Gmail launched a new user interface last week which was largely devoid of any fanfare or criticism. Alas, many bloggers did not even realize there was a latest version available to users. However, a few articles surfaced and my interest piqued. I went ahead and tried the latest version, which you can try too by simply clicking on your settings gear in the upper right corner of the inbox screen.
Overall, the new Gmail looks only slightly different. You keep your background image and the general display of messages remains the same. Things are a bit “rounder” and bolder, such as the tabs on the left side of the screen. You can also customize which Google apps display down the right side of the screen, which can be cool if you are a full Google Suite user. Otherwise, the major changes are deeper. Here are my top three new/changed features:
If you have ever read an email but don’t have the time (or patience) to respond at that moment, you can “snooze” it for a set amount of time. This is a great option for those of us who receive way too many email and must prioritize our time. It’s almost as if Google is integrating a mini project management tool for those of us who can’t attack everything at once… but still need to attack it eventually.
There is also a snooze folder that sits on your main email menu, so your snoozed messages are never more than a click away. I already started using this tool and think it is helpful, especially since it puts older messages that you want to see again back at the top of your inbox when your set snooze time arrives. The best part? You can snooze a message without even opening it – the snooze button (looks like a clock) appears when you hover over any message in your inbox.
Easy Access Attachments
For those of us who often scroll through our inbox just to get a specific document, photo or other attachment, this new visual display is fantastic. Emails in your inbox which contain attachments now feature those attachments in your preheader text so you can see what attachments are available and even view or download those attachments without opening the email. Boom.
The only negative here is that attachments open in Google by default, so it gives preferential treatment of sorts to Google Drive files. This isn’t a big issue though, as you can download the attachment with a simple second click.
I don’t think many people will use this feature, but it is available. When you receive an email from a legitimate person, Google will review the text and offer you suggested responses. I have not seen much more than “Thank you” and “Glad you liked it,” but they only appear in emails that you have not responded to and are not marketing emails.
That covers my three major changes for the latest iteration of Gmail. I give the change a B+, as it offers some good new options but overall is not so different that it warrants a top grade. Go take it for a spin and let me know what you think the comments.