Predictive Back is finally rolling out to Gmail

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This is a feature that we’ve been hearing about for quite some time. We first heard about the Predictive Back feature coming to Android since the lead-up to Android 13. Now, we’re finally getting to see this feature actually making it to devices. Predictive Back is starting to roll out to people using Gmail on Android 14.

Predictive back isn’t a major lifestyle change, but it could definitely make life a little more convenient. Since the adaptation of back gestures, it’s become really easy to accidentally go back when you’re just trying to swipe across the screen. It is a feature that will show you a little preview of what will happen if you perform the back gesture.

For example, if using the back gesture would cause you to go back to your home screen, then you will see a little preview of your home screen appear before you perform the back gesture. It’s a way of showing you that, if you activate the back gesture at that point, you will go to the home screen. It can give people a bit of a warning if they happen to activate the back gesture by mistake.

Predictive Back is landing on Gmail for some users

So far, the development and rollout of Predictive Back has been a little slow. Again, we’ve seen reports about this feature back in 2022. However, it appears that Google is finally ready to start rolling it out. Some users are reporting being able to use this feature in Gmail if they’re running the latest version of the app.

This was spotted for people using Gmail version 2024.03.03.x. When closing out of an email by using the back gesture, users will see that email subtly shrink into a small window before actually closing the email. This way, people will be able to see that they are activating the back gesture so they don’t accidentally close it without wanting to.

At this point, we don’t know exactly how widespread this test is, so there’s a chance that you won’t see it. However, if you want to see if your device has it, you can update Gmail to the most recent version. You can either go to the Google Play Store and search for the Gmail application or go to the Gmail app icon on your home screen, hold your finger down, and tap on the App Info button. Once you’re on the app info screen, scroll all the way down to the bottom and tap on the app details button. This should take you to the Google Play Store page.

On the page, look for the Update button. If you don’t see the update button, then you’ll just want to wait for this feature to make it to you.

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