Slowly but surely, Google has been releasing Material Design updates for its first-party apps, including its Play suite (Music, Movies, Newsstand, Books), Google+, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drive and Keep. Chrome and the Play Store have also been redesigned to adhere more closely to the Material Design ethic, but no apps have been given more care than Gmail and Calendar.
First, Gmail has been given a nice visual overhaul, bringing some red flourishes to a previously-dreary palette, but the main improvement is functional: it now supports personal IMAP-based email accounts, like Yahoo, Outlook (Hotmail), AOL and others, as well as Microsoft Exchange. In fact, Gmail now replaces the little-used Email app for non-AOSP builds (Email has been overhauled to aesthetically match the new Gmail, but will not be usable if the Gmail app is installed).
The new Gmail looks great both on phones and tablets, with easy switching between accounts using the left-hand tab menu. Like many other apps from Google, Gmail includes a FAB (Floating Action Bar) in the bottom right corner, in line with other Material Design elements.
Arguably the more important update today is Calendar, which is much more intelligent than its bare-bones predecessor. First, like the best calendar apps it uses semantic language to fill in appropriate information as you type. It also includes maps and relevant photos, as well as appropriate Gmail messages, where applicable.
The app uses a left-side navigation bar, similar to Gmail and many others, to quickly enable and disable subscribed calendars. It’s easy to switch between day, week and month views, too, and overall the app just feels considerably more elegant and easy to use.
Both these updates are beginning to roll out today through the Google Play Store.