7 new Gmail features and how to use them

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Google recently announced a Gmail redesign for G Suite for Education customers that introduces new features such as message snoozing, confidential mode, G Suite integration, and smart reply. The new web interface has been enabled for Lehigh users and expands the amount of tasks you can perform without leaving your inbox.

To start using it now, click the gear icon in the upper right of your message view, then choose Try the new Lehigh University Mail.

Google is gradually rolling out the changes, so some of the features may not yet be available. LTS has discovered add-ons such as Column Resizer do not work in the new interface and Gmail Labs, where users could find some extra features, was discontinued. However, you can find many of the same options by clicking the gear icon, then Settings, then Advanced.

Here are 7 of the best new features we've found and how to use them! You can also watch a video tour of the features.

Do more without leaving your inbox

New hover-activated buttons allow you to quickly archive, trash, snooze, and mark messages as read or unread, all without having to open them first. You can also open attachments directly from message view.


Snooze emails and reminders to temporarily remove them from your inbox until you need them. Your email or reminder will return to the top of your inbox when you want it to, such as “Later today,” “Tomorrow,” or “Next week.” You can always see your snoozed items under Snoozed in the Menu.

G Suite integration: The Google Apps sidebar

You can now tap on icons in a brand-new right-hand sidebar to pull up your Google Calendar, write new notes in Keep, create Tasks, or access other Gmail add-ons you’ve installed.


Keep sensitive data more secure with confidential mode

With confidential mode (coming soon), you can protect sensitive content in your emails by creating expiration dates or revoking previously sent messages. It’s also possible to prevent sent messages from being copied, forwarded, printed or downloaded.


To learn more about Confidential mode, see the Google Help topic Send & Open Confidential Emails.

Nudge notifications

Nudge is a reminder system to help make sure important messages don’t slip through the cracks. If Google believes an email in your inbox needs responding to, it will remind you of this in the title of the email and as a notification. Nudge also works for when Google determines a sent email warrants a response. If you'd like to disable this feature, go to Settings > General and uncheck either or both boxes in the Nudges section.



Save time with Smart Reply

Smart Reply saves you time by suggesting three quick responses based on the email you received. Once you’ve selected one, you can send it immediately or edit your response starting with the Smart Reply text.


Offline support

The Gmail Offline feature lets you read, respond to, and search your Gmail messages even when you aren't connected to the Internet. It requires the use of the Chrome web browser.

To enable Gmail Offline, click the gear icon, then Settings, then check the box Enable offline mail.


Here you can choose how much email to sync, whether to download attachments, and how to store offline mail when you sign out of a Gmail account synced for offline storage.

Anyone who shares their computer with family members or coworkers should choose to delete synced messages when an account is signed out. If left behind, cached emails could pose a security risk.

To learn more about this feature, see Google Help topic Use Gmail offline.

Plus mentions

A Google Plus-like feature called Plus Mentions lets you copy (cc:) people from inside the body of the message. Just add a plus sign (+) and start typing the person’s name. A dropdown menu of people will appear. Select a name, and it will be auto-completed in the email and also added to the cc: field.

Other changes

  • In the previous version of Gmail, you could switch to your contacts list by clicking the Gmail menu on the left side of the page. You can now get to the contacts page by clicking the Apps icon in the upper right corner of the Gmail inbox. When you click the Apps icon, which is a square made up of nine smaller squares, it unfolds to reveal a panel of icons for other Google programs and services, including Contacts, Drive, Docs, Calendar, Groups, and Hangouts.
  • Google Labs has changes its name. If you are a user of Google Lab features (under Settings), it may look as if Labs has gone away in the new Gmail. It's there, but it now appears under the Advanced tab.
  • If you are on the new Cisco Unity voice messaging system, note that there are a few extra steps to listen to voicemail messages that come to your inbox. When the voice message attachment appears in your inbox, click to download it. In the lower left corner of the screen, select the dropdown next to the file “voicemessage.wav” and choose “always open files of this type.” From now on when you download the file it should autoplay. Most Lehigh-imaged machines at Lehigh are set to use either Quicktime or VLC to play audio files.
  • During testing, we noticed you can no longer click a date/time in an email to automatically create a Calendar event. We hope this is a temporary ommision in the new Gmail. We have reported it, and expect this feature to return soon.

For more information about the new features, see Google’s handy product guide, or visit go.lehigh.edu/newlehighgmail for frequently asked questions.

You can also contact the LTS Help Desk at 610-758-HELP (610-758-4357) or helpdesk@lehigh.edu.