Gmail now learns from your behaviour, but there's a catch

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Gmail is set to get a huge improvement to its search function that will actually work for more users, so long as you turn on the right settings.

The email provider has long provided a search function, even offering specific filters and parameters to help its users find the right content in an overflowing inbox, but despite these advanced efforts don’t make use of the platform’s full capabilities.

To this end, Gmail will now use machine learning to understand what you’re searching for.

Gmail search update

The new process revolves around previous searches to understand the type of results you click on from the keywords you use in the search bar, which will now function in a more conversational manner akin to Google Assistant.

The improvement will see the search function look beyond contact surnames, as it has done in the past, to their full names and email addresses, as well as previous emails and how often they contact you. 

To enable Gmail’s contextual search, you’ll need to enable Web and App Activity in your Google account, which may be problematic news for customers who are concerned about their privacy, and how their data is being used.

The move forms part of a slew of updates being rolled out by Gmail in a bid to retain its spot as one of the most popular email clients amid competition from rivals including Proton Mail and Apple Mail.

Another notable change of late has been the redesigned Gmail interface that, as TechRadar Pro reported at the time, became the only view available in November 2022.

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!