It was 2009 when Google Labs, the department handling the services and features still in experimental phase, released – in beta mode – a very interesting tool that would save the skin of many users along the years.
It’s about Undo Send, a feature that delayed sending your email, sparing you that pang of regret when you realize, after pressing Send, that maybe you shouldn’t have replied to all your colleagues and your boss about how annoying your job is.
It most cases and with most email services, what happens when you send an email is pretty straightforward: it enters a one-way information highway, travelling from A – the sender – to B – the receiver – without stopping.
Outlook had tried a feature that allowed the user to recall a sent email, but it was really ineffective, because the recipient could see both the email and your attempt at recalling it, creating even more embarrassment. Not a very smart option.
The beta version of Undo Send, on the other hand, offered the possibility of delaying your emails depending on how long you think you’ll need before you realize you shouldn’t have sent it. You could choose from 5, 10, 20, to 30 seconds, time when you could click cancel, and Gmail would cancel sending the email.
There are plenty of situations when Undo Send can prove useful: misspelled words, email sent to the wrong person, wrongful reply-all kinda scenarios, grammatical mistakes that need correction and so many others.
For people using email as their primary form of communication, Undo Send soon became one of the most important tools. Realizing the success the feature had, Google decided a couple of days ago to move it from the Lab where it spent the last 6 years to the legit category. You can now find it under settings, just like any other.
Some argue the reason why Undo Send was left for so long in the beta phase is because they forgot about it – why else would they need 6 years to “improve” or “test” a rather innocuous feature that delays emails for a set time period?
If this is the case, Google should keep better tabs on its features, especially when it comes to those which people actually use. Undo Send was not alone in beta, as plenty of other features and services remain idle, even as public access was made possible.
Google Keep – the company’s attempt of matching Evernote – is a good example; maybe Google will remember about that one as well and promote it to the big league.
Image Source: Venture Beat