Google’s ubiquitous email service has now been around for 15 years, so to celebrate this milestone, Gmail is getting a couple of important new features.
The first big addition to Gmail is actually something people have been asking about for years: the ability to schedule emails. Now, when you’re finished writing an email in Gmail, instead of simply hitting the Send button, you’ll also have the option to set a specific time for that email to go out, including time suggestions like “tomorrow morning” or “Monday.”
One of the main goals behind Gmail’s new scheduling feature is to help people have a healthier work/life balance, with the idea being that you can use the scheduling function to avoid sending out work emails late at night and stressing out your coworkers.
The other big addition to Gmail is the expansion of Google’s Smart Compose feature to Gmail’s mobile versions. Gmail for Android will be the first mobile app to get the update, with Smart Compose slated to hit Gmail for iOS sometime later. And with Google adding support for four new languages (Spanish, French, Italian, and Portugese) to Smart Compose, the feature won’t be strictly limited to English-speaking Gmail users anymore either.
Google also claims it has also given Smart Compose the ability to learn and adapt to your unique writing style, so that if there’s a certain greeting or opener you tend to prefer, like “Hey team,” that line should show up as one of Smart Compose’s various suggestions. And on top of all that, Smart Compose should now even be able to parse the body of an email in order to suggest a relevant subject line.
Many of the features Google just added to Gmail are also available in the browser extension Boomerang, including email scheduling and predictive typing. Given that Boomerang crapped out for at least a couple of my co-workers recently, however, it’s good timing to have these options natively in Gmail.
Outside of these updates for Gmail’s 15th birthday, Google has made a number of other recent additions to Gmail such as bringing customisable swipe actions to Gmail on iOS, a more dynamic desktop interface that lets Gmail combine things like comments from a Google Doc into a single thread, and richer content that allows emails to behave more like live websites instead of static newsletters.
While these changes are generally welcome upgrades to Gmail, they still might not be quite enough to soothe the sting of Google Inbox users, who are scheduled to lose access to Inbox tomorrow (April 2) when Google shuts down the service for good. Though with 15 years in the books, it’s probably safe to say that unlike Inbox, Gmail won’t find it’s way onto the list of things killed by Google anytime soon.