Gmail 2018 update: All the new features and how to get them now

The update, which is primarily for the web version of Google’s email service, brings new security and artificial intelligence features. Here’s everything that’s new, and if you want to start playing with the update now, we’ve also included instructions on how to get it straightaway.

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Gmail has been totally revamped with a new look. Everything from the left sidebar to the compose button is different. There’s even a new bar on the right for add-ons (which we’ll get to in a bit). But most importantly, with the new Gmail, you can see and click attachments in your inbox without having to open a thread.

You can also hover over messages to RSVP to an invite or archive an email thread or snooze an email. As for that last feature, Google said Gmail’s built-in Snooze feature can save users upwards of 100 million opens per month. It essentially reduced the need to repeatedly open the same emails in your inbox.

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Confidential mode lets you create expiration dates for emails and revoke previously sent messages. You can further add two-factor authentication if you want to ensure only the intended recipient accesses the email.

Google’s also rolled out new controls that let you limit what an emailrecipient can do with your message . These controls, called Information Rights Management, let you remove the option to forward, copy, download, or print email messages. This, again, reduces the risk of confidential information being shared with the wrong people.

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Gmail has begun to leverage Google’s AI technology. For instance, with a Nudging feature, Gmail can proactively remind you to follow up or respond to messages. And with Smart Reply, first introduced last year to the Gmail mobile apps, you can quickly respond to emails using auto-suggested responses that Gmail will serve up on the web.

You’ll also see high-priority notifications (available both in the Gmail web app and mobile apps). These notify you when you get important emails. But Google said the goal is to cut down on interruptions.

Lastly, Gmail can now smartly recommend when to unsubscribe from mailing lists. These suggestions are based on how many emails you get from a sender and whether you actually read those emails.

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Google has integrated Gmail with other G Suite apps. So, for instance, you can quickly reference, create, or edit Calendar invites or write notes in Keep — all from a new side panel in your inbox, which makes it easier to access Gmail add-ons, like third-party business apps you might use. You’ll start to see the new side panel in other G Suite apps, too.

From the side bar, you can also manage to-dos in Tasks, a new mobile app now available from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store for free. You can use Tasks to create tasks and subtasks or add due dates with notifications. You can also drag and drop an email into Tasks to create a to-do, and then your due dates will appear in your Calendar.

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Gmail finally offers native offline capabilities.

You’re able to search, write, respond, delete, or archive up to 90 days of email, just as you would while working online.

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Google has announced what it calls Business Email Compromise (BEC) threats – or when someone tries to impersonate a an executive in your business to obtain confidential information. Google introduced phishing protections to prevent these threats, and said Gmail can block 99.9 per cent of BEC attempts by warning users or moving messages to spam.

As part of this change, Google has redesigned Gmail’s security warnings. They should now appear bigger and bolder, give a clear call to action, and better inform you when potentially risky email arrives in your inbox.

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It’s now rolling out to users around the globe. You’ll start to see offline support, Confidential mode, Nudging, high-priority notifications, and unsubscribe suggestions appear in the coming weeks. If the update is available for you now, you may not see all the new features right away. Some, like Confidentiality mode, have a staggered release.

Go to your Gmail account on the web, then click the gear icon in the top right corner, and if the update is available on your account, you will see an option to “Try the new Gmail” at the top of the drop-down menu.

Ask your system admin to enable the new Gmail on your G Suite account at work or school. Administrators can do this as part of their Early Adopter Program. They just need to go to the Admin Console and allow users to access the new Gmail. After they’ve turned this on, individual accounts will receive the “Try the new Gmail” option under Settings.

If you hate the new Gmail, you can revert the changes (for now). Just go back to the Settings cog and then select the option to revert to Classic Gmail. Once done, refresh your browser. That’s it!

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Should i save my data on cloud?

