For the past few years, Google has been working on an open-source framework called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to make pages on mobile devices load faster. The company now says that the framework's capabilities have reached a level that it can be implemented to modernize one of the most widely used methods of exchanging messages today: email.
On Tuesday, Google announced the availability of the Gmail Developer Preview of "AMP for Email," which is expected to help developers create more engaging, interactive and actionable experiences for Gmail users. While there may not be many email users who complain about sluggish rendering of their emails, Google apparently thinks that it's time for its popular email service to get an upgrade.
"Many people rely on email for information about flights, events, news, purchases and beyond — more than 270 billion emails are sent each day! AMP for Email will also make it possible for information to easily kept up-to-date, so emails never get stale and the content is accurate when a user looks at it," Aakash Sahney, a Gmail product manager, wrote in a blog post.
Interactive components for email
One of the key advantages of "AMP for Email" for users will be the ability to complete tasks directly in email. For example, it will allow users to quickly submit an RSVP to an event, schedule an appointment, or fill out a questionnaire right in the inbox, without having to visit another website.
"Today, we're announcing AMP for Email so that emails can be formatted and sent as AMP documents. As a part of this, we're also kicking off the Gmail Developer Preview of AMP for Email — so once you've built your emails, you'll be able to test them in Gmail," Raymond Wainman, software engineer for Gmail, said.
"AMP for Email" will allow developers to design interactive components for email with the help of several supported AMP components like amp-form, amp-bind and amp-list.
While the amp-carousel component allows displaying of multiple similar pieces of content along the horizontal axis, the amp-form extension allows the usage of forms and input fields in an AMP document.
The amp-bind component allows developers to add custom interactivity; for example, it allows adding two amp-carousel components into an image gallery with a scrolling thumbnail list.
Companies like Pinterest, Booking.com and Doodle have so far used "AMP for Email", and Google has urged other companies to try it out for their offerings.
"Ultimately the success of an open source project like AMP is dependent on the contributions and support across the web," Malte Ubl, engineering lead of the AMP project at Google, said in a blog post.
The "APM for Email" is currently available to developers who can access a preview for Gmail here. Google, meanwhile, is planning to roll out support for Gmail later this year.