How many times have you sent an email and immediately wished you could take it back? Everyone has felt this at least once or twice in their lives.
Google's Gmail has offered an Undo Send feature for a while on the desktop. Truth be told, it's actually a delay send that allows you to set a delay period (up to 30 seconds) before an email is actually sent. Recently, that feature has made its way into the Android Inbox app (unfortunately, it hasn't found its way to the standard Gmail app yet).
If you prefer Gmail over Inbox, and you want to gain that Undo Send functionality, it's time you give Inbox another try. The good news is that you don't have to bother configuring Inbox to handle Undo Send—it does it automatically (in fact, there are no settings for this option at all in Inbox).
What happens is this:
- You compose an email
- You hit Send
- You realize you've made a grievous error and want to undo that send
- You tap the Undo button that appears in the bottom right of the Inbox window (Figure A)
Recall a sent email on a Verizon-branded Nexus 6.
This delay in sending could, if the planets are perfectly aligned, save you from making a mistake that might cost you your job (or worse). And even though this doesn't truly undo a sent email (the email isn't actually sent... just delayed), it's worked for me on a few occasions. One time, I immediately changed my mind when replying to an email to accept an offer. With a single tap of Undo, the email wasn't sent, and all was well. It's a mistake we could all easily make.
If you haven't installed Inbox, the process is simple. Just follow these steps:
- Open the Google Play Store on your Android device
- Search for Inbox
- Locate and tap the entry by Google
- Tap Install
- Read the permissions listing
- If the permissions listing is acceptable, tap Accept
- Allow the installation to complete
Once you launch the app, you only have to tap Sign In and select the Google account you want to use as the default. With the app running, there's nothing more you need to do in order to make use of Undo Send. It's just there, waiting in the background for you to change your mind.
You might also notice the ability to specify the delay period for sending email in your desktop Gmail account setting (Figure B).
The Undo Send setting on Google's Gmail.
The setting within Gmail has zero bearing on Inbox (neither the desktop site or the Android app).
Hopefully, at some point in the near future, Google will see to it to add the Undo Send feature in the Gmail Android app. Until then, if you want the ability to give yourself a bit of delay in sending emails on your mobile device, you'll have to use Inbox.
What do you think? Is Undo Send important enough for Google to make it available on the Android Gmail app? Have you ever sent an email you immediately wished you could take back? Let us know in the discussion thread below.
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Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.