How to Get Started with Gmail’s New Features

Gmail is now a part of Google, which means all of its new features are available to all users. The messaging service introduced several new improvements to make your inbox and daily tasks a little easier. Let’s take a look at how to use these new features and make the most of your time in the inbox.

Fluent Design

One of the biggest changes that Gmail introduced is Fluent Design. If you’ve ever used the service you’ll know that Gmail is filled with colorful, animated cards (known as “cards”) that give the service its unique identity. With the new design, these cards have been replaced with plain white boxes with simple design and text. While cards were an easy way to deliver small pieces of information to your readers, the new design makes it easier for Google to pack in more features and information into a tiny space.

Improved Typing Impressions

Another major change that Gmail rolled out is a new, snappier typing experience. Before the new design, if you began to type and didn’t stop before you hit the return key, your message would be sent as soon as you hit send. The new design prevents this from happening by showing you a little card with the word “Done” when you’ve finished typing. This ensures that your message won’t be sent until you actually hit the button to confirm the message.

Easier Inbox Navigation

If you use the search bar at the top of the screen, you’ll notice that it’s much easier to find what you’re looking for now than before. Before, when you searched, you’d see suggestions for people and threads you might want to reply to or engage with. Now, when you search, you’ll see both threads and people suggested based on your search terms. In other words, if you search for “summer wedding,” you’ll see both wedding planner ideas and wedding proposals from people matching the search terms. This makes it much easier for you to engage with potential connections via Gmail.

New Features For Organizers

Gmail also added several features specifically for those using the service to manage their schedules, contacts, and projects. These features make it easier for you to identify important emails, act on them before other messages, and get notifications when you have new messages waiting for you.

Convenient Reply

An incredibly useful new feature is the ability to send a quick reply to any email. If you receive an email that you don’t have to respond to right away, you can hit reply and type a brief message. When you hit send, a new card will appear in the recipient’s inbox with your reply. This feature makes it much easier for you to send a quick response to anyone without having to leave the message open in a new tab or window. It also means you don’t have to go back and look for the email you were replying to later.

Snooze

Another feature that’s useful for those who get a lot of email is the ability to snooze an email. If you receive an email that’s not important enough to deal with right away, you can put it on hold by hitting the Snooze button and then coming back to it at a later time. When you do come back to it, a little card signifying that you’ve been snoozing it will appear above the message to remind you of your action. This makes it much easier for you to deal with email when you have a little bit of time to spare during the day but you still want to get things done. You can also restore a previously-snoozed message by hitting the “Undo” button next to the message’s timestamp.

Find My Phone

If you use your phone’s GPS to find your location, you can use the same technology to search for your mobile device. Once you find it, you can pull up a map with your phone’s coordinates and track its location using the arrow keys. This feature makes it much easier to find your phone if it gets lost or stolen, especially if it’s connected to Wi-Fi and you haven’t changed your Google password.

Password Protect

If you use a password to protect the content you post on social media, you can use it to secure your Gmail messages too. In the settings menu that appears when you click the Gmail logo, you can select which services to protect using a password and which ones to allow access to without a password. When you click the Google+ logo, you’ll see a menu with your profile’s password-protected posts and other settings, including whether or not to allow public sharing of your posts.

One-Tap Accessibility

Last but not least, Gmail introduced a new accessibility feature that makes it much easier for those with vision problems to use the service. To use this feature, simply go to Settings > General > Accessibility and make sure the “Talk to Text” setting is enabled. This feature will allow screen readers (software that makes it easier for people who are visually impaired to access information on a computer or mobile device) to read your emails to you aloud. When someone with a vision problem uses this feature, they will be able to engage with you through email instead of having to guess at what you’re saying based on the tone of your voice.

You can’t use all of the new features from Gmail right away. To take advantage of them, you’ll have to update your program. To do this, simply click the Gmail logo at the top of any page and then click the three little dots next to the sign-in button. This will take you to the settings page and allow you to select which features you want to use.

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