Google Adds New Gmail Tools to Mark the App's 15th Birthday
It's hard to believe that Gmail is turning 15.
While most would struggle to imagine their workday without email, and Gmail has become their key platform of choice, it still doesn't feel like the tool has been available since 2004 - when Avril Lavigne and Destiny's Child were still topping the pop charts.
But it has, and to mark the occasion, Google is launching two new updates for Gmail, in addition to the recent addition of 'Dynamic Email' interactions which enable you to do more within Gmail messages themselves.
The first is the expansion of Google's 'Smart Compose' options, the automated response tools which, Google says, have made it much easier for people to communicate on the go since being introduced last year.
As per Google:
"You may have already used Smart Compose, an AI-powered feature that helps you write emails quicker. It’s already saved people from typing over 1 billion characters each week - that’s enough to fill the pages of 1,000 copies of "Lord of the Rings.” Today, we’re updating Smart Compose to include more languages (Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese) and bringing it to Android (previously, it was only available on Pixel 3 devices), with iOS coming soon."
As you can see in the example above, smart compose provides predictive response options for your messages, and learns from your personal use of language in order to provide more authentic replies, without you having to type everything.
And its capacity for providing more personalized suggestions is also improving - for example, if you prefer saying “Ahoy," or “Ello, mate” in your greetings, Smart Compose will now suggest just that.
The suggested responses are not always spot on, but as demonstrated by Google's usage stats, more people are finding the option more helpful over time, and increased personalization - while it may seem a little hokey - could provide additional functionality in this regard.
Google's also adding a new scheduling option to Gmail, so you can ensure your message is sent at the most appropriate date or time for your recipient.
Google notes that this could be particularly helpful for those working across time zones, or if want to avoid interrupting someone’s vacation.
Both are relatively minor additions, but could have significant functional benefit, enabling you to respond faster, in a more authentic way, and plan your email responses to be delivered at the right time.
Also, I apologize if the mention of Avril or Destiny's Child has put some song from yesteryear in your head. I didn't mean to go and make things so complicated.
Follow Andrew Hutchinson on Twitter