Gmail still lacks these important features

Gmail still lacks these important features

Gmail has a new look and new tools today, courtesy of a redesign that Google (GOOG, GOOGL) pushed out two weeks before its big I/O developer conference.

The update to Gmail — available in a browser if you click the gear icon at the top right and select “Try the new Gmail”— adds such thoughtful features as “nudges” that remind you not to flake out on frequent correspondents and the ability to “snooze” an email, so it will pop back to the top of your inbox after a set period of time.

Unfortunately, the redesign is missing fixes to some longstanding issues with Google’s widely-used mail service.

End-to-end encryption

Much coverage of the new Gmail has focused on its new Confidential Mode, a feature that lets you send a restricted-access message. You can set it to erase automatically after a set period, you can lock it with a one-time passcode, and you can prohibit the recipient from forwarding, downloading, printing or copying its text.  

(If you don’t use Gmail and get a Confidential Mode message, you’ll have to read it on the Web. Or so Google tells me — the feature isn’t active in my account yet.)

But Confidential Mode doesn’t secure a message against eavesdropping at each end of the conversation — even when stored in your Sent mailbox.

Four years ago, Google was working with Yahoo (Yahoo Finance’s parent firm) on a project to provide that level of security by allowing users to enable end-to-end encryption. This project has not shown signs of life in years–but in the meantime, other developers have been able to deliver that level of security.

The free, open-source Signal messaging app offers end-to-end encryption by default, and Apple (AAPL) does the same for communications between its desktop and mobile devices using iMessage and FaceTime. Facebook’s (FB) WhatsApp also scrambles messages from end to end, although selecting its online-backup option will negate that security by keeping un-encrypted copies of your messages. In 2016, Facebook made end-to-end “crypto” an option in its Messenger mobile apps.

Insert links in mobile

Google as a search engine would not exist without being able to rank pages based on how many other pages link back to them. But the company’s Android and iOS Gmail apps place so little value on hyperlinks, they don’t even let you turn a few words into one the way you can in Gmail’s web app or any desktop mail app.

Instead, you’ll have to paste in the actual web address, as if in a&quot;><span style=&quot;font-weight:400;&quot;>plain-text mail client</span></

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