Understanding the New Gmail Features

Email has been one of the primary forms of communication for the past 20 years. And Gmail is one of the most widely-used email clients out there. It’s understandable why. With it’s easy-to-use features and simplistic design, there’s not a lot of stress involved when using Gmail.

So, then, why did they go ahead and change it? Well, the tech world is obsessed with change and innovation. There’s always a way to be better. And although it might take a little getting used to, these changes are usually for the better. The new version of Gmail is no different. Here’s some info on what’s new so that you can make use of all of Gmail’s functionality.

How to Get the New Gmail

Google wants you to use the new version of the Gmail app, so they’ll likely prompt you more than once, either at sign-in or while using the app, to switch over to the new version. However, if this doesn’t happen, then you can click on the cog on the top right of your screen and choose “try the new Gmail.” All of your settings and emails will migrate over, so you don’t need to worry about losing anything.

The first thing you’ll notice when you switch over to the new version of Gmail is the look. Google has updated the fonts, styles and button designs to look more like their other productivity apps, such as Google Drive and Google Calendar.

You can change its appearance, though. The default setting will show each email’s subject and the first line of the email, along with any icons to indicate attachments. There are also a series of buttons right on each email line that allow you to quickly decide what to do with each one, i.e delete it, forward it, archive it, etc.

You can switch to a more compact design that removes the icons and also gets rid of the spaces between each email line. Give each one a try to see which you like best.

Google Tasks

This is a new app from Google that allows you to create to-do lists, and it’s designed to integrate with Gmail. It’s also a standalone smartphone app, if you prefer to use it this way.

One of the nice features is that you can drag emails from your inbox over to your tasks folder, automatically populating your to-do lists as you do.

Smart Reply

Many of us spend too much time responding to emails. The new Gmail tries to help with this by offering its Smart Reply feature. Essentially, it scans your emails and then offers you some suggestions for replies, such as “sounds good” or “I’ll get back to you soon.” This can be a big time saver for people who use email as a primary means of communication.

Confidential Mode

There’s nothing more important these days than online security, and the new Gmail app makes achieving this a little bit easier. When you compose an email, you’ll see an icon at the top displaying a lock and a clock at the bottom. When you click this, you’ll create a unique link for your email that has an expiration date. This way you can limit how long your message exists and who can see it.

Email Snoozing

To help you remember to reply to emails, Google has created a new feature that takes emails out of your inbox and then brings them back at a later day, making them appear new and more urgent. This is great for those of us who struggle to keep up with responding to emails.