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Google testing a feature where emails will self-destruct after a set timeframe on Gmail

The new feature will let you set an expiry date on your emails, after which they won't be visible to the receiver.

  • Updated: April 14, 2018 2:05 PM IST
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Google is reportedly working on an all-new design and feature set for the web version of its email service Gmail. According to new reports by TechCrunch, the email service will receive an improved design and look, which seem to be aimed at achieving a better sense of minimalism. This will likely make Gmail easier to load and use, and will also bring new features to the popular open email platform. Another report by TechCrunch has also discovered that the new Gmail is likely to have a feature that a lot of users might find very useful.

The report suggests that the new Gmail could come with a self-destructing email feature, similar to what is already offered by Protonmail. Users will be able to select a date when the email will expire, after which the receiver will no longer be able to see the email. The feature could be called ‘confidential mode’. It further states that the recipient won’t be able to forward, download or copy the email’s contents, and attachments will be disabled.

Image credit: TechCruch

However, in all likelihood there will be no protection against screenshots of the email, even if it has been set to self-destruct after a set timeframe, which can be any amount of days, weeks, months or years. Unless protection is offered against the incredibly simple process of taking a screenshot of any supposedly confidential mail, the whole feature might well be useless, and will simply protect against inbox searches post the expiry of the email.

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What is also unclear at this point is whether the feature will work with other email accounts or only for emails sent to other Gmail users. For now, TechCrunch’s demos involved the use of Gmail even at the recipient’s end, and whether it works as claimed in the final version is obviously to be seen. For now, there’s no clarity on when the new Gmail will roll out for public use.

  • Published Date: April 14, 2018 2:04 PM IST
  • Updated Date: April 14, 2018 2:05 PM IST