Gmail/Workspace (previously G-Suite) Update History

Gmail was first introduced way back in 2004 and quickly went on to become one of the major players in the webmail service industry. 

Today, it boasts over 1.8 billion users worldwide and a 43% share of the email service market. In October 2020 Google announced that G Suite has been renamed to Google Workspace.

For an email client that has been around for so long, there have been many updates over the years. Read on to learn more about some of the most recent ones.

G-Suite Rebranding: Introducing Google Workspace

Oct 07, 2020

Google announced a big rebranding and redesign for its suite of office apps today, rebranding G Suite with a new name: Google Workspace. Google Workspace is everything you need to get anything done, now in one place. Google Workspace includes all of the productivity apps you know and love—Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Meet, and many more. Whether you're returning to the office, working from home, on the frontlines with your mobile device, or connecting with customers, Google Workspace is the best way to create, communicate, and collaborate.

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New Integrated Experience In G Suite Across Web and Android

Aug 12, 2020

In August, Google announced that they were introducing the new integrated workspace, bringing users' favorite apps closer together for easier use. This included Mail, Chat, Rooms, and Meet. It now allows for seamless collaboration for your team right inside Gmail.

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Meet Rolls Out on Android and Mobile for iOS

July 20, 2020

This was a simple but timely rollout during the coronavirus pandemic, with so many people suddenly working remotely. It allows a user to start and join any secure video meeting via a new dedicated tab on the Android and iOS Gmail apps.

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Migration of Users From Hangouts to Google Chat

June 2, 2020

Earlier in the year, Google announced that they were making Chat their primary conversation tool. As of June, you can migrate all of your users from Hangouts to Google Chat. In addition, “Chat Preferred” became the main setting in the Admin console.

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Quick Settings Rolled Out for Layout

May 26, 2020

With so many people spending so much time inside the Gmail interface, it was natural for Google to include a Quick Settings option. When you click on the Quick Settings menu, you can now quickly change interfaces, the type of inbox you prefer, display options, and more. This doesn't affect the main settings – they can still be accessed via “See All Settings."

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Start or Join a Google Meet Video From Gmail

April 16, 2020

With the need to stay connected becoming more critical than ever, Google made this simple change in April. Google Meet became available inside the Gmail interface, allowing users to start or join meetings straight from there.

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Improved Gmail Security Rolled Out

April 2, 2020

In a move to encourage organizations to make their email conversations even more secure (and in line with the increased use of TLS, or Transport Layer Security), Google made a few changes to Gmail security.

After this update, TLS for email connections was enabled by default in the admin area. It also allowed admins to test the TLS configuration of their SMTP outbound routes before deployment.

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Ability to Add and Use Multiple Gmail Signatures

April 22, 2020

Although initially delayed, Google rolled this feature out during April of 2020. Previously, you’d only been able to add one signature to each of your Gmail accounts, and this update allowed users to add several.This means that users can now swap between signatures when speaking to different teams or when switching between professional and personal emails - all at the click of a button.

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Improved Search Results in Gmail With Search Chips

February 19, 2020

When this new feature was introduced, many people asked, “what are search chips?”

Essentially, it was a significant improvement on Gmail's already good search and filter functionalities. Now, if you search by a teammate's name in the search box, you can also select chips to further narrow your results (this could be by attachment type, specific time frames, and even calendar invites). Super handy.

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Multiple Inbox Updates Rolled Out

February 5, 2020

This was a fairly substantial update in which Gmail enhanced multiple inboxes with features such as a unified toolbar and independent scrolling.

Some additional details were noted by Google at the time:

  • Split pane configurations not supported - these were also renamed “Reading Panes.”
  • Improved reading pane - this allowed context to be added to your conversations with the ability to open email text next to your list of conversations.
  • Added scroll bars, adjustable panels, and collapsible sections
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Propose Meeting Times and Add Notes to Calendar From Inside Gmail

January 13, 2020

Although set for release on December 12, 2019, this new feature was delayed until the following January.

This was a simple addition but a very powerful one. Now, when you open a Google Calendar invite from within your Gmail account, you can make quick changes to it without having to leave your inbox.

