Google introduced the Confidential Mode earlier this year on Gmail allowing users to send ephemeral emails to users with additional functionalities to ensure privacy. While this feature has been available on the web version for quite some time, Gmail for Android and iOS is now receiving the Confidential Mode. If you use Gmail on your Android phone, you can now send emails with a set time limit after which they will expire.
The emails sent under the Confidential Mode come with many restrictions for the recipient. The emails cannot be downloaded, copied, printed, or forwarded, for instance, in addition to the need for a passcode to be opened. Of course, the emails are self-destructive, which means the recipient won’t be able to open after a certain time limit. However, despite all these measures, screenshotting the email is one thing Google describes as a workaround for the Confidential Mode.
To get started with Confidential Mode on Gmail for Android, make sure you are running the latest version of Gmail on your device. Now, open Gmail and tap on Compose. Now, tap on the three dots on the top right corner, followed by a tap on Confidential Mode. You will now see a new page with the options such as a toggle for turning Confidential Mode on or off, setting the expiry time frame for the email, and enabling a passcode for it.
The email can be set to expire from a day to a maximum of five years. This means that the email will self-destruct inside the recipient’s inbox even if it has not opened. Furthermore, the passcode can be set for the email. The Gmail users will get passcode generated by Google while the users who use other email clients will get an email containing the passcode to authenticate the email. Since the passcode will be sent via SMS, the mobile number of the recipient needs to be entered.
You can also remove the access to the email before it reaches its self-destruct deadline. Go to the Sent folder and choose the email marked with Confidential Mode. Now, click on Remove Access and the recipient won’t be able to see the email even if its expiry date is still remaining.