Gmail tests suspending mobile notifications on desktop

Google is currently rolling out major updates to the Gmail web client on desktop devices, and it looks like another feature is coming. We observed that Gmail offers an option to suspend notifications on your smartphone if you are actively using the desktop client.

In an email account today, Gmail showed a new option to suspend mobile notifications while the desktop client is active. As far as we can tell, Google has not publicly documented this feature on their support. pages, but it was functional on our test account. The pop-up explains:

Pause mobile notifications while using this device

To suspend Gmail mobile notifications while you’re active on this device, allow your browser to detect whether you’re active or away. Click Continue, then click Allow when prompted by your browser.

Clicking to continue brought up a prompt asking for permission to “know when you are actively using this device”, after which the feature was active. The Gmail settings menu does not have an option to manually enable this feature or to disable it once enabled. Permission can be revoked in Chrome’s settings, however, under Settings > Security & Privacy > Site Settings > Additional Permissions. Gmail uses the “Your device uses” permission for this feature.

It’s unclear to what extent Google is rolling out this feature, but due to the lack of settings and public mention, we believe it’s only rolling out in a limited testing capacity. Interestingly, we first saw the feature on a Workspace account. We haven’t seen the feature on other accounts yet. If you have any, be sure to leave a comment below.

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