Earlier this week, Google sent out an email to a select set of users announcing that it was working on redesigning its flagship web-based email product, Gmail, which boasts roughly one billion monthly active users. The company also teased that it would be incorporating a few new features, like the ability access Google Calendar in the Gmail interface, and the option to snooze messages so that they reappear in your inbox hours or even days later. Now, thanks to some leaked screenshots published by TechCrunch, we also know it's going to offer something known as Confidential Mode, which will allow you to not only send self-destructing messages, but also restrict recipients from forwarding, copy and pasting, or printing certain messages.
In terms of how these features will actually work, the screenshots leaked to TechCrunch suggest that a tiny lock icon on the compose screen will enable Confidential Mode. From there, users will have the option to set specific restrictions, from having a message disappear at a certain date (anywhere from one week to multiple years after it's sent) to requiring a recipient to confirm their identity via a special passcode texted to them in order to open a particular e-missive. It'll also allow you to prevent a recipient from forwarding, printing, or copy and pasting a message (though presumably that person would still be able to take a screenshot of it). However, since none of these presumably forthcoming security features were detailed in Google's official email about the redesign, it's still unclear how exactly they'll function or how they'll be compatible with other email providers. It's also possible these specific features won't be a part of the initial rollout.
In addition to an easy-access Google calendar and the option to snooze messages you just don't have time to reply to in the moment, Google's official redesign announcement ticked off a few other things users should look forward to. For instance, it's working on a new way to store your emails on your machine to easily retrieve them offline, and will integrate the Smart Reply for web-based users -- a feature many mobile Gmail already have access to and love.
There's still no word on exactly when to expect the rollout to happen, or who may gain access first, but it's at least a bit of change worth looking forward to.