It did not take long for Gmail to become the most popular free email service provider. Since being launched in 2004 it has amassed more than 1 billion users, many of whom access it via its web interface.
That interface, as we know it, has largely remained the same for the last 14 years, providing simple functionality in a mostly nondescript package. Sure, there are skins and themes we can choose from, but there isn't much in the way of extra fluff.
Maybe people have been clamoring for an updated look. Or, you know that saying, just when you figure something out - it changes! Well, get ready for a Gmail change.
14 years later, Gmail will be refreshed
That's right, Google sent an email to G Suite users letting them know that a public announcement will be made in the coming weeks.
Google's note did not say when, exactly, the changes will be implemented, and it didn't give great detail as to what we can expect. (Way to tease us Google!) However, it does mention the addition of several new features that will be coming to Google Suite users as well as folks who have regular Gmail accounts.
What will we get?
So, what should we expect? For starters, Google is promising a "fresh, clean look" for web-based Gmail, with easy access to G Suite apps, like Google Calendar, within Gmail.
There will also be "Smart Reply" on the web, whereas now it is only for mobile, along with the ability to "snooze" emails. In fact, it would not be a surprise to see the new web-based Gmail look more like the mobile version.
Along with all of that, Google plans on rolling out more offline support as well as a move of Chrome apps to the web. The migration of apps to the web in order to better work with the new Gmail may lead to some not working properly, Google warned.
That is part of the reason why Google plans on introducing native offline support in the new Gmail by June 2018. With that in mind, Google recommends testing all critical Chrome extensions before broadly enabling the new Gmail experience within an organization.
If at that point the extension does not work, it will be up to you to contact the extension's developer to request an update.
How will we get the updated Gmail?
For G Suite users, sometime in the coming weeks, there will be a note providing more details about the update as well as information on when they can opt-in.
As for the rest of us, there is no word on when exactly our accounts will change, but it's probably safe to assume it will happen slowly and optionally for a little while until Google can iron out any wrinkles that may be present.
So it looks like Chrome, Firefox and Edge will be ridding themselves of passwords
Maybe it's about time we get rid of the password and have something better take its place. Thankfully, we won't have to wait for long. A new online authentication system is being rolled out soon and it can revolutionize the way we secure our online accounts (and make them safer too). Click here to see what it is.