Earlier in the year, Gmail introduced some quick-action buttons to help users improve their email interactions within their inbox. These features allowed for users to interact with various attachments without having to open their messages first. More recently, Google has focused on broadening the amount of support and functionality for the feature itself. Gmail now includes quick action buttons for YouTube, Seamless, OpenTable, and Dropbox. These new quick action buttons are incorporated into Gmail’s design to ensure that users can experience a more efficient email process, recognizing how much most people rely on their email in order to receive updates from these services.
If someone has ordered food from a restaurant on Seamless, Gmail allows them to rate and provide feedback for the business by clicking on a new ‘review’ button that is available. OpenTable works similarly, except it allows for users to edit their dinner reservations from their Gmail inbox. Individuals who make use of services such as Vimeo and YouTube can also benefit; their video clips can now be opened with a ‘view video’ quick action button. Shared Dropbox folders and Google Docs can also now be accessed through quick actions, which will end the need to search through folders in order to find links.
Since the initial release of the quick actions feature, Google has received a lot of positive feedback from users who have been taking full advantage of everything that it has to offer. Google has already stated that the company is planning on adding more quick action buttons in the future. This means that they may partner with more services to introduce them into the widening array of quick actions available. Ultimately, the continued improvements on quick actions will ensure that users have a more efficient and faster email experience every time they visit their Gmail inbox.
Google has announced that it will be releasing another update to Gmail today, which will incorporate a deeper level of Google Drive integration into the platform. Users will no longer have to download attachments in their email; instead, they will be able to view and save any sent files to their Google Drive instead. This new update comes a day after Google also released “Quick Actions” buttons which allow for users to have easier interactions with email messages.
The new Google Drive integrations into the platform are designed to ensure that users can have quicker interactions with their email content, such as attached files. Gmail users will be able to see new thumbnail previews for files at the bottom of their messages; this will include office documents, videos, photos, spreadsheets, and PDFs. Clicking on the file previews will display the item in a full-screen image format. Users can then interact with the file in the inbox instead of having to download it in order to view it or achieve full usage.
If users need to save the file for use or viewing later, they can click on the Google Drive button that will appear when they have hovered over the preview. The window that will appear will allow them to save the file to Drive and even choose the folder where the file can be stored at. If users ever need to download their file, there is also an arrow button that will allow them to download their files in the traditional manner.
Not only does this expedite and improve the email interaction experience but it also ensures that the online platform for Gmail feels more like the mobile platform, which had already featured less steps involved. It provides additional functionality for mobile devices, which would previously required a download of files in order to view and use them.
Earlier in the year, Google decided to run an overhaul on its Gmail service and create structure for how various types of emails are handled, such as promotional pitches, social media responses, and discussion group updates. The main inbox that Gmail users encounter during usage is reserved for their actual conversations with their contacts. There are also some ads that may look similar to emails, which are placed above the tabbed folders section. As the structure stands currently, any sort of email correspondence from companies that are promoting new services or deals will get sent straight to the “Promotions” tab.
However, there are some companies that are still trying to determine how the presence of the Promotions tab affects their marketing strategy. For companies that rely on email promotions, such as daily deal sites, it can be damaging because it means that users aren’t instantly seeing their promotional emails when they log into Gmail; they have to actually navigate to the Promotions tab in order have access to these deals. For other companies, it seems that the Promotions tab hasn’t negatively impacted their marketing strategies at all.
Companies such as Shutterfly, Expedia, and Constant Contact have said that they haven’t seen any noticeable changes in how Gmail’s Promotions tab affects the outcome of their marketing. Although Constant Contact did report that there were slight changes with the new Gmail update, the changes weren’t significant enough to drive them towards needing to change their marketing approach. It would seem that for most companies outside of the realm of ‘daily deals’ have not been negatively impacted by the new tabs, leaving many to wonder why experts had projected such poor results initially.
Google has recently started testing a “Sign in to Chrome” prompt that appears when users of Chrome sign into Gmail. Google has confirmed that this is a test for Gmail, but hasn’t provided any further details. A spokesperson for Google provided a statement claiming that the company is always experimenting with new features, but that they don’t have anything specific to share with the public currently.
It’s important to note that not everyone is seeing the new test prompt. In order for it to appear, users need to be using Chrome and must not be signed into the browser already. Even under these circumstances, the test prompt page for Gmail appears only once or twice per account since it is just an experiment.
Although Google isn’t doing anything wrong, people who are concerned about privacy may become concerned. Most internet users do not realize that they are providing Google with their local data when they click the option to “Sign in to Chrome.” Most people wouldn’t care, but there’s still the concern that they should be informed about what information they are providing to Google and how that information is being used. There are a lot of people who are now suggesting that Google should include an opt-in page to ensure that people are aware, even though this is just a test process.
While it is just a test page, it should be kept in mind that many of the options that Google has tested over the years have eventually been released and eventually gained the acceptance of its group of users. Even if people are mildly concerned about the current test page, it’s very likely that Google will release a final version ready for the public that may also acknowledge some of their fears about internet privacy.