Tech

Gmail has just unveiled loads of new features – here’s what you need to know

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Mike Rampton
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Gmail has just unveiled loads of new features and they seem pretty great 3

The G doesn’t stand for GOOD, but with these new features it might as well

Gmail’s good, isn’t it? Like, if you get an email from someone using any of the other free ones you tend to judge them. You wouldn’t go out with someone who had a Hotmail address, would you? It’s not the past.

A few exciting new features have been teased for Gmail for a while, but now proper details have come out, and it’s all pretty slick stuff.

It’s all fancy looking

Among the new features are a pop-up Calendar panel on the right that also allows you to use the Task feature without opening a new window or tab, and hover options where you can archive, delete, snooze or mark a message as read just by passing the mouse over it. 

The hover cards that tell you a bit about your contacts are now more editable and customisable, so other Gmail users you’re emailing can learn a bit more about you. 

And if you want to change what your inbox looks like, there are now three display density options - decide whether you want more information about each email visible (but fewer emails showing on-screen) or bare-bones but loads. 

Gmail has just unveiled loads of new features and they seem pretty great

“Dear Mum, stock photos about email are rubbish and a robot pineapple is about to steal my tea.”

It’ll help you de-shit your inbox

Are you on loads of mailing lists that you somehow can’t be bothered to unsubscribe from? Useless emails from estate agents in areas you don’t live in anymore, restaurant offers where your local branch closed eight years ago, on-the-road updates from a band you long ago realised you detested? Gmail’s new assistive unsubscribe will spot the ones you don’t open and prompt you to unsubscribe from them. you can also use their notification priority feature to make sure your phone doesn’t feel the need to alert you every time you get any email at all - just the important ones.

Gmail has just unveiled loads of new features and they seem pretty great 1

“I agree re: stock photos. A similar robot pineapple came for my tea, but I saw it off - everyone knows they’re scared of flowers”

You can be a Secret Simon

One new feature is confidential mode, which allows you to send an email that the recipient can’t forward, download or even copy. 

There are also options within the mode like expiration dates, password protection (with a password sent by SMS), and the ability to un-send sent messages. 

Gmail has just unveiled loads of new features and they seem pretty great 2

“Flowers? Rubbish. I’ve got a hammer hidden under this fake newspaper. I’m going to lie in wait slightly away from the computer and smash the fucker to death if it comes near me. Love to Dad x”

You’ll have no excuse not to get back to people

A number of the new features are designed to make it easier to respond to messages, both in terms of not forgetting about them and making the actual reply easier. There’s snooze, allowing you to swat an email away for a few hours to deal with it when you’re less busy - the alternative before was to mark it a read and just assume you’d remember, which in this overwhelmingly busy, non-stop, Jesus-Christ-can-everyone-just-leave-me-ALONE world, isn’t ever guaranteed. 

There’s also nudging, where an email that seems like it needs a reply will call attention to itself after a while. When you do reply to people, you can use smart replies, where three one-line options will be offered to you straight away (ie. “Sounds good!”, “No thanks!”, “New Gmail who dis?”) to save a bit of effort. 

If sending an email and realising you want to include someone else on it, you can use plus mentions to CC them without leaving the message field - just type the plus sign then the beginning of their name.

To try them out, go into Gmail on desktop and click on the Settings cog at the top right. You should have the option “Try the new mail”. You can revert to the old one using the same method if you’re not a fan of the new stuff, or you can go back to AOL, you progress-phobic medieval Luddite.

(Pics: Ali Yahya, Pixabay)

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Mike Rampton

Mike Rampton will be a ghost one day. A really big one.

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