Everything you need to know about the new Gmail

Sandra Busch

Google just unveiled its new redesign and a major upgrade. We love Gmail (that’s a given) because Ocean.io is a Chrome extension that works within Gmail to help you identify the people and companies you want to know more about. We’re happy to say that Ocean.io matches perfectly with the new interface, but more on that later. For now, let’s dive into the new Gmail functionality to see what we’ve got. (Psst – there’s a TL;DR at the end for those of you in a hurry )

What you’ll get if you upgrade to the new Gmail layout

To be perfectly honest, you could easily mistake the new Gmail for the same ol’ same ol’ email application you’ve been using all this time. But don’t be fooled: the new Gmail makeover packs in many new features that are both handy and long overdue – in a way, it’s the perfect balance between the fresh and the familiar.

Built-in productivity (you’ll do more with a single click)

The first thing the new Gmail will ask you once you’ve opted in is to pick a ‘view’ between Default, Comfortable, or Compact.

If you stick with the default, you’ll be able to open attachments before you’ve even read the email containing them. Click a photo, a PDF or jump straight to a Google Doc without having to scroll through a long conversation. This is something that we’ll be using here at the office, I’ll tell you!

Just be careful, though, not to click on attachments from strangers or dodgy companies – as I fear this feature might be taken advantage of by phishing scammers too who’ll hope you accidentally use it on malicious attachments.

Hit the snooze button

Snoozing is no longer reserved for infuriating alarms. If you hover over an email in your new Gmail inbox, four icons will now appear on the right. They give you the option of archiving, trashing, marking as read or – yes, you guessed it – snoozing the email, all without having to open it.

You can use the new Gmail snooze button to put off the emails you don’t want to answer right away. You can even set the timer to remind you of its existence at a later time – or try your luck with the mystical “Someday” option.

Allow Google to answer for you

When you’re in a hurry and can’t quite find the words, Google has laid out three possible replies for your back-and-forth conversation. With its new “Smart Reply” functionality, incoming emails will be scanned and you’ll be given a few suggestions based on what you’re most likely to reply in order to keep the conversation going.

So, for instance, if a someone’s requesting a report or an important document you can answer “Sure, here it is” with the click of a button. You might recognize this from the Gmail mobile app – now it’s available on desktop, too.

Set to self-destruct in 3-2-1…

One of the more exciting features in the new Gmail is the “Confidential Mode”. This gives you control and lets you decide if your recipient will have to enter a passcode to read your message, which they will receive in a separate text message – on top of that, it won’t be possible for them to either forward, copy or print it. This is very useful when you want to send sensitive information. So, how do you do it?

Whenever you compose an email there’s a tiny little lock symbol at the bottom right corner. Click it and the Confidential Mode window opens up. Here, you can select the time frame for how long your recipient will have access to your message and whether they’ll need that SMS code to access it first. Click “Save” to see the frame turn blue indicating that Confidential Mode is enabled. From here you proceed as usual and send your – now confidential – email out into cyberspace.

Be aware though: not all features are ready for early adopters just yet. That little lock button that lets you set the self-destruct timer hadn’t turned up when I tried to send an email to see how it worked. However, Google did warn us that it might take up to a few weeks for all the new features to appear. So don’t worry, the new Gmail isn’t broken – you’ll just have to wait to use it in all it’s glory.

What about my awesome add-ons, like Ocean.io?

We’re happy to say that Ocean.io works perfectly with the new Gmail interface. We’ve been optimizing Ocean.io for the changes to Gmail and we now have 100 % functionality within the new environment Rocket emoji. All you need to do is click on the Ocean.io icon (the blue envelope) in the sidebar to get full access to Ocean.io. Oh, and make sure you’re on the lookout for our next update, as we’re preparing a lot of really awesome things for you.

By happy coincidence for our developers, the new Gmail launched just as we were launching our own major redesign and upgrade of Ocean.io. We’ve given you some awesome improvements – you can read more about these in our Product Update post.

TL;DR? The new Gmail features in a nutshell

  • "New" emoji Better user interface design letting you do more with fewer clicks.
  • Timer emoji Snooze the emails that can wait for a later time.
  • Ticket emoji Set an email to expire after a certain date.
  • Lock emojiPair an email with a unique code sent to the recipient’s mobile phone.
  • Okay hand emoji Save time with “Smart Reply” which suggests likely quick responses.
  • Robot head emoji Access Calendar, Tasks and third-party apps in the sidebar.
  • Wave emoji Ocean.io works perfectly within the new Gmail interface.

View comments (8)

8 Responses

  1. Bhupak Lal Joshi says:

    It’s nice to listen that Gmail is upgrading to access the different versions of the apps easily

  2. Berhane says:

    Fantastic !!!!!
    I love it. !!!
    Thanks !

  3. kesabu Lawrence Kivumbi says:

    Its quite interesting

  4. Maring says:

    How does this work? Is it different from the ordinary one? If I want to open a new gmail using this one, how do I go about? Thanks.

    • Sandra Busch says:

      Hi Maring. It’s easy to opt-in with the new Gmail. Just go to Settings in the upper right-hand corner and choose ‘Try the New Gmail’. Then you get to explore all the features I’ve mentioned in the blog post 🙂

  5. David A. Rodriguez says:

    Todos hemos esperado que Gmail nos ayude a organizar por fecha, remitente o tamaño los correos. Ya es esto posible ?
    Esta es la gran locura, miles de correos que no puedes organizar.

    • Lewis Ashman says:

      Ola David,

      (Disculpe, nuestro español no es muy bueno… escribiremos la respuesta en inglés)

      It’s true that Gmail has never been easy to organize by date, sender or size – the new Gmail has an improved search function, so you can use the Search bar drop down menu to filter and search by these and other categories.

      I hope that helps! 👍

  6. rashelchakraborty says:

    I love it.

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