Leaked Android app shows message scheduling is coming to Google’s Gmail

A recent build of Google’s Gmail app for Android reveals that the service will eventually support email scheduling. The evidence appears within the app’s code, which assigns the “menu_schedule_send” command to a “Schedule send” menu entry. An excerpt from an XML file also refers to this specific string of code.

The purpose of this upcoming feature should be obvious: Native support for scheduling a time for Gmail to automatically send an email. Currently there are “unofficial” ways to schedule an email in Gmail, such as adding the Boomerang browser extension, using a Google Sheets script, installing another browser extension specifically for Google’s Chrome browser, and so on.

Although scheduling email sounds like a task abused by spammers, there are legitimate reasons for delayed messages. For instance, you may want an email sent during a period when it will most likely be read, such as during the morning business hours, or during a peak reading time in another time zone. Maybe you need email sent within a specific amount of time after it’s completed.

The work of PR firms is a good example. A company may have product information under a scheduled non-disclosure agreement release window that’s already prepared but can’t be delivered to the press until a specific time. A scheduled email means the PR firm can have the information locked and loaded for delivery and move on to the next client.

Microsoft’s Outlook client already provides message scheduling. While composing a message, simply select the More Options arrow from the Tags group located on the ribbon. Next, in the Delivery Options window, check the “Do not deliver before” option and then select a date and time. Unfortunately, this feature currently isn’t provided in the online client.

Google overhauled Gmail’s interface earlier this year, bringing it closer to the company’s other services. Although the new look provides cleaner access to your emails, Google beefed up the service’s back end including the use of artificial intelligence to generate smart responses, “nudges” that nag you to follow up or respond to messages, and more.

“As a part of the redesign, we’re also tightly integrating Gmail with other G Suite apps you use every day,” the company said in April. “Now you can quickly reference, create, or edit Calendar invites, capture ideas in Keep or manage to-dos in Tasks all from a side panel in your inbox.”

Other notable features crammed into the revamped Gmail include new native offline capabilities, a task-creation tool that integrates with G Suite, and easy access to Gmail add-ons such as Intuit QuickBooks Invoicing, Dialpad, Trello, and more.

Currently Google has not officially announced email scheduling, nor does the code provide any indication of when the service will arrive. How this version of Gmail for Android made its way into the public is unknown, but it’s presumed legitimate given that Google cryptographically signed the app. But even if the app does contain code for message scheduling, the service likely isn’t live yet, or is currently tied to just a handful of beta testers.

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