Gmail Redesign Brings Confidential Mode, Email Snoozing, and ‘Nudges’

Google today announced a bevy of updates including the first major redesign of Gmail’s web interface in years.

According to a new blog post from the tech giant, a new version of Gmail will begin rolling out around the world this week for personal and business users. It will sport a mildly cleaned-up design, snoozing and priority features, and some productivity tweaks like a calendar and tasks panel.

Describing the changes as major improvements, Gmail Product Manager Matthew Izatt set the stage for the rollout: “Email is a necessity for most of us. We use it to stay in touch with colleagues and friends, keep up with the latest news, manage to-dos at home or at work — we just can’t live without it.”

Gmail’s new Confidential Mode lets you send emails that vanish from the recipient’s inbox after a period you specify or which you can revoke after you’ve sent them. Existing email standards don’t support the idea of retrieving an email once it’s landed in someone else’s inbox, so Google built its own technology for the purpose.

Gmail now features a new “nudging” option that reminds users to respond to or follow up on important emails (users will also be able to “snooze” certain emails so that they get reminders to read them later, like with an alarm clock.) The “smart reply” feature that is already available on the Gmail mobile apps—suggesting possible responses to questions in emails—is now also coming to the web interface.

There’s a new high-priority notification setting as well. When enabled, users will only get notifications for important messages to help reduce the clutter and noise in the everyday email experience. Google will also pop up new elements called unsubscribe cards recommending you unsubscribe from senders or mailing lists that frequently end up unopened or deleted.

A new panel on the right-hand side gives you quick access to pop-up versions of Google Calendar, the Keep note-taking app, and a new version of Google Tasks, as well as third-party services that use Gmail’s add-on technology, such as Asana, Dialpad, and DocuSign.

Gmail’s offline capabilities have been bolstered as well, allowing you to search, write, respond, delete, or archive up to 90 days of messages while offline.

Not all these features will be available on Day One, with some launching immediately, others rolling out “in the coming weeks,” according to Google.

Check out all of the new Gmail’s changes on Google’s blog post here.

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