Google's latest Gmail change? Getting directions to an address with a single tap

No more fiddling around on smartphones to use addresses, phone numbers, and contact information.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Gmail will now convert phone numbers, contact information, and addresses into clickable links.

Image: Google

Google is making a seemingly obvious improvement to Gmail that will make it easier to handle addresses, phone numbers, and contact information in email.

On a desktop it's not a big deal to copy these details from an email and paste them into another website or app, but on an Android phone or iPhone, just selecting text can be fiddly.

Now, instead of having to copy and paste this information from email to another app, Gmail will detect contact information, phone numbers, and addresses and then convert them into links, which open a relevant app when clicked.

If it's a physical address, the link will now launch Google Maps. Clicking on an email address link will open the user's default mail client. And if you're on a smartphone, clicking a phone number link will start a call with the device's default phone app.

Google is rolling out the feature to Gmail and Inbox on the web, as well as each app on Android and iOS.

Given that Inbox's machine-learning powered Smart Reply has been around since 2015 and was more recently enabled in the Gmail mobile app, it seems Google overlooked a way to help its billion Gmail users save time simply by converting phone numbers and addresses into links.

The rollout is occurring over the next one to three days, according to Google.

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