After years of the same old, same old, Google has finally given their Gmail email service a big makeover. The result? It looks… kind of the same. And while, yes, the new Gmail does look quite a bit like the old Gmail, there are actual new features – and a lot of changes under the hood.
One of the main concerns is security, and to that end Google has instituted a broad suite of “rights management” tools and security warnings so you don’t fall for that Nigerian Prince scam once again. Also, there’s the new “confidential mode” that lets you set an expiration date for an email, as well as not allow forwarding, copy/paste and other actions.
Google has also stirred in a bit of AI with some new features called “Nudging” and “Smart Reply” so you don’t forget about that email that had next week’s meeting schedule in it. Seems pretty useful, and we’ve got a full roundup of all the new tricks in Gmail.
Google Play Music: The Remix
Speaking of Google, it looks like there’s some big changes also coming to Google Play Music, as in, there probably isn’t going to be a Google Play Music in the near future. Taking its place? YouTube Remix, a new music service based, of course, on YouTube, is expected to debut later this year, according to the folks at DroidLife.
YouTube Remix was rumored to be in the mix (as it were) late last year, but it looks like you’ll have until late this year before being forced to switch over. Why the changes? Seems like Google is working to slim down and streamline its offerings, and folding the music service into YouTube – where millions of people already go for music – was probably a no-brainer. No word yet on an exact release date or feature set, but we’ll keep you updated as we learn more.
Kids, just do what the robot tells you to do
And something not totally unexpected from Amazon now: The online retailer has announced a new line of Echo Dot home AI assistants with a very specific target audience: Kids. Looking just like the regular dot but adding in some fresh new color options, the “Kids Edition” will also come with a kid-tailored version of Alexa called Amazon FreeTime.
What’s the difference? A wide range of parental controls, for one, and some positive reinforcement for good manners – like saying “please” when asking for something. The Kid’s Dot is up for preorder today for $80 and comes with a free year of FreeTime, but it’ll cost you $3 a month after that. Check out all the details on the kid-training AI features.
We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans) on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.