Over the past year or so, Google has been gradually adding all sorts of features in order to make the experience of using Gmail as streamlined and pleasant as possible.
Unlike third-party tools (there are quite a few of those as well!), these features are built into Gmail, so there’s nothing you had to actually do to get them – the system did that for you.
The New Gmail Features
You might, however, be interested in how to make the most them, which is what the following article is all about. In the past we wrote about how to sync outlook with gmail, you might want to read that post too if you missed it.
1. Emojis and more themes
Emojis have become a ubiquitous companion to all forms of online communication. One might say they have morphed into a sort of language. So of course any decent communication service is going to have emoji support.
To insert an emoji in your email, go to the Insert Emoticon button in your Compose window and select the character you want. It’s that simple, yet it will allow you to add a bit more life to your emails.
Also significant is the addition of a series of new Themes, which are available alongside the ability to upload your very own pictures. You can also customize these themes using three editing tools named Blur, Vignette, and Text Background.
In order to change the theme, do the following:
First, click the gear in the top right part of the window. Next, select Themes, then choose a theme from among your photos, Google’s “Featured” collection of images, or upload a new picture you’d like to use.
Finally, you can change the blur, add a vignette, or select a light or dark background for the text. Be as creative as you like, after all, it’s the theme of your email service.
2. You can now “un-send” emails
Has this ever happened to you: moments after hitting ”send”, you’ve realized you’ve just sent a personal email to the wrong person, or there’s a mistake of some kind in the message and it would seem unprofessional if you followed that up with another email apologizing for the mistake?
Thankfully, Google has finally implemented an “Undo Send” feature which will save you from those and other unpleasant situations.
You can set a cancellation period of 5 to 30 seconds and take back any email you’ve sent within that time period. To enable this option, go through the following steps:
First click the gear button in the top right, then click Settings and then find and enable the undo Settings option in the General tab. Finally, set the cancellation period and click Save Changes.
3. Attachment limits are now history
Until now, the maximum size allowed for attachments in Gmail was 25 MB. While it’s pretty hard to believe most people would use email to send files larger than that (instead of, say, a flash drive), even this limit is now history since Gmail is now integrated with Google Drive.
Google’s cloud storage service (used by Gmail as well as other Google apps and service) offers a minimum of 15 GB of free storage.
So even though the 25 MB attachment file limits still technically exists, if you want to send a file larger than that, you can do so through Google Drive, using an option handily available right in the Compose window.
Dropbox is another popular cloud service some of you might be using, so if that’s the case you could use the Dropbox for Gmail extension available for Chrome.
4. The Pinterest look in your Inbox
A couple of years ago Gmail implemented the category tabs feature for the inbox, which is now divided into three sections: Primary, Social, and Promotions. The latter tab is particularly useful, since it does a great deal to clear the clutter, while also gathering the good deals into one place where you can easily find them.
Now the Promotions tab is getting a makeover as Google has decided to implement a tiled, Pinterest-style look.
5. The new Google Contacts feature
If you click the drop-down arrow next to the „Gmail” button (which you can find in the top-left corner of your inbox), you’ll see the option to go into Contacts or Taks. While the latter has remained virtually unchanged (Google Keep is basically the new Tasks), the Contacts feature is new and already seems like a great addition to the service.
Here are just a few great things about about it:
– it will tell you to merge duplicate contacts into one
– it will update your contact’s information (such as phone number) directly from their Google+ profile
– It will display the last few emails you’ve exchanged with that contact, so you perhaps have a bit of context for your conversation
6. Use the old Google Talk instead of Hangouts
While Hangouts is a great Android messenger, it doesn’t work as well with Gmail. The good news is you can revert to the old Google Talk if you so choose. Here’s how to do it:
Click the drop-down arrow near your profile picture in the chat pane, where you can find the option to ”Revert to Old Chat”. Click on it, then follow the instructions presented to you and you’ll quickly be back to Google Talk.