Starting in February, Google will finally start moving people over to a new Gmail layout featuring a subtle redesign and easier access to several of the company’s business-focused services like Chat, Spaces, and Meet.
The Gmail redesign has been a long time coming. Some of it was shown off alongside Google’s switch from G Suite to Workspace, although the final iteration appears to have leveraged some of the new Material You styling seen in the mobile Gmail app on Android. To be clear, it doesn’t appear that Gmail for desktop will change colours like Gmail on Android — just some of the design elements are present.
The biggest change is a new sidebar to the left of Gmail with several buttons for Compose, Mail, Chat, Spaces, and Meet. There also appears to be some profile pictures in the bottom-left corner, perhaps easy access to contacts you frequently message in Chat.
The new sidebar layout replaces the current Gmail sidebar, which is a messy combination of mail folders, Chat, and Spaces. I hate the current Gmail sidebar since I have an ever-growing list of folders I sort my mail into and opening Chat or Spaces just gets in the way. Although I’m looking forward to the new layout, many people may prefer the current layout since it lets you view all these services in one spot instead of having to cycle through different tabs in the new style.
Beyond new sidebar, there doesn’t seem to be much else that’s different aside from the light-grey backdrop around the inbox.
In a Workplace Updates post, Google said that users can opt-in to try the new layout on February 8th. Come April, Google will start enabling the new layout for users who haven’t opted-in, but an option to use the classic Gmail will be settings. However, Google will remove that option by the end of Q2 2022 and the new layout will become standard.
Finally, Google notes that the new layout will be available “to Google Workspace Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Fundamentals, Education Plus, Frontline, and Nonprofits, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers.”
The Verge reported that the change won’t be available to Workspace Essentials customers “at the moment” and that a Google spokesperson said the change would only be available to the listed account types, indicating non-paying Gmail users won’t get the new update.
Source: Google Via: The Verge