Gmail is just weeks away from one of its biggest transformations ever. Google is set to bring "dynamic email" to the email service on July 2, following a beta period that ended earlier this year. Chrome, Opera and Safari on desktop should support the feature as well as the Gmail app on iOS and Android.
Built on AMP, dynamic email will allow users to interact with emails in entirely new ways. Instead of simply responding to messages, Gmail users will be able to RSVP to event, fill out surveys, respond to comments and browse images, all directly from within an email.
An example Google gave that I'm especially excited to try out involves Google Docs; With dynamic email, you'll see an up-to-date thread in Gmail and can reply or resolve comments directly within a message. Before, you could only view comments or suggestions someone made to your document within an email, then make changes in a separate Google Docs window.
A handful of businesses are already using dynamic email to reduce the barriers to entry for their product or service. As you can imagine, the feature will be particularly useful for advertising because it makes it even easier for customers to respond to an offer. For example, dynamic emails sent by Booking and OYO Rooms let users navigate hotel rooms from within an email, without ever having to visit the travel fare sites.
But the feature goes beyond e-commerce. Pinterest is using dynamic emails so that people can more easily browse pins and save them to their board. And if you ever receive a dynamic email from Doodle, an online service for setting up meetings, you can quickly book a meeting time right from your inbox.
Other companies approved by Google to use dynamic email include Despegar, Ecwid, Freshworks, Nexxt and redBus. That's a rather small list, but one that is expected to grow as the feature picks up steam. If you're worried about receiving actionable emails from strange domains, we don't blame you. Fortunately, Google will vet each company before allowing them to use the feature.
Dynamic email should be enabled by default, but if it isn't, you'll need to make sure the display external images option in the Gmail settings menu is turned on. If you prefer a traditional email experience, you'll have the option to disable dynamic email.
From the sounds of it, dynamic email could fundamentally change the way we use Gmail, as long as it's properly implemented. If you can complete an action --- like booking a room --- from start to finish, then the feature could save valuable time and prevent you from opening additional webpages.
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Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.