Back in April Google revealed a redesigned Gmail user interface with a fantastic set of features including reply suggestions, message snoozing, and follow-up reminders. When it was announced the new Gmail interface was only available to those domains in the Early Adopter Program. Today, Google announced that the new Gmail interface will soon be available to all G Suite domains.
There are a few options that G Suite administrators can use for the roll-out of the new Gmail interface. No matter which option is chosen, by October 16th the new version of the Gmail UI (user interface) will be the only one available to new users and current users will see the option to revert to the old version disappear.
Option 1: Make the new Gmail the default for all users immediately.
This option will make the new Gmail the default for all users in a domain as soon as the administrator activates it. Users will still have the option to use the old Gmail until October 16th.
Option 2: Allow users to select the new Gmail UI and features when they’re ready.
This is the default option for domains who participated in the Early Adopter Program. This option will allow domain administrators to let their users choose to use the new Gmail UI and features when they’re ready. However, all users who have not opted-in by September 18th will automatically be transitioned beginning on September 18th. Users will still be able to revert to the old Gmail UI until October 16th.
Option 3: All users begin the transition to new Gmail UI and features on August 21st.
This is the default option for domains that didn’t participate in the Early Adopter Program. This option leaves users on the current version of Gmail until August 21st. After August 21st they’ll see the option to try the new Gmail UI and features. If they don’t opt-in by September 18th, they’ll automatically be transitioned. Users will still be able to revert to the old Gmail UI until October 16th.
What does this mean for teachers?
A change like this can be hard, especially at the beginning of the school year when you already have a lot of other things on your plate. But in this case the change is a good thing because the features in the new Gmail UI can help you get through your inbox more efficiently.
Smart Reply is my favorite feature of the new Gmail UI. Smart Reply creates suggestions for replies to send to messages in your inbox. This can be a real time-saver when your inbox is full of emails that contain similar types of questions. I’ve been using Smart Reply on Gmail on my phone all summer and it has proven to be convenient for short messages.
Nudging is the other feature of the new Gmail UI that I like a lot. Nudging prompts you to reply to emails that you haven’t responded to. Nudging also prompts you to follow-up on messages that you sent but didn’t receive a reply to.