Ready or not, Google is releasing a newly revised Gmail. If I am not mistaken, it was not that long ago that the current Gmail rolled out to users. That change frustrated me for a few weeks. These changes, though, are not likely to be as intrusive as the last version. The reviews I read are favorable. So, I decided to check things out for myself.
After I activated the new Gmail, I noticed a few fundamental differences. The font style changed. In my opinion, the change makes the page look cleaner and crisp. I had the option to alter the compactness of the lines. Personally, I do not like things all squeezed together making it difficult to read many lines. I chose the view that adds some blank space between message lines. I like it!
On the right-hand side, a new sidebar becomes available. There are small icons to access my Google calendar, tasks, and Google Keep. When clicked the bar opens into a panel displaying the most current items. For the full version of those applications, you will need to choose to start the application in another tab. I can see how peeking at your information in a sidebar will come in handy when composing messages to send out. You also have an option to include other add-ons to your sidebar of tricks. Click on the + sign for additional tools.
The message preview lines now have buttons added to the snippet when a message has an attachment. With a click, the attachment opens in a popup so you can view. No more downloading files to read. YEA!
A clock icon will appear when you hover on the right side of the preview pane where the date displays. You can set a time and date for when you would like Gmail to refresh a specific message. I can see how this will be an excellent way to remind yourself of something. I use my inbox as a to-do list. My goal is to keep the messages below 50. For the most part, I am successful. I wonder if the sleep mode will make any difference for me on dealing with those pending messages. Google believes that we need some assistance. They added an assistant feature to Gmail. The system will nudge you if a message sits in your inbox for some time. I do not know what that holding time is. I hope there is an option in settings to control this aspect. Received messages will have suggested automatic reply buttons; this has been on mobile devices for a few months.
The feature I was not able to try was the self-destructing setting. Google has not made the confidentiality addition available to all, yet. My understanding is that Gmail will let you set an expiration on your message. After that time and date, your message is no longer readable. UH OH! No more holding emails until later. I can see everyone trying the self-destruct, but I doubt the thrill of the action will stay too long. I can understand how the feature will be beneficial for private information and attachments. Related to self-destroying messages is the ability to require the recipient to add authentication to enable the email for reading (NICE) and to revoke previously sent messages. These additions will be helpful for confidentiality.
Want the new Gmail now?
If you want to opt-in for the new Gmail features you can do so by clicking on the gear icon located on the top right of your email screen. Choose the “Try the new Gmail” option, and your email world will change. For now, you can switch back to the Gmail format you use now. I am not aware of a set date Google has in place for the full implementation of the new Gmail.