What the new Gmail does and how to undo it

Google has rolled out new features for the redesign of its popular mail client that are now available to users. Here are some of the more interesting ones.

If you use Gmail, you may have noticed that your inbox suddenly looks different. That’s because Google has rolled out new features for the redesign of its popular mail client that are now available to users. Here are some of the more interesting features you can use to go into “confidential mode” or snooze emails you are not ready to deal with:

New sidebars, snooze features, and self-destruct options

The redesign is aimed at making Gmail more seamless with the rest of Google. Now, you have to leave Gmail less to use other Google apps. Apps like Google’s calendar and the Keep note-taking app will appear in a right-hand sidebar so that you can reschedule that meeting or jot down a note without needing to open another tab.

If your mind cannot handle the clutter of hundreds of emails hitting your inbox all at once, you now have the option to “Snooze” and deal with the emails on your own time. If you get an email that you do not want to deal with immediately, you can select the “snooze” option, so that it will temporarily disappear from your inbox and reappear when you tell it to show up.

Don’t want that sensitive email lingering in someone’s inbox? Google said its new “confidential mode” can help with that. It allows you to set an expiration date for messages you send to other Gmail users and revoke access if you do not want them to see it anymore.

But before you feel too secure, recognize that privacy advocates have come out against the language of the new feature. The Electronic Frontier Foundation said that confidential mode is not confidential, because Google can still see it and you can still see it in your Sent folder. “Because Confidential Mode emails are not end-to-end encrypted, Google can see the contents of your messages and has the technical capability to store them indefinitely, regardless of any ‘expiration date’ you set,” the digital-rights nonprofit wrote.

If you’re among the people not feeling the update, you can opt out by clicking “Settings” in the top right corner and clicking “Go back to classic Gmail.” But this is a temporary fix. Whether or not you like the new features, we will all have them eventually. “Approximately 12 weeks after the GA [general availability] announcement in July, any users who’ve opted out of the new Gmail will be automatically migrated to the new experience, with no option to opt out,” Google said in a blog post.

Monica Torres|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at mtorres@theladders.com.