Google has started rolling out a major Gmail update that will let you interact with emails in your inbox. In a different way than you usually do. You’ll be able to scroll through catalogues, make bookings, RSVP directly to events and more — the possibilities are basically endless.
The new features are made available through Google’s AMP technology, which also powers mobile pages and articles on sites that use the framework. The AMP service, which Google has been working on for more than a year, rolls out this week on Gmail for desktop, with mobile capabilities coming soon.
Stuck in the mail-web
Most of the functions won’t really apply to the general Gmail user. Rather, it’s directed at corporates who send out promotional material and have developers on hand to create interactive emails. Awesome interactive emails, we hope.
One way it may influence you? Productivity. Google’s update will allow users to do basic tasks from inside Gmail, instead of linking out to a new browser tab. For example, you could reply to a comment addressed to you in a Google Doc without having to open up the app. You could also mark tasks assigned to you as completed. You’ll be able to RSVP inside an email, or make a booking for a holiday without ever leaving Gmail.
Only selected companies support the feature at present. You can expect to see more adopt AMP tech soon enough. Right now it’s only used by Booking.com, Despegar, Doodle, Ecwid, Freshworks, Nexxt, OYO Rooms, Pinterest and redBus. Not really South African-friendly across the board, but you can bet more will follow.
It’s worth noting that you won’t be able to see dynamic emails in third-party email clients like Outlook. They’ll only work in-browser for Gmail and in the Gmail mobile apps (which will receive AMP capabilities soon).