How to send a confidential email in Gmail on Android, iOS

Todd Singleton
August 21, 2018

While the new confidential mode may be useful for some users, Google cautions it is not meant to completely prevent sensitive information from being revealed.

The Android Gmail app just picked up yet another feature from its site-based big brother.

Its main criticism is that Gmail isn't an end-to-end encrypted service, so Google could read your email. "You can use confidential mode to set an expiration date for messages or revoke access at any time".

On Thursday Google announced in a post on Twitter that Gmail's confidential mode has been rolled out to mobile devices.

Google said it developed Confidential Mode to help organizations protect sensitive information from unauthorized or accidental access.

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In April, a brand new design of Gmail was leaked with new features such as snoozing, Smart Reply, and offline support. Presently, the confidential mode feature isn't available for G Suite customers. SMS passcode is another option for email access, wherein the recipients will receive a passcode via a text message.

Now you can compose the email and send it. Google didn't say when the feature will roll out to iOS users, but there's no reason it won't come eventually.

If it makes it past that stage and the email is actually "sent", you can still stop the recipient from getting it. There are a number of email clients and messaging platforms focused on security, such as Signal, and they're arguably more sophisticated solutions than Google's own approach. If you're now not seeing the new option in your Gmail, it means you might have to wait a few days.

Users can also prevent recipients from opening an email before the expiration date.

Open the mail sent via Confidential mode, scroll down to the bottom of the screen. The recipient of an email with Gmail Confidentiality Mode activated won't be able to print or forward the message. The self-destruct timer for the email is available for up to five years with the least available timing being one day, so if you choose that, your email will disappear in 24 hours. Here you need to enter the recipients' number.

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