Google is continually making improvements to its Gmail service, and more recently it introduced a couple of new features that many people will find handy. One of those is native offline mail support so that users don’t have to rely on third-party software or any special extensions, and the other is Smart Compose, a predicative text feature that Google unveiled at its recent Google I/O event.
Predicative text is not a new technology, it’s just new to Gmail as a native feature. What it does is suggest words, phrases, and even entire sentences that fit within the context of what you’re typing.
“Smart Compose helps save you time by cutting back on repetitive writing, while reducing the chance of spelling and grammatical errors. It can even suggest relevant contextual phrases. For example, if it’s Friday it may suggest ‘Have a great weekend!’ as a closing phrase,” Google explains.
If you want to use Smart Compose, you need to enable experimental features and also must be using the new Gmail experience. Here are the steps for getting started:
- In the top right corner, click Settings (gear icon) and navigate to Settings. If you haven’t started using the new Gmail yet, click Try the new Gmail.
- Under General, scroll down to Experimental Access.
- Click the box to Enable experimental access.
- At the bottom of the page, click Save changes.
Once you’ve done that, go back into Settings > Settings, navigate to the General tab, scroll down to Smart Compose, and choose Writing suggestions on.
Now just type messages as you normally would and watch as Gmail suggests phrases and sentences. When you see one you like, click Tab to use it.
As for using Gmail offline, you will need to be on Chrome 61 or later, as the feature does not work in other browsers. Assuming you are, click here to go to Gmail offline settings and check Enable offline mail. Choose your settings, such as how many days of messages you want to sync, then click Save changes and you’re in business. Anything you do in Gmail while offline, such as reading mail and archiving messages, will be synced with Google servers whenever you’re back online.
If you’re having trouble trouble with either feature, you can navigate to Google’s support pages for troubleshooting tips—click here for Gmail offline and here for Smart Compose.
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