Back in 2009, Google introduced an experimental feature in Gmail called Undo Send. It was available within Gmail Labs, where Google tests potential features before releasing them to everyone. Well, after six years in beta status Undo Send is finally ready for prime time.
Undo Send lets Gmail users cancel emails in the first few seconds after they press the Send button. The idea is to save people from embarrassment if they suddenly spot a typo, or change their mind about the content of the message. Undo Send originally gave people just five seconds to decide if they wanted to unsend or not, but eventually that was expanded to ten seconds.
Users can adjust the timeframe up to 30 seconds if they wish.
Google has moved Undo Send from Gmail Labs to the main setting page, and now anyone can use it. The feature is also available to users of Google's Inbox email app. Undo Send is turned off by default for those not already using it in Gmail Labs.
There's no doubt this is a handy feature that has surely saved people from negative outcomes.
[See what you missed at Google I/O this year.]
Gmail, as great as it is, is far from perfect. Here are a few suggested features for business users that might be good additions to Google's email service:
- Improved subject handling. One of Gmail's biggest strengths is how it handles email conversations. Emails that all respond to the same subject are threaded into a single chain of messages. This helps people see the progress of the conversation as it unfolds. Sometimes, however, you want to reply to all and change the subject. As Gmail is today, this takes several steps and is somewhat hidden. Google could make it easier. Moreover, changing the subject currently breaks the email thread and launches a new one. There's definitely room for improvement here.
- Contacts integration. Google Contacts, which is part of Gmail, has come a long way over the years. Google recently updated Google Contacts on the Web with its material design. The new version is sleeker and easier to use, but it still doesn't play well with Gmail. For example, it is not easy to create a new contact by clicking on the email address of an email sender. This is something Outlook has been able to do for years. As Gmail works today, you need to toggle a drop-down menu from the sidebar to create new contacts from emails. It could be more obvious.
- Google Docs editor. It's fairly easy to open documents from Gmail and edit them in Google Docs. In order to do so, however, you have to add the document to your Google Drive folder, edit the document there, and then re-attach the document to a new email if you want to send it back. It would be very helpful to have a simple document editor built right into Gmail so people could make small documents edits without leaving Gmail.
What would you like to see added to Gmail? Please feel free to add your own suggestions below.