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Google wants your e-mails to be a window to the web

February 13, 2018

Your Gmail inbox is about to get weird. As part of an update to its Accelerated Mobile Pages project, Google will serve up content from the internet inside e-mails to provide always-up-to-date information.

Backstory: The AMP project was designed to make web pages load faster, so you could click through from search results to content almost instantly. Now Google wants to do some ... interesting things with the technology.

E-mail plus plus: Developers are going to be playing around with AMP widgets for Gmail messages. The idea: you’ll be able to browse parts of the web—to, say, respond to an invitation, or check if your flight is delayed—without leaving your e-mail. The feature will appear in Gmail later this year.

AMPed news: Google also announced a new Stories format for AMP pages. These Stories are like the image-rich ones found in Snapchat, and will let publishers push nicer-looking, mobile-specific versions of their content to your phone.

Why it matters: It blurs the lines more than ever between different forms of communication, media, and the internet. What could go wrong?

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Illustration by Rose Wong

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