Is Gmail Testing Self-Destructing Messages?

Mitch Wagner
News Analysis
Mitch Wagner, Executive Editor, Light Reading

Google is planning to give Gmail a facelift and new security capabilities, including the ability to send email messages that delete themselves after a prescribed period, according to reports.

The new capabilities are coming to consumer Gmail; no word on when G Suite users will get them.

"Confidential Mode" will let Gmail users stop recipients from forwarding specific emails, and restricts the ability to copy, download or print them. Gmail users will be able to require a passcode to open emails generated via SMS, or set an expiration date, similar to capabilities already available on the Microsoft Outlook application, according to a report on the Verge. The features "won't stop people from taking a screenshot or a photo of an email," The Verge notes Friday.

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Other new features include cosmetic changes to bring Gmail up-to-date with its current application design guidelines, which Google calls "Material Design," and new features from its Inbox mail client. Users will get "smart replies," which provides suggestions on quickly replying to emails, and the ability to "snooze" emails, according to a report on The Verge Thursday.

An email sent to G Suite administrators confirmed that the redesign is coming, with improved access to G Suite apps, such as Google Calendar, from within Gmail; Smart Reply; email snoozing; and offline support.

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