Gmail is finally being updated and is undergoing a major redesign. This update is way past due for Google and means we finally get some new features.  Not all features are available at launch, but there are some good ones ready to go. Here is how you can get the new Gmail update now.

About the new Gmail

The new Gmail will add features such as high-priority notifications, confidential mode, and better offline support.  The main focus of this update is for G Suite users, the professional version of Gmail and Google’s other productivity apps. Google says new changes rolling out will “help the more than 4 million paying businesses that use G Suite work safer, smarter and more efficiently.”

Features like phishing protection, security and privacy, with expiration dates, the ability to revoke some email content, and SMS authentication are all coming to a feature called confidential mode. That’s especially important right now, with increased awareness of data and security issues. They have also included Tasks to help keep you organized.

Google is using AI features like Smart Reply to suggest a quick reply to your messages. It suggests 3 replies to the message that you can choose from.  Smart Reply utilizes machine learning to give you better responses the more you use it. This feature is available now in inbox by Gmail and Allo.

These features are coming in waves over the next few weeks for business users. That doesn’t mean these updates are just for businesses.  The personal Gmail accounts will also get an update.

Enabling The New Gmail

G Suite users – Your Admin will need to enable the new features by going to the Google Admin console and opting into the new Gmail.

Regular Users – Go to Gmail, click on the gear (settings) icon in the top right corner and choosing “Try the new Mail” option.

The release started 4/25/18 and will be in waves so if you don’t see it today keep checking back.

New Gmail - GSuite
New Gmail

Top Benefits

The biggest benefits of this new release are improved security and that it is easier to use. I have a personal account and I enabled the new Gmail with no problems.  It didn’t look much different except on the right you can see new icons for Calendar, Keep and Tasks.

Quick Options

When you look at your mail you can hover over a sender and now there are nice icons to quickly allow you to Add to contacts, Send email, Schedule event (calendar), Send Message, Start Video Call.  I know some of these features were in the old Gmail but it is a new more convenient way to do these things.

Smart Reply

When I opened a personal email at the bottom of the message I now have quick reply options like “Thank you” “Awesome, thank you so much!” “Great thanks!” which is the AI feature giving me a quick suggested response.  This feature will improve as it gathers more info on my writing style.  That was convenient and cool.

Tasks

On the right side of your screen, the last icon is Tasks.  Click on that and Add a task. You can type a title then click the pencil icon to add details and a date. You can also break out sub-tasks.  This is a long overdue feature for Gmail and I like that it is easy to integrate with the calendar.

Tools

When you hover over an email you see tools on the right side to quickly Archive, Delete, Mark as read and Snooze the message.  You can also click directly on an attachment without opening the email.  The attachment shows as an icon underneath the email. This is part of their improvements in ease of use.

Overall thoughts

The new Gmail options are long overdue.  The focus of this update is mostly for business users in light of all the security issues recently like Facebook’s debacle. There are benefits for us all. I love that there is AI now to help you quickly respond to messages. It also will suggest which emails to “unsubscribe” to based on how many you get from a sender (ie: spam) and whether you open them etc. That will be very helpful.

I also like the more integrated approach with Tasks, Calendar, Contacts, and Mail.  The features for regular users are not that big right now but they are releasing it in waves so hopefully, we will see more and better enhancements in the near future.

Savvy Tips:

Here are some quick tips to help you with the look and feel of Gmail.

Back to Classic – If you don’t like the new Gmail, you can easily go back to classic.  Click on the gear icon in the top right of Gmail and choose “Go back to classic Gmail”.

Display – If you want to change the view of your emails when you are in the list, click on the gear icon in the top right. Click on Display Density and the first option Default is the one that shows attachments to click on before opening the email.  The other 2 are more streamlined.

Tabs – If you want to change the tabs at the top of your email list, click on the gear icon in the top right. Click on Configure Inbox and choose which tabs you want to show then click save.

 

Our life is frittered away by detail…simplify, simplify.

– Henry David Thoreau