There are many good things in Google’s major Gmail update. And this includes notification prioritization, privacy mode, and better support for offline mail. The bad news is that many of the best features presented are not there yet. Here is what you can use right now.
Smart Reply is a feature available in the mobile version of Gmail since 2017. Smart Reply works using Google’s machine learning to provide three responses to your emails. You can ignore them, select one and click Send, or choose one and add additional text. The more you use it, the better the suggestions you will get.
These automatic replies tend to be generic answers such as “Thank you!” or “I’m working on it right now”. It’s not crazy, but sometimes it’s all you need for a quick and relevant answer.
Another new option is to trace important mails. This is another feature that Google has already experimented with in the mobile app with Google Inbox. With this option, you can set a message so that it appears later when you have time to process it.
It’s not just about ignoring a message. That, everyone, can do it. The feature allows you to hide the message in the “Pending” inbox until you are ready to deal with it. The message will return at the designated time when you suspended it. Your default choices are tomorrow, next weekend, next week, or you can choose a specific time for it to reappear. You can also choose to put on hold until “one day”.
You can have a message repeat from the message display panel or the inbox. In either case, you select the repeat icon, which looks like a small analog clock.
Tasks, Keep and Calendar
Finally, there is a new toolbar with three icons on the right side of the Gmail interface for easy access to the Tasks, Keep and Calendar functions. Google will soon include “add-on” add-ons from third-party publishers on this panel.
Tasks is a simple reminder program of things to do. You can use it to “buy paper for the printer” or anything like that. You can also save an e-mail as a job.
Keep is Google’s answer to the combination of “post-it notes” and more advanced note-taking programs such as Evernote and OneNote. Finally, Calendar is Google’s well-known calendar program. A relatively unobtrusive advantage of all this is that you can now have all these programs on a tab for easy use.
Nudging and attachments
The new Gmail also includes hidden enhancements until you need them. These include Nudging and new phishing warnings.
Nudging will deliver important emails, more than two days old, to the top of your inbox. It also reports e-mails in which you have asked a question to someone but have not been answered within three days after sending it. Gmail determines what an important message is based on machine learning patterns.
And attachments are now visible in the inbox as icons under the message. In this way, you can access it without opening the email.
How to benefit from all this?
To take advantage of all this, of course, you need to upgrade to the new version of Gmail. To do this, with a personal Gmail account, go to Gmail and click the gear icon in the upper right corner. Then click on the “Try new Gmail” option at the top. If you do not see it, try again tomorrow. Google will deploy it to its 1.4 billion users in the coming days.
If you use Gmail through G Suite, your administrator must activate it through the Early Adopter program by accessing the Admin console and allowing users to access the new Gmail.