The New Gmail: More Smarts, More Security... More Clutter

Google is also launching a new to-do list app called Tasks which will integrate with your new Gmail inbox

Today, Google is launching the biggest revamp of Gmail in years. The new overhaul brings a modern and advanced set of features to the email platform.

Google has also taken steps to relieve the email overload problem. There is also an iOS app, but the App Store listing is not yet live as of publishing. With this redesign, Google has added meaningful new capabilities to Gmail and modernised its appearance in one shot. If you don't know Gmail, you know someone who does. However, the essentials are still there where they were before. A certain amount of hyperventilation is to be expected when a service used by 1.4 billion people changes anything.

It is Google's most extensive update to software in its G Suite workplace bundle since accelerating efforts to steal business from Microsoft Corp's (MSFT.O) dominant Office workplace software suite. We'll learn more about that next month hopefully at the company's annual developer conference.

Users can click on attachments like photos without opening or scrolling through large conversations, use the snooze button to put off emails that they can't get to at that moment, or easily access other apps they use often - like Google Calendar and tasks. You can try it all out by clicking "Try the new Gmail" under settings in your Gmail account. The entire drawer is retractable. There's also a plus button which allows you to add more compatible services.

Confidential mode on Gmail.

As the sender, the content will remain in your inbox, securely encrypted, and you can revoke access at any time. "Confidential Mode" will, for starters, prevent recipients from sharing the email's content. You can even search through up to 90 days of messages, thanks to local caching. So you can make an email disappear from you inbox until a user-specified time.

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"On day one", he adds, reaction to the new version among those who have tested it is "neutral to positive".

The new redesign is aimed at getting you to do more with your email, without actually leaving the main inbox screen.

Anti-phishing enhancements. When Gmail thinks a message is suspicious, it will warn you via a huge, billboard-like message that's impossible to ignore, rather than the more subtle alert it's used in the past. This mode will begin to roll out to consumer users and a limited number of G Suite customers in the next few weeks, with a broader roll-out to follow. While the firm says you can try it out now, it remains inaccessible to users in European regions as of time of posting. The new Gmail comes with a slew of new features.

Another aspect where Google is applying machine learning to tidy up your inbox is subscriptions.

"We've revisited some of the fundamentals of email security to make everyone's data safe", explained Jacob Bank, product manager of Gmail. For the latter, it will recommend a neat unsubscribe option. A new panel along the right side of the page lets users pull up their calendar, jot down notes, manage to-do lists and interact with third-party apps. Obviously, this feature is quite tricky as you could end up missing something important.

The Gmail app logo.

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