Google has updated its mobile Gmail app for iPhone and iPad with support for dynamic email.
What’s that, you ask…
As Google explains, Gmail now supports Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) that let you interact with dynamic elements in compatible emails without opening a web browser at all. This update has arrived following the feature’s introduction in Gmail’s web app back in March.
Here are a few Google-provided examples suggesting what the new feature can be used for:
- Respond to a comment
- RSVP to an event
- Manage subscription preferences
You can take those and other actions directly from within a message.
Dynamic email is turned on by default in the mobile Gmail app.
I understand desire to bring the richness and interactivity of Accelerated Mobile Pages to Gmail, but that this is fragmenting the email as we know it. Dynamic emails may not properly render in other email clients, so this feels like yet another way for Google to boost the stickiness of Gmail without any regard whatsoever to industry standards.
The content of dynamic email can be kept up to date, which means you can open an email and view the most up-to-date order status of an e-commerce order or the latest job postings.
Sounds good on paper, but dig deeper and you’ll realize that amounts to blurring the line between HTML emails and AMPs. Call me old-fashioned — and I could be in the minority here — but if I receive an email message, I don’t expect it to dynamically update itself at all.
Also, I strongly dislike that they’re using Accelerated Mobile Pages for that.
Accelerated Mobile Pages were introduced back in 2015 to make webpages load on mobile devices in an instant, and they certainly do, but the user experience sucks because you have to go through multiple steps just to see and share publishers’ real URLs from AMP webpages.
That being said, however, integrating the email with AMP unfortunately seems inevitable because not only does Gmail support that functionality now but other email providers, too — Microsoft recently released updated Outlook.com with AMP support in developer preview.
Unlike on Gmail, the feature is off by default on Outlook.com.
As The Verge explains, you won’t see the new dynamic emails unless they’re supported by the organization sending them. Google said a few months ago it was working with partners like Booking.com, Despegar, Doodle, Ecwid, Freshworks, Nexxt, OYO Rooms, Pinterest, redBus, SparkPost, Litmus, Twilio Sendgrid, Amazon SES and Pinpoint on offering support.
The search giant began rolling out the new AMP feature in mobile Gmail yesterday so check back later if the updated Gmail app isn’t already available to you via App Store.