Google previews new compose and reply in Gmail

If you’re using Gmail this morning you may have already noticed the new notification popping up asking if you want to try Google’s new compose and reply function.  I have already given it a try and welcome the improvement.
Phil Sharp, Product Manager introduced the new compose and reply “experience” on Google’s blog, the aim of which is to make emailing faster, easier and cleaner.

For starters, the new compose pops up in a new window so you don’t lose the screen that you are on. Personally, I find this very helpful because I know longer have to save a draft in order to look back at or reference another email. I can simply find that email in my inbox while the compose box remains on the side of the screen. I can also conduct a search or monitor my inbox all while composing a new mail.
You can also minimize the compose window much like a chat window to get it out of the way. In addition, if you’re working on an already existing composition and you click ‘compose’, a brand new window will pop up alongside it allowing you to work on multiple compositions simultaneously.
Once you click ‘send’ the window will disappear.
“The new compose is designed to let you focus on what’s important in your message,” writes Sharp, with all the controls available without them getting in the way of your composition.

There are also some new features. When typing in the recipient of your message, a list of contacts (along with their profile picture if they have one) in autocomplete appears helping you find the right contact faster. You can also drag and drop the new address chips between to:, cc: and bcc:
Changes also apply when replying to a message. This has also made the experience a lot more user friendly. When typing a reply, the field will automatically expand to fit your message, no matter the length, without losing view of your recipient(s) or available controls. No more scrolling up and down the screen.
Other features coming soon include the ability to insert an emoticon and invitation into the email.
According to Sharp, today offers just a preview of the new compose and reply and once Google has added some finishing touches over the coming months, they will enable it for everyone.
Have you tried Google’s new compose and reply in Gmail?