Set expiration dates and password requirements on your sensitive emails. Gmail.com is soon getting its first redesign in seven years, and with that new look comes some new features. We've already heard about new side panels for Google Calendar, Google Keep, and Google Tasks, and now we're getting word of another new feature: self-destructing emails. TechCrunch has screenshots detailing the feature from the pre-release version of Gmail. In the compose window, there's a new lock icon called "Confidential Mode. " When clicked, a message pops up saying, "Options to forward, download or copy this email's contents and attachments will be disabled." The sender can then pick an expiration date for the email, and optionally require an SMS passcode to open the email. The compose window also switches to a blue color scheme, letting the user know they're not just sending a normal message. TechCrunch's test email was sent from a new Gmail user to a user on the old Gmail client, so a link was formed. Hopefully, if both people are on the redesigned version of Gmail, the message will just appear, and the Gmail client can handle the confidentiality requirements in the background. Google says Gmail.com's big redesign will be out "in the coming weeks," and we hope to hear more about it at Google I/O.
It appears to be aimed at business users. We've been covering the rumors and leaks surrounding the new Gmail redesign that's coming in the next few weeks, and now The Verge has a new tip. Google is introducing a Confidential Mode, which will allow Gmail senders to prevent recipients from forwarding, copying, downloading or printing certain emails. Gmail is also adding more features that will appeal to business users. You can set a a passcode to open emails, generated by SMS, and set an expiration date on emails. These are, of course, in addition to the features that have already been leaked, such as snooze, smart replies and the different views of Gmail. These are certainly interesting new security features. It's unclear how they will work as of right now. As The Verge notes, Gmail's restrictions on copying, downloading or printing will probably not prevent someone from taking a screenshot of an email (and certainly won't stop them from taking a photo), and it's unclear how any of this will apply to those who use IMAP and POP3 to access Gmail. It will be interesting to see what happens when the redesign finally rolls out in a few weeks.