Gmail just got a major overhaul, its biggest since 2011. In tech years, that’s an eternity. The Gmail Web application has a whole new look and feel, with new security features and the ability to act on an email without ever opening it. In a blog post, Google says the redesign is aimed at helping people “work safer, smarter and more efficiently.” With new features like confidential email and a sidebar for instant access to your calendar, tasks and other G Suite apps, email is about to get a lot more efficient.
Google is rolling out the update to it’s 1.4 billion users, and if you don’t see it just yet, read on for how to enable it. Whether you use Gmail for your work or your personal email, here are five of our favorite features you should check out right now.
While you’re looking at the side bars, look left. You can now collapse the left side navigation bar so you have more horizontal room for that list of unread emails. Simply tap the menu icon (a stack of three lines) in the top left corner to toggle this feature on and off.
Of course, it’s not perfect. You can’t stop someone from taking a screen shot of it but this is a big step towards more secure digital communication. We’re told Confidential Mode will be rolled out to G Suite customers and consumer Gmail in the coming weeks.
You also no longer need to open an email in order to open the accompanying attachment. It will appear as an icon right under the email subject line, so you can click to open PDF, Google Docs, and images without any extra steps. Talk about saving time and clicks.
And once you’ve un-paused, if you need a little push to get back to answering important emails, Gmail will now “nudge” you to respond to the time-sensitive ones.
There’s lots more, like Smart Replies and color-coded security warnings, that you’re going to want to check out. If you haven't yet gotten a notification to try out the new Gmail and can’t wait to send self-destructing emails, head over to your settings (the gear icon in the top right corner of the screen) and click "Try the new Gmail." (For G Suite work email, your system admin needs to enable it before you can try it.) See how you like it and if, for some reason, you don’t find it to be useful, you can always change it back to Classic email. For now.