Gmail is about to get its first facelift in seven years, including some new looks for Google Calendar and Google Tasks. Some rumours have been flying around about another casual feature: self-destructing emails. Well, it's just been confirmed. And there are screenshots.
TechCrunch first confirmed the feature, including screenshots that reveal how it will work. It's quite simple.
When a user composes a new email, there will be a small icon called Confidential Mode. When you click on the icon, a message appears, saying "Options to forward, download or copy this email's contents and attachments will be disabled." You are then given the option to choose an expiration date for the message.
And if you want to take privacy to the next level, there's an option to include an obligatory SMS passcode in order to open the email.
Of course, compatibility may be an issue here - particularly as receivers are asked to confirm their Google accounts in order to open confidential mode emails. Not to mention if users OR senders are utilising POP3/IMAP/SMTP to access their inbox.
So far, the only potential answer is a link with the message, "This message was sent with Gmail's confidential mode" the sent email reads. "You can open it by clicking this link."
I guess time will tell on that one.
It's also worth noting that end-to-end encryption hasn't been mentioned. While confidential mode emails will disappear when you want them to, there's not guarantee that they are secure. So keep that in mind.
The new Gmail is set to release in a few weeks, but there has been no exact word on when confidential mode will roll out.
Earlier this week, news leaked about Google's plan to revamp Gmail sometime in the next few weeks, and from what we've seen so far, it looks pretty good. The interface seems cleaner and more intuitive to use, and a new sidebar on the right should make multi-tasking easier too.