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Gmail just got a great new feature it should have had all along

Published Sep 19th, 2017 3:02PM EDT
Gmail app update
Image: Shutterstock

Every so often, Google will add a clever, exciting new feature to one of its apps or services that we wonder how we ever lived without. Then there are days like this past Monday, when Google introduces a feature so essential that we can’t even begin to fathom how it wasn’t already there to begin with.

This Monday, at long last, Google made it so that phone numbers, physical addresses and email addresses will automatically be converted into interactive hyperlinks in Gmail and Inbox on iOS, Android and the web.

“Clicking an address link will take the user to Google Maps,” Google explains in a blog post. “Clicking an email address will compose a new email, using the user’s default email client. Finally, when using a mobile device, clicking a phone number will start a call request using the default phone app.”

Google began beta-testing Gmail in 2004 — over a decade ago. The fact that we’re just now getting hyperlinked numbers and addresses in September 2017 is baffling, but I guess this is one of those cases of better late than never. Regardless, if it means less copy-and-pasting to send an email or look up an address, I’m all for it.

Google says that the update is rolling out to all of its apps this week, and that everyone should see the feature in Gmail and Inbox by Gmail within the next three days. If you don’t have either of the apps on your phone, you can get the Gmail app here (App Store | Google Play) and Inbox here (App Store | Google Play).

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.