Google Cloud's annual conference, dubbed "Next," runs July 24-26 in San Francisco which is expected to attract 20,000 business customers, technology partners, IT administrators and others. More than 750 speakers are slotted for the event and one topic the company will be touting includes a handful of artificial intelligence-powered upgrades the company has added to its G Suite, which is made up of Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Hangouts Meet, Hangouts Chat and more. If these products are ones that you use, here are several newer features you may want to play around with.

Draft email messages faster

Google released a new version of Gmail in April and two useful features now help with writing messages. Smart Compose suggests ways to finish sentences in messages. For instance, in the body of your text if you start typing "I was just wondering if you could answer" Gmail will offer--in grayed-out lettering--something like "a few questions for me." If you like that suggestion just tab over to make it stick. To enable Smart Compose, go to settings, then click "Experimental Access."

Reply with one click

When you're replying to a message often only a few words suffice. The Smart Reply functionality offers several short responses such as "Let's do Monday," "Working on it now," or "Sounds good" depending on the wording of the email someone sent you. Gmail also uses machine learning to tailor its suggestions according to your style. So, if you tend to be more enthusiastic in your writing Gmail may suggest "Thanks!" instead of a mere "Thanks."

Record a Hangouts Meet

If you're the organizer or participant in a video meeting, you can use Hangouts Meet to record the session. Recordings are saved to Google Drive and linked to the event in Google Calendar. This can help you record a presentation and share with others, record conferences that people can't attend or record training materials for new employees. To use the feature, click on the three-dot icon, select "record meeting" and click start. Everyone in the meeting is notified when recording starts or stops.

Get Drive notifications in Hangouts Chat

In Hangouts Chat, you can use the Google Drive bot to receive notifications in Chat about activity in your Drive. When you turn on Drive notifications, you get direct messages when someone shares a new file or folder with you, a new comment mentions you, someone assigns an item to you, a person requests access to a file you own, or when your Drive storage runs low.

Create a task from an email

Move an email directly to your to-do list by clicking on the three-dotted icon at top of an email and selecting "add to tasks." You can also drag and drop emails into the task feature on the right-hand side.

A shortcut for adding people to a conversation

Let's say you'd like to loop in your college Susan in an email thread, simply type "+Susan," select her email, and she will automatically be cc'd into your email.

Manage your calendar in Gmail

You can view your calendar as well as create and edit calendar invites inside Gmail. To do it, click on the Calendar app in the side panel.

Access your inbox offline

You can read, respond to and search your Gmail messages when traveling or elsewise without Wi-Fi. You need the Chrome browser open with Gmail loaded first, then go to Settings > Offline > Enable offline email.

Published on: Jul 23, 2018