Gmail's new Swipe Actions could change how you use email on phone

It's super easy to snooze emails on the go. Just swipe them away.

Setting up snooze on the Gmail app.
Screenshots by Sean Hollister/CNET

Google is rolling out new swipe actions in its Gmail app for Android, making it easier to move, mark as read or snooze emails directly from your email list. 

That could be a way bigger deal than it sounds. With these shortcuts you can easily churn through that daunting inbox with hundreds of unread messages, and whittle them down in a flash by swiping left or right. No more opening emails or navigating menus over and over.

It's particularly powerful paired with Gmail's new snooze feature -- if the constant ping of new emails drives you insane, you can snooze them until a specified time, bringing you that much closer to email nirvana.

Before the update, you could only delete or archive emails using swipe gestures. Now the Gmail app lets you customize what each swipe does, including:

  • Archive
  • Delete
  • Move to a different email folder
  • Mark emails as read or unread
  • Snooze
  • No action (if you're tired of accidentally swiping things)

The feature works as of version 8.5.20 of the Gmail Android app, but note that Snooze requires the new version of Gmail. When we tried it with a corporate G Suite account, snooze wasn't yet available, even though it worked on our personal Gmail account. No word yet on when the swipe gestures will come to iOS.

Google didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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