AMP for Gmail launches in bid to boost productivity

It's been over a year in the pipeline, but Google Cloud's open source project will soon grace your inbox

Gmail and YouTube icons on a smartphone screen

Google has officially announced its AMP for Gmail feature, which aims to revitalise the long-standing, barebones email user interface into a more interactive web page-like experience.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) was announced over a year ago as part of an open-source framework for developers to create faster loading content for the web.

Instead of basic plain text messages, over the course of the next few weeks and months as more organisations start to adopt the new feature, you will receive and be able to send more interactive messages - a feature which Google thinks will boost business productivity.

For example, someone may send over some conditions to a contract which demand written agreement. Instead of typing back a traditional three-word response, AMP can embed an instant messaging window which can be used for further purposes if required.

"Starting today, we're making emails more useful and interactive in Gmail," said Aakash Sahney, product manager at Gmail. "Your emails can stay up to date so you're always seeing the freshest information, like the latest comment threads and recommended jobs. With dynamic email, you can easily take action directly from within the message itself, like RSVP to an event, fill out a questionnaire, browse a catalogue or respond to a comment."

This will help prevent cluttered inboxes and save users from having to redirect out of the email client to overlook something that can just be presented within the original email, or just answer a questionnaire. AMP aims to streamline the email-based productivity process.

Major companies you're likely to have some connection to that support AMP for Gmail already include Booking.com, Doodle and Pinterest - so you're likely to start receiving AMP emails from these firms pretty soon.

If you're familiar with working in G Suite, you'll know how annoying it is to get an email through for each individual comment made on a Google Doc. With AMP for mobile, all comments can be viewed in just one email that allows you to edit them directly from your inbox.

Like most new tech advancements that change a major process to which many are accustomed, AMP will probably take a bit of getting used to. Some will argue that Google is trying to re-invent the wheel, but as long as it keeps turning as well as it used to, it doesn't bother us.

AMP will be rolling out to desktop Gmail clients first with mobile support coming later down the line. It will be interesting to see the extent to which companies will adopt the new format, considering the email format won't be accessible using some other email clients (Outlook and Yahoo Mail are also currently supported).

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