One of the more intriguing announcements to come out of Google’s I/O developer conference last week was a Gmail feature dubbed Smart Compose. As the name somewhat implies, the new Smart Compose functionality essentially is akin to predictive text on steroids. Whereas a normal predictive text feature will guess what word you’re going to say next, Smart Compose will guess what your entire sentence is going to be.
Moreover, Smart Compose will tailor its predictions to each individual users, based of course on information that Google already knows about you. When announced last week, Google said the feature would be rolling out to all Gmail users later this month. If you’ve been patiently awaiting to take the feature for a spin, well, the wait is now over.
The AI-based email tool began rolling out to users today but you won’t necessarily see it right away. You’ll have to enable it first, which can be done by going to your Gmail settings and toggling the “Enable experimental access” feature on. Before that, make sure to go to the gear icon in the upper right and hit the “Try the new Gmail” option.
Following that, Google notes:
- In the top right corner, click 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.
It’s an interesting feature to say the least, and while it’s not entirely clear that there’s a big demand for software capable of doing 50% of the heavy lifting when crafting an email, Smart Compose may certainly be a game-changer if there is. Having tried out the feature myself, I’d say that it has promise but isn’t necessarily the biggest time-saver just yet.