In I/O Google announced a small but cool update to Gmail. Email is an important part of how we get things done — from planning an event with friends to organizing that family vacation to Costa Rica. And today, getting those things done is getting a little easier with new quick action buttons in Gmail, designed to help you tackle your digital to-do’s as quickly as possible.
These buttons appear next to certain types of messages in your inbox and let you take action on an email without ever having to open it. For example, you can RSVP to your friend’s party invitation or rate that restaurant you went to last night all right from the inbox. You’ll be checking things off that to-do list in no time.
Declaring these actions should be easy for developers who simply have to add a straightforward piece of code to their emails.
More importantly, this makes emails more interactive than ever before. For the most part, email providers do not allow any code to run inside an HTML email. While Microsoft has experimented with whitelisting a few email senders and allowed them to run scripts inside the inbox, Google seems to be willing to open its system up to any developers.
These quick actions will roll out over the next few weeks, and we hope to add even more useful actions moving forward. If you are a developer and want to add actions to your emails, check outdevelopers.google.com/gmail/schemas to learn more.