Google also added a “More Options” feature. From there, you can propose a new time for the meeting and add a note to the meeting invite to give it more context.

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Dynamic Email for Android and iOS

November 21, 2019 - April 28, 2020

This was another big update for Gmail, taking several months to completely roll out. It allowed users to take direct action on things like managing subscription preferences or RSVPing to an event from directly within an email.

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Dark Theme Introduced for Android and iOS

September 24, 2019

Not everyone is a fan of Dark Theme, but it has been gaining popularity over the last few years. With this update, Gmail users on Android and iOS finally had the option to use a dark theme on their mobile app.

To enable on Android, you simply choose the Android Display Setting and then pick Dark. To set from inside Gmail, go to Setting, then Theme, and choose Dark.

For iOS users, you need to set Dark Theme in the iOS Settings and Gmail Settings. Alternatively, you can navigate to Gmail and choose Setting and then Dark.

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Out of Office Shows in Gmail and Hangouts

August 29, 2019

If you have an Out of Office entry on your Google Calendar, that status now appears in Gmail and Hangouts. When someone is trying to contact you, they will see a banner before they even send the email or message. While this might not deter everyone from sending you messages while you are away, it will warn them beforehand so they can decide whether or not it's worth sending the email.

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Improved As-You-Type Spelling and Grammar Correction Rolled Out

August 20, 2019 - October 1, 2019

This turned out to be a game-changer for some, with many users praising Gmail for this feature.

Google began using Artificial Intelligence to improve the spell check function when typing in Gmail and to try to locate any potential grammar mistakes. If the spelling mistake is a common one that Gmail is sure about, it autocorrects those for you on the fly.

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Dynamic Email in Gmail Available

June 10, 2019

During June and July of 2019, Gmail launched Dynamic Email within the Gmail interface. It was set as default in the backend, but you could always disable it via the Google Admin console.

So what is dynamic email? It allows you to do things like RSVP to events, you can fill out a poll, and leave comments without leaving Gmail.

In addition to that, if you use Google Docs in your workplace, you can see an up-to-date thread inside Gmail with the comments that other team members have left for you – and reply within that same email. Another productivity win for Gmail.

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Smart Compose Rolled Out on Android and iOS

June 3, 2019

Smart Compose was rolled out for G Suite users in 2018, but you had to wait until June 2019 to see it inside Android and iOS.

One of Gmail’s most popular recent updates, this brilliant addition to the tool helps you complete sentences before you finish writing them. Another priceless addition for anyone who has to type many emails every day – and that’s most of us nowadays.

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Send Later Rolled Out in Gmail

April 1, 2019

For those who work with people on different continents or have a particular reason for an email to hit the recipient’s inbox at a specific time, Send Later was a welcome addition to Gmail.

Despite it being released on April 1st, it wasn’t one of Google’s practical jokes. You can now write an email and schedule it to be sent later – both in the web version of Gmail and on the Android and iOS apps.

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RSVP to Calendar Invites in Gmail

April 3, 2019

For anyone who uses Gmail regularly, this feature is incredibly useful. Starting in April 2019, you could now RSVP to events from within Gmail rather than visit the separate Google Calendar app.

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New Gmail Look and Feel for Mobile

January 29, 2019

Back at the start of 2019 and end of 2018, Google announced that they were changing the look and feel of many of their products (Drive, Sheets, Docs, Sites, and Slides). On January 29th, 2019, that new look finally made it to Gmail on mobile.

It got a few new enhancements:

  • Attachments could now be viewed without having to open or scroll through a conversation
  • Gmail made it quick and easy to jump between your personal account and your work account
  • The use of color in Gmail was reduced, and more focus was given to the content itself
  • The search functionality was made more obvious with a new large search bar
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Reminders to Respond Added To Gmail

May 14, 2018

We all get dozens and dozens of emails every single day, and it can be hard to keep up with them. This is why Gmail introduced reminders that nudge you if you receive an email that its AI thinks you might have forgotten to respond to. These nudges fall into two categories: “emails to reply to” and “emails to follow up on.”

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