Google has announced that it will be implementing a number of changes that will affect how billions of users will send email through Gmail. These changes generally consist of improvements that will allow users to compose and send email messages more efficiently, especially those with many recipients.
These changes will allow Gmail users to connect with colleagues more easily and with greater confidence that they’re reaching the right people. Many changes involve the “To,” “Cc” and “Bcc” fields. For example, right-clicking your mouse displays a context menu that allows you to perform various functions related to these fields, including viewing the recipient’s name and email address and editing it if needed.
The changes also make it more clear that you’re adding a user who is outside your organization or have already added a user as a recipient. Users can access a recipient’s information card with the context menu, hovering over the new avatar chips, or using the keyboard shortcut Alt/Option + →. Some updates may affect some Chrome extensions.
Details of the Gmail updates include the following:
• Display options
• Visual indicators
• External recipients
• Domain changes
• Duplicate Recipients
The changes include new options to control the contact name that’s displayed to email recipients, and you can also change how Gmail displays a recipient’s name. This feature only changes how a recipient’s name appears to other recipients, not the name that’s saved in Contacts. The following screenshot shows how this name could look:
Google has added more visual indicators to Gmail that will assist users when composing emails. For example, avatar chips help identify the recipients who have been added to the email. The screenshot below illustrates how these avatars will appear:
It will be more obvious when you have added users outside your organization to your recipient list. External contacts that you’ve already interacted with will be highlighted in dark yellow color, while those you haven’t interacted with yet will also be highlighted and have an out-of-organization avatar and warning banner. The screenshots below show these features:
Gmail currently labels domain names in the same organization as “external,” but this will no longer be the case after Google implements these changes. For example, a user from @google.com won’t appear as out of organization if you add that user to an email from an @youtube.com user. This change will eliminate confusion users communicating across different brands but under the same umbrella, as often occurs when one company acquires another.
A checkmark will indicate recipients who have already been included on the email. A gray tone will also indicate the keyboard or mouse focus within the recipient list. In addition, Gmail will automatically remove duplicate entries within the To, Cc, and Bcc fields when dragging and dropping between them. The following screenshot illustrates these features:
Rapid Release domains will begin receiving the updates on October 20, 2021, although it could take longer than 15 days for the features to become visible. Scheduled Release domains will begin on November 8, 2021. All rollouts should be complete by the end of the year.