Gmail users will soon see a collapsable summary of their purchases and flights on Android and iOS. That's thanks to an update that's reportedly rolling out now to both platforms.
Summarily, the updated UI places a new card at the top of emails, just below the subject line. On Apple devices, Google is placing the card on a standalone cover page before the email is presented. The cards provide pertinent information from the email at-a-glance. That lets users garner the details without reading the entire email 0r scrolling to the bottom where the information is normally stored.
For instance, when a Gmail user on Android or iOS places and order and receives a confirmation email, they'll be presented with details of the order. The details appear regardless of whether its a digital or physical order. That includes who the order is coming from, how much the cost was, and items included in the order. Emails that contain details about shipping will also sometimes feature tracking numbers or links to get more details.
Conversely, for emails pertaining to flights, details like departure and landing times, duration, passenger name, seat, confirmation number all appear. If the flight is a round trip, multiple cards will sometimes appear to show details in both directions.
This won't work for every order and you may not see it just yet
Now, this feature will undoubtedly prove useful since it will allow users to check for information more quickly. But that doesn't mean it will be immediately useful for everybody. Play Store and Google Play transactions show the new cards every time.
Amazon orders, for the time being, are precluded from the new UI and feature. The details shown in the cards are pulled directly from within the email. So it isn't really clear why Amazon is excluded.
It may also not be landing for every user on iOS or Android. Google sometimes delays or staggers its updates, even when they're arriving on the server instead of in the app. But, in this case, the change seems to stem from a feature added to the Gmail APK several months back. So the roll-out will be happening at a slower rate here and users will need the latest version of Gmail for their mobile platform.
Google has been making other user-facing changes too
The appearance of cards showcasing a summary of purchases and flights in Gmail isn't necessarily surprising. Google has been making a wide number of changes to make its email app more functional and user-friendly over the past several months. In part, that's down to stay-at-home and sheltering orders issued by local governments around the world. More users than ever are accessing Gmail for work, learning, and communication.
One other change the company has made is to start rolling out Google Meet calling directly within Gmail on the web. The company is simultaneously slowly letting more users access Google Meet for free over the next several weeks. So the new summary cards appear to be just one step in Google's larger plan for making Gmail better.