Google launches its biggest Gmail update in years with a focus on confidentiality

The world’s most popular search engine, Google, is releasing an eagerly awaited overhaul of its email service Gmail today 25 April.

Google is making official changes to its mail services with the addition of email snoozing, nudging, confidential mode as well as a substantial visual redesign for Gmail on the web.

The new redesign is aimed at getting you to do more with your email, without leaving the main inbox screen. Google noted it has made interactions and the ability to receive attachments; documents and images easier and faster than before. With the redesigned mailing service, you can bypass the content of the mail asking you to read an attachment and go straight to the document or file.

In an interview with The Verge, Jacob Bank, lead product manager for Gmail, says that Google’s redesign was done with an eye on “making people safer and more productive.”

Gmail’s new look focuses on confidentiality as a safety pillar, allowing senders set expiration dates for sensitive emails or revoke these emails entirely. According to Google, these confidentiality mode works through indirect sending of the confidential content — the sender only sends a link to the content. The initial content remains in the sender’s mailbox and is accessed by the recipient either via their Gmail account or another email service, https. In this case, the sender is in charge of how long the other party can access the message because the sender temporary hands out a time-limited access license.

This restructuring comes at the time top social media platform Facebook is battling privacy breach after Cambridge Analytica shared information belonging to about 87 million global users of Facebook without their knowledge.

Although the new Gmail will be rolled out today, it is highly unlikely that it will be available to all of Gmail’s 1.4 billion users immediately and the first to get it will be invited to opt in rather than being able to just turn it on themselves.

How to get the new Gmail

  • login to your personal Gmail account
  • refresh your web browser
  • Click the Settings (⚙) icon in the upper right-hand corner of your inbox
  • Select “Try the new Gmail” at the top of the drop-down menu
  • Follow the same steps and select “Go back to classic Gmail” to return to the old interface

If the “Try the new Gmail,” does not appear on the screen, it is likely the redesigned email has not rolled out to your account yet.