Gmail turns 15, adds schedule-send option to celebrate

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Gmail launched in 2004 and offered users 1GB of storage… which in those days seemed insanely generous, and the sort of limit we’d never reach. Leap forward 15 years and many of us have 1GB of unread emails alone. A lot has changed in the 15 years since Google’s email service launched, including recent additions like smart compose, the ability to received interactive emails, and at long last the company has added a feature we’ve been longing for: the ability to schedule emails.

Type and… wait

Google announced the new scheduling feature for Gmail earlier today in a post on its blog marking the service’s anniversary. It doesn’t say when the feature will be rolling out, but like smart compose (which took a while to arrive after we first heard about it) we expect it’ll rollout gradually in the days to come.

What Gmail looked like in 2004

We’ve long loved the ability to cancel sending an email for 30 seconds, but scheduling has felt like an obvious and annoying omission. We often find ourselves replying to emails at odd hours and hoping the recipients have the sense to have their devices set to do-not-disturb-mode while also worrying sending at strange hours makes us look like workaholics.

“We understand that work can often carry over to non-business hours, but it’s important to be considerate of everyone’s downtime,” Tom Holman, senior product manager for Gmail says. “We want to make it easier to respect everyone’s digital well-being, so we’re adding a new feature to Gmail that allows you to choose when an email should be sent. Just write your email as you normally would, then schedule it to arrive in your recipient’s inbox at a later date and time”

Fill in the blanks

It’s only been a few months, but we’re already huge fans of smart compose, so we expect scheduling will go the same way and soon we’ll barely be able to remember a world without it. Our favourite part of smart compose? The way it automatically suggests the sender’s name when you hit reply and start drafting a response… particularly when the sender in question has a long or unusually spelled name.

According to Tolman, smart compose “already saves people from typing over 1 billion characters each week on the web” and he says the feature is coming to iOS users soon (it rolled out to Android users recently). The company is also adding support for Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese soon.

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