Google launches Gmail web revamp w/ new UI, snoozing, Smart Reply, and confidential mode

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Two weeks ago, Google informed G Suite admins that a new version of Gmail on the web was in the works, with leaked screenshots quickly revealing the revamp. Google is officially launching that redesign today and taking the lid off a number of new smart features.

According to Google, the main concept behind this new design is allowing users to “do more without leaving [the] inbox.” A new Default view — borrowed from Inbox — displays image and Drive file attachments inline so that users don’t have to scroll through full conversations to find actionable information, like RSVPs.

The new interface makes heavy use of hovering over the right-hand side of a message in the inbox to quickly archive, delete, mark as read, and snooze. Again a carryover from Inbox, users can snooze with several quick presets and the ability to choose your own precise date/time.

There’s also a “Nudging” feature that reminds users to take action, with prompts including “Received 3 days ago. Reply?” and “Sent 5 days ago. Follow up?”

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A sidebar on the right provides quick access to widgets for Calendar, Keep, and the just launched Google Tasks. Gmail Add-ons will also appear here, while that side panel is coming to Calendar, Drive, and other G Suite apps in the coming months.

Other user-facing features added to the web include Smart Reply, and coming soon offline capabilities. This includes the ability to Search, write, respond, delete, or archive up to 90 days of messages when there’s no connection, with changes synced to the cloud when connectivity is regained.

On the security front, Google is adding simpler, bold red warnings that alert when potentially risky email arrives, as well as a new confidential mode. Accessible from the bottom toolbar on the compose window, it disables the recipient’s ability to forward, copy, download, or print messages. Another neat aspect is expiring messages and two-factor authentication to open.

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Today’s update is also adding several features to mobile. High-priority notifications live as cards just above your inbox list on Android and iOS. It notifies of important messages, and suggestions to unsubscribe from newsletters or offers you no longer care about.

These features are rolling out starting today, with users able to “Try the new Gmail” by heading to the Settings icon in the top right of your inbox. Users can switch back to the old UI, with Google noting that features like confidential mode, offline, and high-priority notifications will appear within the coming weeks.

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