Google has announced that it will begin rolling out its redesigned Gmail interface to a much broader group of users.
Since the initial launch earlier this year, the new email interface has been available to Gmail users on an optional basis. But now, a large group of account holders (excluding Google Workspace Essentials customers) will be transferred automatically.
Anticipating a backlash, Google will let people revert to the old design for now, but the ambition is clearly to switch all users to the updated UI soon enough.
The new Gmail interface, with a sidebar to switch between your inbox and other Google apps. (Image credit: Google)
Gmail's new look
Announced in early February, Gmail's new interface is designed to consolidate all of Google's communication services in one place, minimizing the need to switch between tabs when collaborating with clients and colleagues.
As part of the new system, a panel on the left side of the email client allows users to quickly navigate between Gmail, Chat, Spaces, and Meet. Depending on the services available in their respective Google Workspace plans, users can select which of these apps they want to appear.
"When enabled, the new navigation menu lets you easily switch between your inbox, important conversations, and joining meetings without having to switch between tabs or open a new window," Google explained.
"We hope this new experience makes it easier for you to stay on top of what's important and work faster in one place."
The company is also keen to highlight the Material You design language underpinning the new interface, which is said to offer a "fresh look" across the various interconnected apps. The aesthetic features a soft color scheme and rounded edges, in keeping with the direction Google has taken for the Android user interface.
Overall, while some will want to stick with the classic Gmail design, the new interface is an upgrade for most users, and the modest changes to core inbox functionality will mean the transition should be relatively simple.
The automatic transition to Gmail's new look should go into effect for all eligible users within the next two weeks.
"As always, we will carefully monitor and address user feedback during this rollout period and in the future," Google added.