Google has launched the long-awaited Gmail refresh. And if you're keen on trying it out, you can do so right now.
In a blog post on Wednesday (Apr. 25), Google said that it's rolling out the new Gmail to its 4 million paying business customers and will also make the app available to be turned on for consumers. And arguably the biggest change comes to its design.
For one, you'll notice that the entire online Gmail app has received a makeover and looks fresher compared to the previous version. The pane on the left is slightly larger and gives you easy access to your Inbox, Sent Mail, and other folders. A larger Compose button at the top makes it clear where you need to click to open a new message.
The e-mails themselves have received a slight makeover, though you'll still see threaded messages and have the ability to star those messages that are most important.
On the security front, the new Gmail features a Confidential Mode that lets you set expiration dates on your e-mails so they're no longer accessible. You can also require that people who read your messages use multiple forms of authentication before they can read your message. Stopping the recipient from being able to forward, copy, or print the e-mail is also possible. And just in case you're targeted by malware, the new Gmail has built-in features that make it clearer you're potentially in trouble if you click on a message.
Google has baked artificial intelligence into the new Gmail that will "intelligently (and subtly) nudge you" when it's time to respond to a message or prioritize something. For instance, in the image above, Google shows an orange message on an e-mail that says, "Received 3 days ago. Reply?" If you were to click on that, you'd be able to quickly reply to the e-mail.
To make you more efficient when you're using the Inbox, Google has added a hover feature that will let you open attachments, delete a message, or archive it without ever needing to open it. Google is also integrating tightly Gmail and other apps, like Calendar and Docs, to make it easier for you to create an event or open a document from within Gmail.
How to Get the New Gmail
If you're ready to get started with the new Gmail, you can start today on Gmail Business accounts if you're part of the G Suite Early Adopter Program. You can turn it on in the Admin Console.
If you're a personal Gmail user, you can turn on the new version via the Settings in the top-right. Choose "Try the new Gmail" and you'll be all set. This option may not appear for you at first, as Google is rolling it out in waves.
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Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.