You're winding down, relaxed and ready for bed. And then, the screen on your phone lights up with an email from your boss. Your blood pressure rises as you reach for the device. Then you find out the email could've waited till the morning. Now you're furious. You'll never get to sleep.
Google thinks it can bring relief.
On Monday, the search giant unveiled a new tool for Gmail that lets someone compose an email but schedule it to be sent at a later date. Now, when your boss has a late-night but by no means urgent idea, he or she can dash out an email and schedule it for a more respectable time. Preferably for after you've had a cup of coffee.
Google said the feature was designed so people can respect the digital well-being of others during nonwork hours. The feature lets you choose from suggested send times, like "Tomorrow morning" at 8 a.m. or "Tomorrow afternoon" at 2 p.m. Or you can schedule a specific date and time. I suppose that means I can schedule emails to my editor for 10 p.m. to give him the impression I'm a Very Hard Worker. (Editor's note: Good luck with that ploy, Rich!)
The new feature was unveiled as part of Gmail's 15th birthday. The service, which marked Google's first effort beyond search, now has 1.5 billion users a month.
In addition to the new scheduling tool, Google also said Monday that it's bringing its Smart Compose feature to all Android phones. Smart Compose uses artificial intelligence to predict what you might write next in an email. Previously, the feature was only available on desktop computers and Google's Pixel phones. The company said it's coming to iPhones "soon." The feature will also be available in four more languages: Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese.
Google has added other new features to Gmail recently. Last week, The company began rolling out "dynamic" email, which among other things let's you fill out surveys and search for hotels directly in your inbox.