Google Celebrates Gmail's 15th Anniversary By Making It More Like Inbox

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Google on Monday officially acknowledged the 15th anniversary of Gmail's launch, resolving to commemorate it with the announcement of a new feature set rolling out to users on a global level as of right now.

Coincidentally, virtually all of those new functionalities have been taken from Inbox and equally coincidentally, Gmail's birthday coincides with the discontinuation of the company's other email app whose servers went dark less than 24 hours ago.

Even though Alphabet's subsidiary appears to have killed off Inbox due to a lack of users, many experiments introduced as part of the now-defunct service already made their way to Gmail, including smart replies, nudges, and email snoozing. Today, the company announced several more of those are now making the switch, starting with Smart Compose, a self-explanatory functionality meant to accelerate the process of writing emails.

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Howdy, stranger

Previously a Pixel 3 exclusive, Smart Compose is now making its way to all users of the Gmail Android app. The same feature will soon be ported to iOS as well, the tech giant confirmed, without clarifying on the matter. Additionally, the solution is now expanding to French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian following its debut in English. Another novelty associated with the service comes in the form of support for more personalized composition suggestions that Google is simply describing as "smarter." Not many details on the improvement have been shared by Google so far, though it appears Smart Compose will now be capable of identifying your most commonly used greetings and will start suggesting those instead of its default options after a while. This capability should extend to everything from "ahoy" to "howdy," though it likely has some checks in place to avoid suggesting potentially vulgar language, as is the case with the initial consumer-grade version of Smart Compose.

Seeing how the service is powered by Google's machine learning, it will get better the more you use it, and the more it's being used by others with whom you share a common tongue. Besides greetings, Smart Compose will now also be suggesting subject lines, though don't expect this particular aspect of the service to be accurate anytime soon as it relies on a lot of guesswork.

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Just-in-time delivery

Another new functionality being added to the Android version of Gmail as of today comes in the form of support for scheduling email. Long-time Inbox users should feel at home with this feature as well seeing how it's been available in the recently discontinued app since its very beginnings in 2015. The same goes for native actions such as forum responses and booking reservations which can now be made directly from within the email app itself.

Google unsurprisingly made no direct reference to Inbox as part of today's announcement, yet the timing of this release is hardly accidental and it seems obvious the company is trying to soften the blow of Inbox's demise by ramping up its efforts to make Gmail more like it, or at least infuse its main email app with enough optional features so as to appease to users who want to make it more like it.

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