Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Mountain View, CA, United States (4E) – Let’s hope the minimalist Gmail web interface that greets users will be a lot livelier when the new design for the email service makes its appearance on May 8.
Google has revealed its plans to launch a new design for Gmail used on laptops and desktops to administrators of G Suite. G Suite is a wide range of collaboration and productivity tools that include Gmail, Hangouts, Calendar, Google+, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms and Sites, among others.
Leaks say Gmail’s refreshed design will include “several new features” to be made available to regular Gmail accounts. Google promises a “fresh, clean look for Gmail on the web,” with features like Smart Reply, the ability to snooze emails and offline support.
The new design will appear for Gmail users on the web, making it similar for the Gmail interface on mobile devices. Leaks show the new design includes some elements of Google’s Material Design, and a number of new features originally introduced for Google’s Inbox overhaul of Gmail.
The updated design includes smart replies for Gmail on the web. This is the same feature on mobile Gmail that provides suggestions to quickly reply to emails. A new snooze feature also lets a user temporarily remove emails from his inbox until a certain time. This lag allows a user to avoid certain email threads until he’s 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 Calendar, Keep (a note-taking app), or tasks side-by-side with your email messages. This makes it easier to schedule meetings, or see when you’re free to reply to an email.
Google is providing three new layouts to choose from: a default view that highlights attachments such as photos; a comfortable view that doesn’t highlight attachments and a compact view that increases the number of messages that can be seen on a single page. The compact view looks almost similar to the existing Gmail design, and will enable users to keep a similar layout.
Google will make this new design available to G Suite and Gmail users in the coming weeks, but likely by May 8 which is when Google’s I/O developer conference starts at Mountain View.
“We’re working on some major updates to Gmail (they’re still in draft phase),” said a Google spokesperson. “We need a bit more time to compose ourselves, so can’t share anything yet—archive this for now, and we’ll let you know when it’s time to hit send.”
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