Nation & World

Gmail may get a major update

Web version may look more like Google's app

A woman holds her smart phone which displays the Google home page, in this picture illustration taken February 24, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/Illustration/File Photo
A woman holds her smart phone which displays the Google home page, in this picture illustration taken February 24, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/Illustration/File Photo

Rumors are flying that Google is on the edge of releasing a major update to the web version of Gmail — one of Google’s most widely used products, boasting at least a billion users.

In a statement, Google did not confirm specific changes but did acknowledge that it’s working on a change to its email service.

“We’re working on some major updates to Gmail (they’re still in draft phase). We need a bit more time to compose ourselves, so can’t share anything yet — archive this for now, and we’ll let you know when it’s time to hit send,” the company said in a statement.

Additions may include a “snooze” feature and automatically generated “smart reply” suggestions already available in Google’s mobile email apps, according to a report from Android Authority.

The new Gmail reportedly also will look more like the Gmail mobile app.

The report said some people who pay for Google’s suite of services, called GSuite, received messages asking if they wanted to participate in a program to preview upcoming changes — including a Gmail redesign.

Google last overhauled Gmail’s web look in 2011, opting for a more spaced-out, cleaner look as part of an effort to unify the way its products appear on desktop and mobile.

That redesign drew mixed reactions from those who missed Gmail’s original look.

Given what has been reported about the changes, it sounds as if Google again hopes to update its web look with elements from its mobile operating system, such as a search bar with rounded corners.

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The company will host its annual developers conference May 8. Google has unveiled software and services at previous conferences.

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