A new sidebar includes Google Calendar alongside messages
Google revealed yesterday that it’s planning to launch a new Gmail design in the coming weeks. The refreshed design will appear for Gmail users on the web, bringing it closer to the company’s tweaks for Gmail on mobile devices. The Verge has obtained screenshots of the new Gmail design, currently being tested inside Google and with trusted partners. The new design includes some subtle elements of Google’s Material Design, and a number of new features that were originally introduced for Google’s Inbox overhaul of Gmail.
Google is implementing smart replies for Gmail on the web, the same feature from mobile Gmail that provides suggestions to quickly reply to emails. A new snooze feature also lets you temporarily remove emails from your inbox until a certain time, so you can avoid certain email threads until you’re ready to reply. Snooze and Smart Reply are both currently part of Google’s Inbox app for Gmail, and both features are now making their way to Gmail on the web.
The new Gmail design also features a new sidebar, with the option of using Google’s calendar, Keep note-taking app, or tasks side-by-side with your email messages. This is perhaps the most useful part of the redesign that makes it easier to schedule meetings, or see when you’re free when replying to an email.
Google is providing three new layouts to choose from, including a default view that highlights attachments like documents and photos, a comfortable view that doesn’t highlight attachments, and a compact view that increases the amount of messages you can see on a single page. The compact view is the most similar to the existing Gmail design, allowing existing users to keep a similar layout.
None of the three new views and UI changes are as radical as the Inbox redesign that Google unveiled back in 2014. It’s not clear where this new Gmail redesign leaves Google’s Inbox project, especially as Gmail is now getting the Smart Reply and Snooze features from Inbox. It doesn’t look like Google is ready to radically redesign Gmail to its Inbox levels just yet, but Inbox could continue to exist as a way for the company to test new email features.
Google is now planning to make this new design available to G Suite and Gmail users in the coming weeks. Google’s I/O developer conference starts on May 8th in Mountain View, and it’s reasonable to assume this new Gmail design will be part of the many announcements at the show.