Gmail changed the way we use email when it launched 14 years ago, but not much has changed in the UI since then. Google has fiddled around the edges, adding a feature here and there, but it’s still been the same Gmail. Today, Google has revealed the long-awaited Gmail redesign. The design is more visual, comes with big new features, and includes Google app integrations.
From a purely aesthetic standpoint, the new Gmail has a light theme with rounded buttons. Most menu items have icons instead of just text, which is a bit more friendly in appearance. The new Gmail bears a resemblance to the redesigned versions of other Google web apps like Calendar. Google also amped up the warnings you get when an email looks suspicious. You now get a large red banner across the top to ensure you’re aware a message might be phishing.
According to Google, a major part of the Gmail redesign is aimed at helping you get more done without leaving your inbox — hence, Google’s new Tasks to-do manager over in the right side panel. Google Keep lists and Calendar appointments are also accessible in this area. There’s a separate app and web interface for the new Tasks app as well. You can now send confidential messages, which includes message expiration dates and blocks printing/forwarding.
Gmail also gains several features from Inbox, Google’s other email client. When sending messages, you’ll get Smart Reply options to save you time. These snippets of text are based on the content of the message to which you’re replying. In a similar vein, Gmail gives you “nudges” when it thinks you should pay attention to a particular email — for example, if you haven’t replied to a message in a few days, but you usually do reply to that contact. Inbox-style Snoozing is also in the new Gmail. With this feature, you can have an email ping your inbox again at a set time.
The mobile app version of Gmail isn’t getting a new look, but some of the features from Google’s new web interface will come over. For example, Email Snooze is already rolling out to users. It already had Smart Replies, though.
If you want to try the new Gmail, just head to your account at click the settings icon in the upper right. There should be an option at the top to “Try the new Gmail.” If you don’t like it, you can go back to the old version for now. Google will likely force you to move over in the coming months, so you might as well get used to it.
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