Google is rolling out several functional changes to the desktop Gmail client that bring more visual cues to the email composer. Many of these changes are focused on helping users identify recipients both in and outside of your organization.
When composing an email, recipients will now have an avatar attached to their contact chips. That way, you have a better idea of who you’re emailing to avoid potentially sending an email to the wrong person. Also, when inputting new recipients, the drop-down menu will mark someone with a check and grey out their contact if you’ve already included them.
Google says that the composer will automatically delete duplicate entries in the same fields when moving emails between To, Cc, and Bcc fields.
Additionally, Gmail will now identify users outside of your work organization with a yellow chip if you’ve interacted with them before. However, if you’ve never interacted with a recipient outside your organization, the chip will be clearly labeled with a banner at the bottom of the composer.
Google also makes it easier to view a contact’s full name and copy their email address with a new right-click menu. With this, you’re able to change how a contact appears to other recipients in an email so that they’re easy to identify. “For example, if you have a contact saved as “Sales Manager,” you can change what contact name will be displayed to others receiving the email.”
Other updates include no longer marking emails from the same organization as external, even if they have different domains. Google uses the @google.com and @youtube.com domains as an example of this.
The composer will also check that emails are written correctly, otherwise, it won’t turn these entries into chips. Additionally, the composer will warn a user to fix the error before sending the email.
Lastly, Google warns that these changes will affect extensions “that depend on the current Gmail UI, around recipient search, selection or authoring,” so admins of those extensions should check that their extension works with the new UI.
These changes will roll out to some users on the best laptops starting now and will continue through late November.