Google testing new Gmail features for improved mobile experience

Gmail, the Web-based email service that recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, could be on the verge of receiving a raft of new features designed to help further improve the user experience on mobile.

The folks over at claim to have come into possession of a bunch of screenshots revealing the new features that could find their way into the next Gmail update.

Based primarily around the Inbox, these include new tabs – for travel, purchases, and finance – for more efficient sorting of incoming mails. As with the existing tabs, which comprise social, promotions, forums, and updates, the new ones will sit together in the side menu and appear at the top of your Inbox whenever a new message comes in for a particular category.

Another new feature apparently being tested is Pinned, which allows you to ‘pin’ important messages so you can keep them close at hand or deal with them at a more convenient time. A toggle switch lets you pull all your pinned messages together for easy viewing, or alternatively places them back in their original position within your Inbox.

“This looks like it would be a great deal more useful than the current star system, which doesn’t appear in this UI at all,” explains in its report.

Gmail is also looking at the idea of allowing you to ‘snooze’ your emails. This means an email will appear as read until a specified countdown time ends, at which time the message will move back to the top of your Inbox. Snooze time can be set to hours, weeks, or even longer, depending on the importance of the message. This seems like a neat idea, as it’d prevent messages you keep meaning to reply to from falling out of view, as well as out of mind.

The overall design appears to have undergone some modifications, too, bringing it in line with look of the Mountain View company’s other apps and services.

It’s not certain when, or even if, Google will roll out these new features, but if they pass the testing phase, we expect it won’t be too long before they land as an update sooner rather than later.

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