April 25, 2018
The new Gmail redesign is here and we are ready for it.
Well, it’s official. Very early this morning, the Google team officially announced what we’ve been whispering about in the hallways since we heard the first rumblings of change. Gmail is getting a redesign.
Lots of the early speculation and leaks were correct, so we’re happy to report we’re here to confirm the new functionalities and design aspects we reported earlier this month. Several of my teammates switched their personal Gmail inboxes to the new version and shared their thoughts with me, too.
One of the bigger changes is the new integrations across Gmail, including Calendar, Tasks and Keep. Now you won’t need several tabs open to get full view and use of the suite, which is definitely a win for efficiency. You can open attachments from emails without needing to open the email or scroll through long strings of messages. A colleague quickly noted she loved the ability to just click on an attachment she knew she wanted from a string that felt 100 emails-long without having to dig for it, so this gets a thumbs-up so far.
Like initially hinted, there will be a snooze feature allowing you to basically “pause” the notification on a particular email for a set amount of time. So if you don’t want to deal with an email from a certain person when you get it, snooze it for 15 minutes or a completely different day, and that’s when it’ll come back to haunt you — I mean, will reappear in your main inbox.
You’ll notice “nudges” to remind you to not leave people hanging (in the event you didn’t intentionally mean to ghost them). Email will have orange prompts indicating how long ago you got the email, and a suggestion to reply.
They’ll also visually flag and warn you when an email sent from any of your contacts looks suspicious or potentially harmful. Good looking out, Gmail.
And yes, “Confidential” mode is real. You’ll have the option to remove forwarding, copying or printing of particularly sensitive or private email messages, with the added bonus of setting an expiration date for messages you’d like to remove from a recipient’s Gmail inbox after a period of time. We do think “self-destruct” is a cooler name but we like the functionality, so we’ll give it a pass. This function doesn’t seem ready today, so look for this to roll out over the next few weeks.
Mobile and web versions will also get some upgrades, like Smart Reply for web and high priority notifications on mobile. Interestingly, mobile Gmail will start using a “Unsubscribe from this Newsletter” button when your engagement with a particular email drops off. We’re eager to see how this affects how frequently people unsubscribe versus simply mark as junk when using Gmail.
Of course, there’s an understated overall change in design and style, too, with a sleeker, cleaner look. The left-hand bar now collapses to give you more space dedicated to your email with less clutter. However, colleagues testing out the new design had a hard time finding their address books or contacts. The search bar also has advanced capabilities you can access once you find it, by clicking the down arrow in the bar. Once you’re there, the fields are intuitive and you can really drill down.
Overall, these changes seem promising, and early users around my office are encouraged by Gmail’s official announcement. If you want to turn it on for your own Gmail inbox, simply click the gear and select “Try the new Gmail,” and voila. You can always turn it off (for now) if you hate it. But based on what we’re seeing, you probably won’t.
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