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Gmail: 8 great new features and how to take advantage of them

Image 1: Gmail: 8 great new features and how to take advantage of them

Google has announced that the update will take place in stages. You may have to wait a bit before enjoying the new look and new features of Gmail. However, you can speed things up by getting the new Gmail now. To do this, simply click on Settings (the icon represented by a gear in the right corner of your inbox), and select Try the new version of Gmail. And in case it does not suit you, you can always go back by clicking on Settings > Go back to the classic version of Gmail.

Google rightly hopes that you will keep the new version. Indeed, after spending time with this new Gmail, we were won over by the changes. Here is an overview of the main new features in Gmail and how to take advantage of them. Note, however, that these new features are not all available at the moment, and that you may have to wait a few days before you can take advantage of them.

>> The new Gmail is coming to your browsers

Access shortcut icons

Image 2: Gmail: 8 great new features and how to take advantage of them

One of the most relevant new features in this Gmail overhaul concerns the icons that appear in messages in your inbox, and which allow you to quickly access the most frequently used functions. From left to right, the four icons allow you to select a courier and archive it, delete it, mark it as read or not, and finally “put it on hold” (see below in this article).

These buttons make it easier to manage Gmail tasks. Previously, when it was a question of deleting a single message from the inbox, you had to click on the box to the left of the message, then click on the Delete button again. The delete button now allows you to perform this task with one click. Note however that the old trick, which is to click on the box next to a message, is still the best way to manage several emails at the same time.

Put messages on hold

Image 3: Gmail: 8 great new features and how to take advantage of them

Until then, when an important message is pending, an alert will notify you several times a day (usually during working hours). This message tells you that a response is pending, a response further than the one you can give at the moment. It is a kind of reminder, which reminds you that an answer is necessary for the most important emails. But when the message appears, you have a choice between stopping what you are doing to respond, or simply ignoring the alert. Which is quite annoying because we tend to completely forget the message in question when there is a lot to deal with in the inbox.

The new message waiting option eliminates this kind of problem. She purely and simply proposes to remove one or more messages from the inbox, and to make it reappear at a desired time. To take advantage of this new feature, open a message and click the Hold icon symbolized by a small clock. Gmail asks you when the alert should appear. By default, you can dismiss the alert until “later in the day”, “tomorrow”, “this weekend”, “next week” or “an unspecified date”. You can also set a specific time and date for the pending message to be sent to you.

Gmail pushes you to reply

Image 4: Gmail: 8 great new features and how to take advantage of them

By evoking the revival of messages, Gmail will now take matters into hand as soon as a message to which you have to reply seems to be waiting. The mailbox will notify you if you have left an email for a few days without an answer or if someone has not yet answered one of your requests. If this is the case, an alert will appear on the line of each message, asking if you want to reply or follow up.

Gmail gets a makeover

Image 5: Gmail: 8 great new features and how to take advantage of them

The new design of Gmail is sufficiently similar to that of the classic version not to confuse you. However, you will spot some noticeable differences in your inbox. On the right side for example, you will see a column of icons related to Google apps such as Calendar, Keep and Tasks (a new tool that allows you to manage the tasks to be performed). Finally, an icon [+] lets you add more apps from the G Suite Marketplace.

The left pane of Gmail – the one that brings together various folders and inboxes – should look very familiar to you, with the exception of one newly added item. Click on the hamburger icon, located next to Gmail: you can make it so that the left pane is considerably reduced, leaving only the icons (and no more text), which gives you more space to screen for your to consult your messages.

View attachments directly

Image 6: Gmail: 8 great new features and how to take advantage of them

Like the shortcut icons discussed above, attachments also appear on each message line, so you can open them without having to open a message first. What save a little time if you have already read the message and just need to quickly access the attachment.

In addition, Office documents, PDF files, and photos appear in a pop-up window. By clicking on an attachment that contains a document, Google will open a new tab in your browser.

Use confidential mode

Image 7: Gmail: 8 great new features and how to take advantage of them

One of the most talked about features of Gmail doesn’t seem to be available yet. According to Google, the confidential mode offers you to send e-mails that self-destruct, or at least messages that expire at the time of your choice.

In fact, you are not really sending a message, but rather a link that your recipient is following to read what you have to say. It’s an ideal solution for sharing sensitive information that you prefer not to leave lying around in your recipient’s inbox.

In addition, confidentiality rights management allows you to prevent a recipient from forwarding, copying, downloading or even printing a confidential message. According to our colleagues at The Verge, two-factor authentication for confidential messages should be added to Gmail, in order to force a recipient to enter an access code sent to them. Otherwise, he cannot read a confidential message.

>> The new Gmail will integrate a confidential mode

Respond even faster

Image 8: Gmail: 8 great new features and how to take advantage of them

If you’re using the mobile version of Gmail, you’re already familiar with the auto-response feature, which offers predefined responses. This feature has made its way to the desktop version of Gmail, saving you from unnecessary keystrokes when all you have to do is confirm a meeting time. Finally, note that Gmail can adapt to the language of the recipient: if the original message is in English, the automatic response proposals will be in English, if it is in French, the replies will be too, etc.

Gmail on mobile?

Image 9: Gmail: 8 great new features and how to take advantage of them

Google has paid most of its attention to the desktop version of Gmail, but the Android and iOS versions are still getting an update. High priority notifications will notify you when important messages arrive. Gmail should also start suggesting that you unsubscribe from mailing lists and newsletters that you never open (a variant of a feature already built into the iOS Mail app).