Google has just announced that Undo Send is now an official feature in Gmail--several years after it was released as a "labs" experiment. (Remember Google Goggles--for prevention of drunk emailing?)
According to the Google Apps team, Undo Send "allows people using Gmail to cancel a sent mail if they have second thoughts immediately after sending. The feature is turned off by default for those not currently using the Labs version, and can be enabled from the General tab in Gmail settings."
Users of the Web version of Gmail (Undo Send is not available for Gmail on mobile devices) can set the undo period from 5 to 30 seconds. I tried out the feature and decided that 5 seconds is hardly enough time to 1.) figure out that you made a typo in the text of the email/replied to all instead of replied to sender/said something generally stupid, and so on, and 2.) actually hit the Undo Send "button." (Thirty seconds might not even be long enough for those with slow reflexes or difficulty making command decisions.)
The feature is easy enough to set up, as seen in the following screen captures. It will be interesting to see what the uptake on this feature will be, as well as whether Google extends users' ability to take charge of their messages after the messages have been sent, a la Facebook's "edit post" feature and the capabilities of some enterprise collaboration platforms.
Of course, this brings up all kinds of compliance and security issues, but wouldn't it be nice sometimes if life had the equivalent of the Undo Send button?
Will you use Undo Send? What are the biggest benefits and drawbacks? Please let us know what you think in the comments section below.