Google is rolling out a feature for its iOS and Android Gmail apps that should save you some time when responding to messages.
The feature, dubbed Smart Reply, uses machine learning technology to determine which emails can be answered with a short reply, then prepares a few possible responses for you to consider. In other words, you can now reply to email with just a few taps, no typing required.
Google first introduced Smart Reply for Inbox on mobile in November 2015, and expanded it to Inbox on the web last year. The feature is also available in Google’s chat app Allo. There’s evidence that people find it helpful: Google said Smart Reply currently drives 12 percent of replies in Inbox on mobile, Google says.
Now, the feature is rolling out globally to Gmail for iOS and Android in English first, with Spanish to follow in the “coming weeks,” Google says. There are also plans to add support for additional languages in the near future.
Smart Reply suggests up to three responses based on emails you get. Say a colleague emails you asking to set up a meeting on Monday or Tuesday to follow up on some things. Smart Reply may suggest the responses: “Let’s do Monday,” “Monday works for me,” or “Either day works for me.”
Just tap the reply that you like and tap send. You can also tweak Google’s verbiage or add more text before sending, if you like.
“Smart Reply utilizes machine learning to give you better responses the more you use it,” Gmail Software Engineer Greg Bullock wrote in a blog post. “So if you’re more of a ‘thanks!’ than a ‘thanks.’ person, we’ll suggest the response that’s, well, more you!”