Google is announcing the launch of a new technology that will let your emails automatically update — after they’ve been sent
Emails are about to take on a life of their own.
On Tuesday, Google is debuting a new technology that enables senders of emails to automatically update the messages they send with fresh information — after they’ve landed in your inbox, and perhaps even while you read them.
What will this mean for Gmail users? For one thing, less clutter in your inbox, as senders will be able to update emails they’ve already sent rather than send new wholesale messages altogether.
While anyone can have access to this software update, it’s likely that it will at first be used by companies who have the bandwidth and IT resources to implement it. For example, your flight confirmation email from an airline could update itself with new departure time changes — saving you from receiving annoying follow-up emails from the airline. Or you might be able to fill out a survey that updates itself right in the email (with one question loading in after the next), without having to open a new window.
Basically, the feature might make life easier for Gmail users in subtle ways, by transforming emails from static, once-and-done communications, to information portals that can react and be refreshed as necessary.
The feature seemingly won’t notify you if an email has been updated, but will instead do it automatically and quietly so “content is accurate whenever a user looks at it,” according to a blog post written by Aakash Sahney, a Google program manager.
While you won’t see this feature in your Gmail inbox just yet, it will roll out “later this year,” Sahney added — though it’s unclear exactly when that will be. That said, if you’d like to get an early look, you can sign up for developer preview access for your Gmail account on the company’s website.
Sahney, who oversees Gmail, explained that the new feature grows out of something Google has been testing for a few years: an open-source framework knows as “Accelerated Mobile Pages,” or “AMP” for short. He noted how AMP has sped up the loading of mobile web pages, but has the ability to apply to Gmail to “create more engaging, interactive, and actionable email experiences.”
Meanwhile, Google has made the AMP for Email feature available Tuesday — and it’s not just restricted to Gmail. “Because AMP for Email is an open spec, we look forward to seeing how other email clients will adopt it, too,” Sahney wrote, perhaps indicating that rivals such as Outlook, Yahoo! Mail, or Aol could adopt the new tech upgrade down the line, too.
© 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved