Login | April 21, 2019

Gmail rolls out major upgrade to platform

Technology for Lawyers

Published: June 1, 2018

Gmail recently rolled out a major upgrade to its platform. Here are some features lawyers may want to use.

Gmail Confidential Mode. Confidential mode allows users to create expiration dates on an email (self-destruct), and revoke previous messages. I can mandate a second authentication via text message for access, which means that an email can be cancelled even after it has been hijacked.

There is a built-in Information Rights Management (IRM) function that allows a sender to revoke the recipient’s right to forward, copy, download or print messages. This makes it less likely that confidential information will be shared with the wrong people.

Confidential mode will need to be placed on each individual email. It can’t be imposed retroactively.

Confidential mode is not encryption. It also doesn’t destroy access to the email from everywhere—it is all least still stored on the sender’s server. Of course, you are all using encryption anyway, right?

Smart Compose. Gmail’s new smart compose feature is “AI based” and suggests words, sentence completions, complete phrases, and even your next sentence as you type. As most AI learns on the job, I’m guessing that this app will learn how a writer works over time, and so it should make writing emails faster and more efficient. At least that’s the theory. While some version of this function has been around in some texting apps, the email app will suggest entire sentences, which is an advance in this kind of technology.

Offline Mode. Ever want to work on your emails while not connected to the Interwebs? Now you can. Just open up your Gmail at any time and read previous messages and even compose and send new ones. First, though, you have to physically activate this function. Open Gmail, go to settings, and click on the “offline” tab. Once you enable offline mode, you have the option of storing emails form the previous 7, 30, or 90 days. You also choose whether or not the email is stored between sessions or erased every time you sign out of your Google account.

The new Gmail upgrade has a lot more to it. If that’s your email app, it is well worth the time to explore.