Google Gmail now gets smarter with security, productivity and AI features

Search engine and technology giant Google on April 25 started pushing out a new Gmail web client with redesigned features and new upgrades centred on productivity, security and ease of use. The updated email client is currently rolling out in batches. But, you can try the new look by going to the settings (click on clog icon on top right) and selecting ‘Try the new Gmail’ option. You can also move back to the old client, if you find the new look confusing, by going to the setting again and selecting ‘Go back to classic Gmail’.

Here are the new features in the updated Gmail web client:

Gmail security features

In the new email client, Google has introduced a new confidential mode, which enables creating expiration dates or revoking previously sent messages, thereby helping protect sensitive content in emails. Additionally, the new email client could also require additional authentication via text message to view an email, it is now possible to protect data even if a recipient’s email account has been hacked.

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Google has also designed the new Gmail web client with built-in information rights management (IRM) controls. These controls allow you to remove the option to forward, copy, download or print messages. This helps reduce the risk of confidential information being accidentally shared with the wrong people. However, the feature is still in a testing phase and the rollout will begin to consumer Gmail users and a limited number of G-Suite customers in the coming weeks, followed by a broader rollout to all users later.

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The new Gmail web client also features redesigned security warnings with a bigger and bolder outlook to keep you informed when it comes to potentially risky email.

Artificial Intelligence for quick replies and easy follow-ups

Google has integrated some AI-powered features in Gmail, such as nudging, smart reply and high-priority notifications. Targeted to improve productivity, these features proactively remind you to follow up on or respond to messages, without making any distractions.

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Last year, Google had added the smart reply feature in the Gmail mobile client. Smart replies enable you to respond to emails that might not require lengthy texts. The same feature has now been added to web client that makes it easier and time saving to respond to messages.

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Productivity features

The redesigned Gmail web client now makes it easier to view, download or share attachments without opening the email threads. The attachments are now visible on the front-end and you can see and click attachments in your inbox before ever opening a thread. You can also do things like RSVP to a meeting invite, archive an email thread, delete an email, mark email as read and snooze an email without opening them. The new tools are enabled to show as soon as you hover over messages and, therefore, require no clicks.

G Suite integration

The redesigned Gmail web client now features other G Suite apps such as calendar, keep, tasks, etc, on the right side in the action bar. These apps enable you to make quick reference, create or edit calendar invites, capture ideas or manage to-dos without leaving your inbox.

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The side panel also allows you to access Gmail Add-ons, like third-party business apps. This way you do not have to switch between tabs or apps to get work done.

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The new Gmail web client also features native offline capabilities that help you work without interruption even without internet services. Now, you can search, write, respond, delete, or archive up to 90 days of messages, just as you would working online, but offline. However, the feature would roll out in a separate update in coming weeks.

Google’s other initiatives

Job hunting becomes easier in India

On April 24, Google launched a job search feature within its Search product in India that promises to help job seekers discover relevant employment opportunities. Rather than aggregate jobs by itself, Google is partnering with other large job listing companies such as LinkedIn, Quezx, QuikrJobs, Shine.com, T-Jobs and TimesJobs to bring all their listings to one place.

For job seekers, Google will provide smart filters such as highlighting the estimated commute time to a particular office and distance apart from the more generic filters such as location, date posted and company type. The company had also released open documentation, which will assist organisations, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to make their job openings discoverable on Search.

Grasshopper app for budding programmers

A team of coders in Google’s workshop for experimental products recently launched the Grasshopper app, a platform to help budding coders learn programming languages on the go using their smartphones. The app is available for free on Android and iOS devices and can be downloaded from Google PlayStore and Apple App Store, respectively.

The app covers the basics of JavaScript and some of the building blocks of programming. The app covers ‘The Fundamentals’, which includes information on how codes work, calling functions, variables, strings, for loops, arrays, conditionals, operators, objects, and how all these things work together.

Once the fundamentals are complete, the app takes you to ‘Animations I’, which helps you learn drawing shapes using the popular D3 library, defining functions, callback functions, and animations.

The Animation I is followed by Animations II, which helps you create more complex functions using D3 and the topics from The Fundamentals course.business-standard


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