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Gmail will be AMP'd up using a speedy new tech that makes emails pretty

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Google’s Gmail Product Manager Aakash Sahney said on Monday, February 13 that the company’s popular email client will be injected with Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). What this means for you is that Gmail will not only be faster, but more interactive than before. For instance, rather than clicking on a link within a received message, users can interact with content without leaving the Gmail client. 

“AMP started as an effort to help publishers, but as its capabilities have expanded over time, it’s now one of the best ways to build rich webpages,” Sahney said. “With this came the opportunity to modernize one of the most popular places where people spend their time: email.” 

AMP is an open-source framework created for a richer web experience. It consists of three core components: HTML web page code with “restrictions” that promise fast, reliable performance, a JavaScript library capable of rendering AMP-based pages extremely fast, and a dedicated Google Cache reservoir to cache AMP-based pages. 

Technically, this new platform is called AMP for email and Google is now providing a sneak peak in a Gmail Developer Preview. This will start the ball rolling for service developers who want a richer interaction than boring emails with static links and images. Sahney said Pinterest, Booking.com, and Doodle are already working on new email methods that take advantage of AMP. 

“Imagine you could complete tasks directly in email. With AMP for Email, you’ll be able to quickly take actions like submit an RSVP to an event, schedule an appointment, or fill out a questionnaire right from the email message,” Sahney said. 

Google first introduced the AMP Project in October 2015 after collaborating with technology companies, news publishers, and the European Digital News Initiative to improve the internet’s performance on mobile devices. Among the named collaborators were Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress, and more than 30 other companies and news agencies. 

AMP-based pages began to appear in Google search results as “Top Stories” on mobile in February 2016. They weren’t fully integrated into mainstream search results until the following September. Around 900,000 web domains published more than 2 billion AMP-based pages by May 2017, including Twitter, which automatically began linking to AMP-based pages in its Android and iOS clients. 

Just on the search front, Google claims that AMP-based pages load from a Google search in less than one second and use 10 times less data than an equivalent page not based on AMP technology. According to the AMP Project webpage, Gizmodo now publishes all pages using the AMP foundation and saw an immediate performance increase after the initial switch — three times better page load performance and an increase in traffic due to those faster load times.  

Now that technology is coming to Gmail. “We’re opening up new possibilities for companies to engage with their audiences, and we can’t wait to see what developers will build,” Sahney said.  

The AMP for Email specification is now available for developers as a preview. Jump on the bandwagon to sign up for the preview.

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