Gmail has rolled out its biggest redesign ever which brings a huge set of changes, both visual and operational, to the popular e-mail service that has a user base of 1.4 billion people.
According to Jacob Bank, lead product manager for Gmail, several changes are aimed at “making people safer and more productive.”
The global update will not only be phased but also opt-in.
Gmail for web gets its biggest design update: Details here
Confidential ModeSet expiry dates on e-mails, prevent them from getting forwarded
The biggest change in Gmail is the introduction of a confidential mode.
It allows senders to set an expiration date on sensitive e-mails and make them automatically disappear after a set period of time. They can also revoke the e-mail entirely.
The mode lets you block the forwarding, copying, downloading, or printing of sent e-mails as well.
Set two-factor authentication on e-mailsUnder the confidential mode, you can also set two-factor authentication (2FA) on e-mails. Recipients will have to authenticate an e-mail with a passcode, to be received via text message, in order to open it.
Safety and SecurityPhishing warnings have grown in size and prominence
Google claims that it is now using machine learning (ML) to run safety checks on every received e-mail on Gmail.
Gmail will now also show phishing warnings in the form of huge color-coded alerts instead of the basic banners that were being displayed until now.
This aims at providing a clear call-to-action for potentially malicious messages.
OverhaulMobile app-like features: e-mail snoozing, e-mail nudging, hover bar
Other features include e-mail snoozing so that they disappear for the time being and reappear after specified hours/days, the ability to open attachments without having to open e-mails, e-mail nudging to remind users to reply to time-sensitive messages, and smart replies where algorithmically-generated replies crop up as suggestions.
Further, hovering on e-mails will now reveal shortcuts for common actions like archive, delete, and snooze.
UI UpdatesA new Google Tasks sidebar
In terms of visual updates, the biggest change is a new collapsible right-hand side panel.
It will house all G-Suite apps like Calendar and Keep, and allow you to quickly organize meetings or take notes in the same interface without having to go to another tab.
Further, Gmail’s long-standing left-hand panel can now be collapsed for more e-mail space.
Offline modeGoogle has also built a robust offline mode under which users will be able to search, write, respond, delete, and archive up to 90-day old e-mails without interruption when not on the internet.