It’s not quite what it looks like, but if you’re a Gmail user and you switch this feature on, you can now have between 10 and 30 seconds to change your mind about sending an email.
Around the web this is being touted as a way to stop the hellstorm of an ill-thought, kneejerk angry email you sent in a fury. I think more practically it’s going to be to save you some of the times you forget to add the attachment you meant.
Here’s what Google says:
Previously a popular feature in Gmail Labs, and recently added to Inbox by Gmail, today we’re adding ‘Undo Send’ as a formal setting in Gmail on the web.
‘Undo Send’ allows people using Gmail to cancel a sent mail if they have second thoughts immediately after sending. The feature is turned off by default for those not currently using the Labs version, and can be enabled from the General tab in Gmail settings.
It isn’t really an undo. It’s a not-do-so-quickly. What happens is that the email just doesn’t go when it says it does, it waits in a little limbo for a moment. That’s why you can have a brief time to ‘unsend’ it but you can’t, for instance, undo the bitter message you sent yesterday to your ex.
This also isn’t new. It’s a feature in other email services but Gmail is definitely the biggest one and it’s so big that you can bet money both Microsoft with Outlook and Apple with Mail will surely introduce it soon.
Read the full piece for a bit more detail.