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Google’s impersonal-but-handy Smart Replies come to the Gmail app

Shoot off semi-generic responses with just a few taps.
Nathan Ingraham
May 17, 2017
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Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

Google's "instant reply" technology, that can already be found in Inbox and Allo, is coming to the Gmail app for iOS and Android. If you've never used instant reply before, Google uses its machine learning smarts to analyze the contents of your messages to suggest quick replies. You then just tap and insert your chosen reply into a new email, hit send and call it a day.

We've found that smart replies can often feel impersonal, or they just don't quite fit the message you want to send. But Google says that 12 percent of all Inbox replies use smart replies, so clearly people like them. They are pretty effective for quick confirmation or "thank you" replies, so it's definitely not without utility. And since Google uses machine learning to improve the suggestions over time, the more you use them the better they'll fit your writing style.

Regardless of where you stand on the utility of smart replies, the fact that they'll be showing up in the main Gmail app for Android and iOS means a lot more people are likely to try them out. You might as well get on board now: The update is rolling out today in English, with Spanish smart replies set to arrive in the coming weeks.

For all the latest news and updates from Google I/O 2017, follow along here.

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