Much ado about undo: A new Gmail feature literally lasts five seconds

In perhaps another sterling demonstration of the effectiveness of Google's own product announcements by way of its blog posts, the world awakened this morning to an experimental capability in Google's Gmail that, if you think about it, you wonder why no one's thought about it before: An independent developer with the handle Yuzo F is distributing a Gmail add-on that gives users five seconds after clicking on the Send button to click on an Undo link that stops distribution from going forward.

"This feature can't pull back an e-mail that's already gone," writes Google UX designer Michael Leggett this morning, "it just holds your message for five seconds so you have a chance to hit the panic button. And don't worry -- if you close Gmail or your browser crashes in those few seconds, we'll still send your message."

Leggett said we could find the Undo Send feature in Gmail under Settings. Technically, that's correct, but it's not exactly the most prominent item on the menu: Since it's an experimental feature, we actually had to locate it -- amid dozens of other such features -- on the Labs tab under Settings. In our trials, we noted that we indeed had five seconds to hit Undo, so the amount of time was not being determined by some server process but by a holding procedure on the client side.

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