If you're a Gmail user on your smartphone, you're probably used to the following routine: A friend sends you an email with the address of the place you're trying to go. You attempt to highlight it carefully, selecting only the address text and nothing else to copy and paste into Google Maps in order to get directions. But you accidentally leave out a letter or number, or grab an extra line or space, only to have to go back into your Gmail and perform the entire process again until you get it right.
While this may be the norm, it really shouldn't be: You're wasting time going back and forth between apps. Now, Google has finally introduced the long-awaited solution: Beginning this week, Gmail and Inbox users on iOS, Android, and desktop will notice that addresses, emails, and phone numbers are linked. Copy and paste no more!
With the new update, you can click on an email address and a new email to that person will pop up; tapping linked phone numbers will automatically start a call request — so you don't need to memorise the digits before dialling them; and an address in an email now opens in Google Maps, so you can get directions more quickly and accurately.
This may seem like a small upgrade. However, when you think about the amount of time you spend answering emails on your phone, then the seconds you've wasted transferring information — be it an address, phone number, or email — to another app or window, it all starts to add up. Now, one click is all you need. The only potential downside of this new function is that you will have to be wary of accidentally pressing the link, and starting a call or getting directions when that's not what you want.