Google rolled out of a new version of Gmail this week, including better security and artificial intelligence, which was developed in the internet giant’s office in Kitchener, Ontario. (shown above)
The 1.4 billion active monthly users of the email service will notice a new look, better security, artificial intelligence and easy-to-use features that boost productivity, said Matthew Izatt, a product manager with Gmail, who is based in Kitchener.
Users can select “confidential mode” in the new version of Gmail. They can also decide whether their message can be forwarded or downloaded by the recipient. And the sender can select a date when the email will automatically be deleted.
“We allow users to set an expire date for their content,” said Izatt.
High-risk messages that could be phishing emails will now come with an “in your face warning.”
Artificial intelligence was used in three new features.
“We have been working very heavily on trying to figure out how to apply machine intelligence to Gmail,” said Izatt.
A new feature called “nudging” will remind users about uncompleted tasks.
“We are going to surface messages where an action was asked for and not completed,” said Izatt. “We will put it at the top of your list and notify you if an action was not done.”
This will apply to inbound and outbound emails.
“That way we really got your back, and it is really a great example of a way to apply AI that really helps people,” said Izatt.
For a while now, mobile users of Gmail have used something called “smart reply.” That is now available for desktop use. The feature provides short snippets of text that quickly structure the beginning of a reply.
“Users can also add their own personal content on top of that,” said Izatt. “We found this to be extremely popular in our mobile apps.”
Artificial intelligence is also used to manage subscription lists. If emails are going unread, users will be sent a message offering to unsubscribe them from lists they no longer interact with.
“Most people don’t go in and spend the time to curate the mail list they subscribe to,” said Izatt.
On the mobile side, artificial intelligence will be used to notify users of the most important emails, which Izatt said represent about 10 per cent of all emails for typical users.
“And that way you know if you are getting buzzed and there is an icon there, it is something you really want to pay attention to,” he said.
Izatt oversaw a team of 75 developers in Google’s Breithaupt Street office that forms the core of the Gmail team. After search, Gmail is the second most popular product or service produced by Google.
Google says that in addition to Gmail’s 1.4 billion monthly users, more than four million businesses are paying for the corporate version included in G Suite — the cloud-based set of intelligent apps that include Gmail, Docs, Drive and Calendar, which launched about two years ago.
This is the third version of Gmail. The email service was launched in 2007; a second version came out in 2011.
“This is the biggest redesign Gmail has had since at least 2011, maybe since launch,” said Izatt.
The new Gmail will also allow users to work online or off-line with a simple setting. A side panel will also be added to G Suite that allows users to interact with Calendar, Tasks and Google Keep together while in Gmail.
“You can drag and drop an email into a task, which will create a brand new task, and that task will have a link back to that original email content,” said Izatt.
Mobile versions of the Tasks app for iOS and Android operating systems have been added.
And there is a “snooze” feature.
“You receive a request for an action that you don’t want to do until Friday or next Monday,” said Izatt. “You can now snooze that email until next Monday, it will be out of your view. You don’t have to think about it, and it will pop right back into your list Monday for you.”
The new Gmail has a completely new look and interface. Beginning Wednesday, users can decide if they want to opt in.
“It is the Gmail users know and love, but with a fresh new look,” said Izatt.
Read the source article in TheRecord.com.