: A primary theme in the redesign is increasing efficiency and productivity. The new hover-over actions allow a user to click on attachments, archive, delete, mark as read, or even snooze all without having to open the actual email itself.

Snooze: A feature first introduced in Inbox by Gmail, this feature helps a user manage their time and email priority by letting them select a date and time when a notification should be sent to remind them about an email.

Nudge: One of the many new AI-powered features, Nudge is a friendly reminder notification appearing at the end of the subject line of an email in your inbox, put there based on the importance or timeliness of the message. Nudging can be turned off or managed in Settings.

Smarter Unsubscribe Options: Currently available for iOS Gmail mobile app (coming soon to Android), Gmail will start suggesting when to unsubscribe from newsletters and commercial email a user no longer cares about, based on their lack of engagement and interaction with that brand.

Security Notifications: Google has always put heavy precedent on security, and the redesign adds improvements to email security and protecting its users. Using machine learning, Gmail will now flag dodgy emails and potential security threats more clearly. Previously, Gmail would put a small warning on an email it thought was a phishing attempt. Now a larger red warning, explaining the danger more simply, will appear to help people understand the risk.

Smart Compose: Currently not a default feature in the new Gmail, but an optional “experimental access” option a user can opt into via Settings. Smart Compose, like Smart Reply, is a contextual AI-powered feature designed to help a user draft emails from scratch, faster. Operating in the background, a user can compose an email and Smart Compose will offer suggestions as they type. When a user sees a suggestion that they like, clicking the “Tab” button will enter it into the email.

*Editor’s note: All images supplied by Google.*

Author: Anthony Chiulli

With more than a decade of email experience, Anthony embraces educating and advising email marketers on the latest trends and insights within the email industry as director of product marketing. Before joining 250ok, Anthony's prior roles included Marketing Practice Lead, Deliverability Services at Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and Senior Account Manager at Return Path.

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