Gmail wants permission to make your email more useful

Prompted by the droves of people working from home, Google has spent much of 2020 rolling out some new features for Gmail. We've seen things like a new quick settings menu and even a unifying redesign for Gmail and Google's other apps, but today, users are getting a rather important new feature that allows them to quickly determine whether or not they want smart settings and personalization within Gmail turned on.

While this roll out isn't changing anything, it is giving users the opportunity to make a yes or no decision regarding smart features and personalization. Google is clear that these options aren't new, but rather they'll be much more visible after this update.

Following the update, users will see a two-page popup in Gmail that will first ask if they want to continue using smart features or turn them off. Smart features, as many Gmail users are likely already aware, include things like automatic email filtering, which is where Google sorts your incoming mail into the Primary, Social, and Promotions tabs; smart compose; email summary cards; and using email data to create calendar events.

Once users have made a decision about smart features, they'll be asked if they want Google to use Gmail data to personalize other apps. This includes sharing Gmail data with Google Assistant for bill pay reminders, with Maps to surface restaurant reservations, or with Travel to show itinerary and flight information.

In a blog post today, Google reiterates that Gmail and other Google services will still be usable with smart features and personalization turned off, and regardless of the options you choose, your Gmail data won't be used for targeted Google ads. Look for these new smart feature settings to go live in Gmail in the coming weeks.