Get Ready For Big Gmail Changes

Category: Email

Google's Gmail service is getting some major updates that will begin rolling out over the coming weeks. But don’t panic; the “send” button won’t move out of your sight (hopefully). Several of the changes look quite welcome, so let’s take a look at what’s in store...

What's New in Gmail?

Gmail, the web-based email service from Google, reported a user base of 1.2 billion users in the summer of 2017. So every time they make changes to the interface, about 1.2 billion people heave a collective sigh, and resign themselves to figuring out what's new.

That's the good and the bad of web-based apps. You never have to install a new version, or apply security patches. Those things happen automatically, and there's no way to cling to an old version. If it takes each user just 10 minutes to learn what has changed, and how to adapt, it will consume a total of 200 million person-hours worldwide. Let's hope those changes result in marginally improved productivity.

Cosmetic changes to the desktop Gmail interface are expected to make it look and feel more like the mobile Gmail app. That may be described as “lighter, cleaner, less cluttered” or “unhelpful, confusing, empty” depending on one’s personal tastes. It remains to be seen whether themes will be preserved as an option. The new Gmail will be more icon-driven, and will offer three different layouts dubbed “default,” “comfortable,” and “compact.” Talk about non-descriptive descriptions!

New Gmail features 2018

Starting in June 2018, the ability to read, write, and search email while offline will no longer require a standalone app as it now does. Instead, this handy capability will be baked into the Chrome browser, which every gourmet Googler uses. (Seriously, Gmail with any other browser is incomplete, although you may not miss what’s missing.) The only things you can’t do offline are send and receive Gmail, obviously; when you get back online, Gmail automatically syncs all your mail.

Other Google services will become available from within the Gmail Web interface. Some of these additions have been on users’ wish-lists for a long time, while others most people have not even heard of. Google Calendar, for instance, is a natural fit with Gmail where people plan joint activities, appointments, vacations, etc. Google Keep, the ad hoc Post-It Note(™) style note-taking app, is not exactly a household word. Integrating such obscure services with the popular Gmail will bring them to more users’ attention, for better or worse.

One feature that I find useful on the mobile version of Gmail is "Smart Reply." Using machine learning and the context of the message, Gmail provides suggested one-click replies such as "Sure, Monday works for me," "So sorry to hear that," or "Cool, I'll check it out!" Smart Reply will be available on your desktop Gmail with the rollout of the new interface.

Snoozing and Expiring Email Messages

“Snooze” is the ability to schedule the sending of an email at a future time. It’s popular among sales reps, managers, and people who need an alibi. (“But look, I was here at my desk emailing birthday greetings to Grandma! That couldn’t have been me at the scene of the crime!”) It’s also profitable for developers of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) apps like Bananatag and Mailtag, so I doubt they are pleased to know that Google will soon give it away for free.

“Expiring” emails are the flip side of Snoozing emails, a feature also found in ProtonMail. You can set a date and time at which the email you are about to send will no longer be accessible by the recipient. Expiration is a security feature; it ensures that no confidential messages are hanging around beyond a specified date. In addition, the recipient of an expiring email won’t be able to print, forward, download or use copy/paste on the message.

TechCrunch has obtained some early screenshots of the new Gmail interface, if you want a sneak peek. What do you think of the new features coming soon in Gmail? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "Get Ready For Big Gmail Changes"

Posted by:

Ted
19 Apr 2018

I think the new email format looks to clean.
I'll reserve any further judgement until I see their other choices.


Posted by:

Frank Starr
19 Apr 2018

I just wish that they would provide a workable read receipt option.


Posted by:

Marvin Alper
19 Apr 2018

Chrome has been causing Win 10 to lock up. I have tried uninstalling using Revo Uninstaller, rebooting and reinstalling Chrome. Same problem occurs. According to Microsoft they a aware of this problem


Posted by:

bill
19 Apr 2018

Frank: NO ONE can provide a workable read receipt option.
The problem is that any option depends on the receiving system to be willing and (if it is) the recipient to be willing.


Posted by:

BobD
19 Apr 2018

Gmail interface? I don't care.
I use Thunderbird on my desktop. Works fine. I am a happy anachronism.
(I wish gmail would not keep my "sent" messages. None of their damn business.)


Posted by:

jmke
19 Apr 2018

The early screenshots don't show folder names on the email lines. That's a problem! I hope we can still organize with folders and I want to see them on my email screens, too!


Posted by:

RichF
19 Apr 2018

I wonder if recipients are made aware that the email you send them has an expiration date or time.


Posted by:

RandiO
19 Apr 2018

IMHO; if Google dropped out of the face of the www world, I'd be a happier camper!
All of the current concerns with Facebook’s privacy/security/monopoly ditty is like a gnat (Facebook) on an elephant's (Google's) rump.
Heroin, Alcohol, Cocaine, Barbiturates and Nicotine combined are NOT as insidious nor addictive as that elephant. We can also add Love and PeanutButter to this list and the combination still cannot compete.
Lifewire.com estimates that there will be 3.8Billion email users by end of 2018. If 1.2Billion of these email users are dependent on gMail, then the Bacon# data collected by Alphabet/Google has got to be ginormous.
*No, I don't have an Android phone!
*No, I don't use Google search engine!
*No, I don't use a gMail account!
*Yes, but this site does!
I realize that there is absolutely nothing that I can do to avoid the Venturi effect and get sucked into this addictive monopoly.
Even realizing that I have to be perceived as the rare, and paranoid conspiracy theorist out there; in the eyes of Alphabet/Google disciples.
[The Borg collective was not wrong, after all.]


