Big changes are being rolled out at Gmail starting Wednesday. Washington Post tech columnist Geoffrey A. Fowler got to try the new Gmail out early, and says that while he was initially annoyed at some of the "cutesy" changes like rounded buttons and a new font, he was on board with the redesign after using it for a week. He notes that most features are still in the places you're used to and the layout is largely familiar, but the calendar is (helpfully) much closer and easier to access now. Some of the biggest changes, per Fowler as well as CNBC, the Verge, Forbes, and Fast Company (which notes that the last Gmail redesign was six years ago):
- Self-destruct: You can now choose "Confidential mode" when composing an email, then set a time limit. Recipients will see that they've received a confidential message and that it will "self-destruct" in the chosen time frame (a day, a week, a month). That means they won't be able to access it anymore, though they can request to be able to. You can also restrict them from forwarding, copying, downloading, or printing the email. If you use the mode, you can also revoke access if you no longer want the person to be able to view the message after you've sent it.
- More security: You can even require recipients to type in a passcode (it will be texted to their phone) before viewing an email; this aims to help protect messages should a recipient's email get hacked.