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Last year, Google launched Labs as a forum within Google’s free online email product, Gmail, for delivering useful — and maybe not so useful — experimental features.
A number of these fell into a category Google likes to call “embarrassment-reducers”, or features that save you from future regret.
Now, Google has announced an additional embarrassment-reducer. Maybe you’ve received an email from a stranger asking: “Are you sure you meant to send this to me?” and promptly realised that you didn’t? And sometimes these little mistakes are actually quite painful. Emails that fall into this category include hate mail about your boss to your boss or personal information to some random person who shares your best friend’s name?
“Got the wrong Bob?” is a new Gmail Labs feature aimed at sparing you this kind of embarrassment. Turn it on from the Labs tab under Gmail Settings, and based on the groups of people you email most often, Gmail will try to identify when you’ve accidentally included the wrong person on an email — before it’s too late.
While the Googlers were at it, they also changed the name of “Suggest more recipients” to “Don’t forget Bob” — the two related Labs features just kind of went together better this way.
If you want to test “Got the wrong Bob?” out, try faking a mistake like this:
1) Think of three people you often email together.
2) Compose a message to two of them.
3) Start typing the third member of the group (for help you can use one of the people we suggest in “Don’t forget Bob”), but then auto-complete on the wrong name.
To turn on these and the other Gmail Labs features, navigate to the Settings menu in the top right of your inbox and click on the Labs tab. You can enable Labs feature one at a time and hit “Save” to implement them.
Other ’embarrassment-reducers’ in Gmail
Undo Send: How many times have you hit send… and then gasped as you realised you just sent to the wrong person, or you didn’t complete your message? Undo Send lets you retract your message up to 10 seconds after you’ve hit send.
Mail Goggles: The classic embarrassment reducer. If you try to send email between 10pm and 4am on a weekend night, Gmail can prompt you to answer some math problems. Can’t solve them? Then maybe you should put down that laptop and try sending with a clear head in the morning.
Forgotten Attachment Detector: Prevents you from accidentally sending messages without the relevant attachments. Prompts you if you mention attaching a file, but forgot to do so.