Google has been gradually adding and, more quietly, removing features from Gmail over the past few weeks. That momentum continued on Monday when Google announced some extensions to the popular email ciient’s Smart Compose feature.
Desktop and Google Pixel 3 users know Smart Compose as the Gmail feature that completes sentences for you on occasion. Google is enhancing it so it can supposedly emulate your writerly voice, meaning it can better adapt to informal ways of greeting email recipients now.
It will even suggest subject lines now, according to Google. In addition to that, Smart Compose will now work in Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese alongside English.
Finally, and perhaps most significantly, Smart Compose should now work on Gmail for Android devices. Google also said an iOS release is “coming soon,” but didn’t give a specific timetable for its release. Smart Compose somehow wasn’t available on a large majority of mobile devices almost a year after its launch, but hey, better late than never.
A more straightforward update to Gmail is the new ability to schedule messages. Clicking an arrow next to the “Send” button in the compose window will bring up this scheduler. You can choose from presets like “tomorrow morning” or specify a particular time and date.
You could previously schedule emails on Gmail through third-party extensions, but it’s much more convenient to have power built directly in to the client. It’s handy for communicating across time-zones or setting up reminders for friends and family.
They’re minor updates, sure, but decent reminders of why Gmail remains so popular 15 years after its launch.
Aside from that, new AMP features for Gmail will allow senders to make their messages more interactive and functional without requiring recipients to open links in new tabs.
This is a bit of a double-edged sword, though, as Gmail is also losing some features. The productivity-minded Inbox by Gmail app is dead, with some of its most beloved features still waiting to find their way into the regular Gmail app. Key features from the third-party IFTTT service are also getting killed off by Gmail API changes.
There could be legitimate technical reasons for those downgrades, but that doesn’t mean everyone has to be happy about it.