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4 Gifts Gmail Gave Us For Its 15th Birthday

Tech

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Many of these updates seem to bring the best of the now-defunct Google Inbox app to the site.

Fifteen years ago this month, Gmail made its debut online. And despite making its first appearance on April Fools’ Day, its dominance has been far from a joke. It made its arrival on the scene with unparalleled dominance in its search capability, tools to fight spam, and especially its storage capacity – 1GB? Could you believe it (in 2004)?

This month marks its fifteenth anniversary, and in honor of the milestone Google opted to give its users several gifts. Here, we share four of the latest updates to the platform that will change the way you communicate.

Smart Compose Learns New Tongues

Smart Compose, an AI-assisted feature designed to expedite your email sending, is now available in Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese, in addition to English. This feature has reportedly saved Gmail users from typing over a billion characters each week – and now it’ll be able to do so for more users all over the world.

Smart Compose is also coming to mobile in a big way – once only available for the Pixel 3, the feature is now making its debut across all Android devices. In the coming months, the feature will also be available for iOS users. Given that Google estimates over 72 percent of the US workforce will be mobilized in some capacity by next year, strong mobile support is a logical shift toward the present and future of how business is conducted.

Smart Compose Has Gotten to Know You

Smart Compose has learned more than new languages in the last few years; now, it knows even more about you…and will be using that information to speed up your composition process. Have a custom greeting or closing you’re partial to in your emails? Smart Compose knows, and will be using it more frequently. Stumped about an email subject? Once you start writing your message, it’ll be able to suggest appropriate subject lines for what you’ve filled the email body with.

The tool admittedly still has some room to grow, but these additions to Smart Compose will continue to cement Gmail’s dominance in the AI-assisted email segment.

Inside Job: More Activity from Inside Your Inbox

Finally, you can do more from within the “confines” of your inbox than ever before. According to product manager Tom Holman, users “can respond to a comment thread in Google Docs, browse hotel recommendations and more, directly within emails.

This way,” he says in the birthday blog post, “you don’t have to open a new tab or app to get things done.”

Press ‘Pause’ with Scheduled Emails

Perhaps the biggest news of our gift haul from Google, is the ability to schedule emails without the use of a third-party tool. While this capacity existed in the now-defunct Inbox app, desktop users couldn’t delay or set the sending of their messages. Now, Gmail users will be able to send messages anywhere from two minutes in the future…to fifty years from now.

Whether you’re scheduling emails later to be respectful of someone’s time away from their desk, to facilitate easy work across time zones, or simply to avoid hitting “send” on that email you’re nervous about, Scheduled Emails stand to make a massive impact on users’ ability to work hard and work smart.

This collection of updates, given to us as Gmail is poised toward a new frontier, shows a lot of promise for the future of G Suite: more ways to support international use, stronger use of AI, and minimal movement from inboxes to the wider internet. We’re excited to play with the many gifts that Google has provided in this announcement – and yet we’re already looking ahead to the additional upgrades to Gmail for the next fifteen years and beyond.

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