Why it matters: Use Gmail on your Android phone? If so, you might have noticed a change yesterday. Smart Compose, a feature that attempts to predict the next words you want to type while writing an email, has arrived on all Android devices.
Google unveiled Smart Compose for Gmail at its annual I/O developer conference last year. Like an advanced version of autocorrect, it uses AI and machine learning to suggest what you might want to write (via a greyed-out section) in an email. It does this by analyzing the previous text, and if you’re happy with what’s on offer, just swipe on the suggestion. If not, continue typing as normal.
The feature had initially only been available on the web version of Gmail before becoming a Pixel 3 exclusive on Gmail for Android last year. Now, Smart Compose is available for all Android users. After using it last night, I found a couple of instances where it worked well.
“Smart Compose helps save you time by cutting back on repetitive writing, while reducing the chance of spelling and grammatical errors. It can even suggest relevant contextual phrases,” Google said last year. “For example, if it’s Friday it may suggest “Have a great weekend!” as a closing phrase.”
The feature is enabled by default on devices running version 9.2.3 of the Gmail app (download here), which arrived on February 22. If you’d rather not have Google try to read your mind, it can be turned off in the app's settings.