Posted by:

misterfish
19 Apr 2018

Hello Bob
I was wondering if, in this update, Google might have listened to the millions of complaints out there on the net about their spam filters. In case you have not heard, Google have for years been arbitrarily selecting valid email and shoving them into the spam box - these from folk who have been sending you emails for ever and a day.
If, like me, you use an independent email client, you do not see these emails flagged, as the spam items do not make it to your client. To be safe, you have to go into your on-line gmail to check your spam box because after a month Google decide they will delete them. Users have no options in this. Many, many people have lost business or missed meetings because good emails were designated spam by Google.
There is no effective spam filter that you can set up within gmail to block unwanted email - yes, you can set filters but the darn emails come through regardless.
Anyone else lost important emails lately through glitchmail?


Posted by:

Smoky
19 Apr 2018

I can't say any more than I agree with RandiO one hundred percent. Thank you.


Posted by:

ffonz
20 Apr 2018

G(litch)mail... gotta love it 'misterfish' :)

You Sure Hit The Bullseye For My Biggest Issue
with the nerds at gmail (small g by design) to
whom I've sent emails to fix this but -- zero.

Long past time for them to go live in the real
world where the rest of the people have to see
real results. I spend far too much time being
the watchdog of their damn spam and trash fake
misdirections of ignored filters etc.. pushing
valid emails of years standing into spam etc..
exacto the very things you so clearly describe
and more.. of this care less attitude on their
part of the online community they 'serve'(?).

Appreciate your comments way above the others.


Posted by:

gasman
20 Apr 2018

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Totally agree with ffonz, misterfish and randiO. Gmail, FB, Twit, along with Amazon have become too big to do wrong conglomerates. Amazon and Walmart are putting the small biz guy out of biz and the others are just concerned about gathering our info. and sharing with "big brother" in Government's effort to enact their 2030 plans of complete control over society ( youtube "Lynette Zang" and she'll spell it out for ya' much better than I ever could ). It's a shame and sad that those of us who helped ( unknowingly ) make these conglomerates into the data-collection criminals are only recently learning the truth. What we need to do is STOP using these monsters and find alternate ways to communicate...such as ( you might remember ) the TELEPHONE. Even though nothing can be 100% effective in keeping our privacy private, I feel more comfortable using my land-line and nothing more.... No cell phone for me but am too reliable upon Alphabet/Google at this point although it would be a huge relief to not think about checking emails everyday. I do believe that technology was first intended to improve society however, in the manner it's being used by data-driven companies can never be a "good thing." Bob, sorry 'bout any typos...a google hit-man had paid me a visit because I refused to use chrome. He smashed my knuckles but i didn't give in. I looked him in the eye and told him, "I'm 82 and married 50 years, 37 not them w/out sex. Nobody can inflict worse pain on me than that-:)


Posted by:

Jay R
20 Apr 2018

lookOut does the same thing. So far, it's not too much of a burden to check the junk mail. At least there is a Not Junk tab to move it to Inbox.


Posted by:

Dave
20 Apr 2018

So yet another move towards the "Fifty shades of grey" graphics. Many web-sites are becoming difficult to read now with text, icons and buttons in various shades of the grey-scale (rarely black). Fine for mobile users who want to conserve bandwidth, but not so good for users with sight defects. And it looks so bland, soulless and boring.
I followed your link to the screen-shots, each one labelled "As you can see"... and I couldn't see them without upping contrast!
I personally hope they keep themes and colour.


Posted by:

Rick
20 Apr 2018

I don't use gmail much so I will admit up front that I don't know much about it but I have never figured out how to select a mass amount of emails and delete them. One at a time doesn't work for me so I don't use gmail.


Posted by:

Linda
21 Apr 2018

I'm with Dave. I hate the trend of grey text. (Has nothing to do with gmail - just my rant!)


Posted by:

Robinoz
22 Apr 2018

I've used Gmail for years and love it. The ability to delete messages you send after a certain period is an excellent idea that I will adopt. I'll wait and see about the rest and the interface.

Imagine of Google decided to charge all its users $10 annually for their product, how much they would earn. I would gladly pay as it's well worth it.


Posted by:

SamG
22 Apr 2018

Jay R; Being locked out by lookOut this week until I was forced to read their terms and conditions, caused me to realize they browse, save and sell all your email and Onedrive data. Where along with Gdrive I save important info. Which then made me consider abandoning lookOut. After unknowingly I'd moved my important emails from Gmail.
But lookOut makes it much easier to flag and block unwanted emails. Gmails makes it too hard to block unwanted spam.
Using the old Gvoice interface is confusing enough and it was never possible to get all phones working and configured. Then Gvoice shoved a new interface down our throats. Updates are ALWAYS better! Not. My 7 cents. (gov't inflation.)


Posted by:

Gregorio
23 Apr 2018

Following up with Dave and "Fifty shades of grey", has anyone notice websites using white areas contrasting with very very very very light pastel pink areas, which are almost white? I joke about 'contrasting' since you can hardly tell the difference.
And boxes for info that have an outline in very very light grey or similar color that is at least 1/10,000th inch wide - again hardly visible - you cannot tell where the @#$% box is. The box surrounding this comment section on Bob's site is a light blue, BUT IT IS VISIBLE. Thank you Bob.


Posted by:

Frank
26 Apr 2018

Light gray text is difficult or impossible= for persons with low vision to read. Doesn't gmail have to supply accommodation for such individuals or comply with accessibility standards?


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