Google sent an email to G Suite customers to tell them that the company has been working on a brand new version of Gmail for the web. In addition to a fresh design, the company also listed some of the new features.
You can expect to be able to access Google Calendar from the Gmail interface directly. Outlook customers are probably going to love this.
You’ll be able to snooze emails so that they reappear in your inbox hours or days later. This is a good way to clean your inbox if you can’t reply to a specific email just yet.
If you use Gmail on your iPhone or Android phone, you may already be using smart replies. These algorithmically-generated replies will also be available on Gmail.com.
Finally, Google is working on a new way to store your emails on your computer for offline access. As the company is slowly phasing out Chrome Apps, Google will now be using standard web technologies to let your browser store your data.
Google has yet to share screenshots of the new design. Gmail’s web interface hasn’t changed in years — you can probably expect a new interface that follows Google’s Material design language.
Update: Sahil Bhutani contacted me after reading this article because he saw a Google employee playing with the new design on public transport. “It was a hybrid of Gmail and Inbox,” he told me. “The left-side column was more like inbox.google.com and the right side was an enlarged version of Gmail. The color in the background had a blue-ish gradient. Every folder on the left had an icon just like Inbox and dividers to split the categories.” Here’s a sketch of what he saw:
Google also notes that the update might break some popular browser add-ons for Gmail, such as Clearbit, Streak, etc.
According to the G Suite email, G Suite customers and regular Gmail users will have to opt in into a new Early Adopter Program to access the new Gmail. It’ll be available in the coming weeks.
Update: A Google spokesperson has provided the following statement (emphasis included): “We’re working on some major updates to Gmail (they’re still in draft phase). We need a bit more time to compose ourselves, so can’t share anything yet—archive this for now, and we’ll let you know when it’s time to hit send.”