If you’ve ever avoided answering an email because you didn’t have time to type out a full response, a new Gmail redesign for Android could help.
In the new Gmail design, currently in testing, you’ll be able to reply as soon as you read an email — without clicking to another window.
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At present, replying to an email involves scrolling to the bottom of the message, choosing from the reply, reply all, or forward buttons at the bottom, and typing out a response (or using one of the emoji responses rolled out last month).
But a new UI redesign introduces a chat-like interface that makes responding easier and faster. Instead of the traditional reply buttons, the new design shows a chat-style bubble at the bottom of the message.
There’s an option to choose reply type (reply, reply all, or forward) and to edit recipients, plus a small send button to the right of the bubble and a paperclip button appears to the left to attach files. Tapping the bubble opens up a full keyboard to type a response. The original email is shown above the button if you need to reference it.
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If you’d like to go back to the traditional interface, it can easily be expanded by tapping the arrow to the right of the bubble.
It was just a few months ago that Google introduced a “Help Me Write” feature for Gmail that actually uses AI to compose an email. Like other AI chat programs, it asks for a prompt of what you want the message to say and spits out a response.
The redesign hasn’t received a wide rollout yet (it wasn’t available on two devices I tested), and Google hasn’t made any mention of a timeline for a full rollout. Once it is fully deployed though, the quick response will be the default option.