Earlier today, G Suite customers started to receive e-mails from Google giving them a heads up about an upcoming major redesign to the Gmail web interface. As reported by TechCrunch, Google is launching an “Early Adopter Program” (EAP) for a “new experience in Gmail.” This will not only bring a new design but also several new features including Smart Reply from the web, snoozing emails, and offline support. The full text of the e-mail can be seen below, courtesy of a screenshot sent by a reader of TechCrunch.
After this e-mail was sent, it appears that at least one reader of AndroidAuthority has received the new Gmail design. AndroidAuthority was able to obtain redacted screenshots showing off the new interface and features. This is what the new Gmail looks like.
From this screenshot, we can see glimpses of Google’s new design language making its way over to Gmail. Google’s Material Design style action buttons up top and the rounded compose button are reminiscent of a modern Android app. The new “snooze” action can be activated by clicking on the clock icon above the e-mail chain. At the bottom, you can see smart replies that are automatically offered by Google. The biggest change, though, is the toolbar on the right-hand side where the new Google Keep, Google Calendar, and Google Tasks plugins reside.
As shown above, tapping on any of these buttons will cause the sidebar to expand, giving you quick access to your calendar, notes, or tasks. Personally, I find the Calendar integration to be the most useful, although the screenshots shared with AndroidAuthority don’t show how much information from the calendar the plugin will be able to provide. At the very least, it appears that the Calendar and Keep sidebars are horizontally and vertically scrollable respectively, so you’ll probably be able to find whatever you need without having to open up the full webpage for each. Tasks integration has been around for quite some time, but the UI was horribly outdated so it’s nice to see it with a fresh coat of paint.
Lastly, the option to choose how your inbox will be displayed makes a return. Cozy, Comfortable, and Compact are there, although Cozy is now known as the Default interface. In the Default mode, it appears that certain kinds of attachments such as images, documents, spreadsheets, and slides will be distinguished in the inbox so you can tell what kind of attachment is present without opening the e-mail chain. Comfortable seems to be the familiar interface from the current Gmail design where attachments are designated by a paper clip icon. Compact is similar to the Comfortable interface except that it reduces the vertical spacing between e-mails.
Personally, I’m looking forward to this redesign. I feel that Google products are always better when they integrate tightly with other Google products, so I’m glad to see Calendar, Keep, and Tasks integrations in the redesign. Having immediate access to these other services right in Gmail may convince me to use Keep and Tasks more often. As for Smart Reply, I can’t see a situation where I would use it simply because it’s easy to write a more dignified e-mail response with a keyboard and mouse. E-mail snoozing is something I would love to use, though I’m already used to adding things to my calendar that I want to be reminded of.
Gmail is used by tens of millions of people worldwide, so many of you are bound to have different opinions on this new Gmail design. Let us know what you think of the new Gmail below!