Glitch sees Gmail’s auto-correct incorrectly prioritising rarely used contacts

24 Feb 2015

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A glitch in internet search giant Google’s Gmail service has resulted in some users sending emails to the wrong person, with rarely used contacts being suggested ahead of usual ones.

When you send an email in Gmail, as in many email services, your contacts are usually prioritised.

So, if you were used to emailing your friend John from work, when you typed in “J … O … H” it would suggest him fairly quickly, dismissing those who you very rarely communicate with, like John from the store.

Often this would happen after just one letter.

This is handy in the vast majority of circumstances, only halting your progress on those rare occasions that John from the store is truly who you wish to engage with. And why would you email that guy?

However, lately the opposite has been happening with some users, prompting a raft of angry reactions, and even a response from Gmail itself on Twitter.

The issue is not affecting everyone. Straw pole in the office sees just one of the three of us Gmailers feeling Google’s glitch wrath.

The problem isn’t fully fixed yet, judging by Twitter users’ comments, but it will probably be sorted quite soon given that Google noticed the problem several hours ago.

Frustrated man emailing image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt is senior communications and context executive at NDRC. He previously worked as a journalist with Silicon Republic.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com