Gmail on the web is getting a big update in the coming weeks with a new design and features, but Google is also introducing a new Confidential Mode. The Verge revealed the new design earlier this week, alongside features like quick reply to emails, the ability to snooze emails until later, and a new sidebar to place calendar appointments side by side with messages. Weve now learned Google will also introduce Confidential Mode, which lets Gmail users stop recipients from forwarding certain emails, or restricts the ability to copy, download, or print them. Google will also let Gmail users require a passcode to open emails, which will be generated via SMS, or set an expiration date on sent emails. The features are very similar to some found in Microsofts full Outlook application, and Microsoft is also adding the ability to restrict emails on its Outlook.com service. These features will largely appeal to businesses that want more control over how emails are used by recipients, but they wont stop people from taking a screenshot or a photo of an email. Google has confirmed its Gmail update is coming soon, and a message to an early access program revealed that it should be available in the coming weeks. Googles I/ O developer conference starts on May 8th this year, and its likely that this new Gmail design will be part of the show, alongside some updates to other Google web services.
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.