I recently read a story about how amazon had scrapped their unlimited clouds services package to all its users. This in a way got me thinking about the realities of cloud based services. I have almost tried all cloud based services that are popular but still struggling with reliability aspect among them. In 2015, Microsoft announced a similar move where they also scrapped the unlimited package for overdrive  making it less than what was previously offered. I was among those affected by this move. A similar incident happened when my Dropbox was resented and i lost all files saved. With these incidences am still wondering how sustainable these services are and whether in the long run this is the solution to conventional ways of storage.

It’s pretty simple to understand where a file goes when you save it on your PC. It lives on your hard drive, possibly housed in a set of folders you’ve created and organized yourself. That file is only stored on your computer, unless you decide to email it to yourself or save it on an external hard drive or USB.

Now what about the cloud?

At its most basic level, “the cloud” is just fancy-talk for a network of connected servers (a server is simply a computer that provides data or services to other computers). When you save files to the cloud, they can be accessed from a computer connected to that cloud’s network. Now take that idea and multiply it to understand how the cloud works for you. The cloud is not just a few servers, but a network of many servers typically stored in a spaceship-sized warehouse—or several hundred spaceship-sized warehouses. These warehouses are guarded and managed by companies such as Google (Google Docs), Apple (iCloud), or Dropbox.

So it’s not just some nebulous concept. It’s physical, tangible, real.

When you save files to the cloud, you can access them on any computer, provided it’s connected to the Internet and you’re signed into your cloud services platform. Take Google Drive. If you use Gmail, you can access Drive anywhere you can access your email. Sign in for one service and find your entire library of documents and photos on another.

Benefits of cloud storage

On the flip side, the data you save to the cloud is far more secure than it is on your own hard drive. Cloud servers are housed in warehouses offsite and away from most employees, and they are heavily guarded. In addition, the data in those servers is encrypted, which makes hacking it a laborious, if not formidable, task for criminals. Whereas a malware infection on your home computer could expose all of your personal data to cyber-crooks, and even leave your files vulnerable to ransomware threats. In fact, we recommend backing up your files to a cloud service as a hedge against ransomware.

Another benefit to storing data on the cloud is cost effectiveness and ease-of-access. You can store tons of data, often for free, using the cloud. Measure that against the number of external hard drives and USBs you’d have to purchase, and the difficulty accessing data once you’ve stored to multiple other devices, and you can see why cloud storage has become a popular option for businesses and consumers alike.

Risks of cloud storage

Cloud security is tight, but it’s not infallible. Cybercriminals can get into those files, whether by guessing security questions or bypassing passwords. That’s what happened in The Great iCloud Hack of 2014, where nude pictures of celebrities were accessed and published online.

But the bigger risk with cloud storage is privacy. Even if data isn’t stolen or published, it can still be viewed. Governments can legally request information stored in the cloud, and it’s up to the cloud services provider to deny access. Tens of thousands of requests for user data are sent to Google, Microsoft, and other businesses each year by government agencies. A large percentage of the time, these companies hand over at least some kind of data, even if it’s not the content in full.

The other risk is the fact that there is guarantee that your information/data will not be deleted incase of changes in package subscriptions like the case of amazon unlimited to 30Tb limit.

Final verdict

Yes, despite all the challenges, your data is relatively safe in the cloud—likely much more so than on your own hard drive. In addition, files are easy to access and maintain. However, cloud services ultimately put your data in the hands of other people. If you’re not particularly concerned about privacy, then no big whoop. But if you have sensitive data you’d like keep from prying eyes…probably best to store in a hard drive that remains disconnected from your home computer.

If you’re ready to store data on the cloud, we suggest you use a cloud service with multi-factor authentication and encryption. In addition, follow these best practices to help keep your data on the cloud secure:

  • Use hardcore passwords: Long and randomized passwords should be used for data stored on the cloud. Don’t use the same password twice.
  • Back up files in different cloud accounts: Don’t put all your important data in one place.
  • Practice smart browsing: If you’re accessing the cloud on a public computer, remember to logout and never save password info.