In February, Google began rolling out an overhauled Gmail user interface that brings Meet, Chat, and Spaces closer together and incorporates more Material You design elements. It is now opt-out rather than opt-in, which means your account will soon default to the new view.
It’s not a significant shift. But as Google transitions away from its current flavour-of-the-week messaging app and knit its Workspace suite into a better competitor for Office, the upgraded experiences become more prominent.
What’s changed in the new Gmail interface?
If you’re wondering what’s changed, the redesigned UI combines the buttons for Mail, Meet, Spaces, and Chat into a single list at the top of the left rail, rather than displaying many conversations from each one in a list. They’re still clearly accessible without having everything on screen at once. And you can immediately enter into a chat in any one part by hovering your cursor over its icon, which will bring up a list.
Additionally, since Chat and the others are no longer featured beneath your inboxes and labels, it is a little simpler to only have one type of communication on your screen at a time (like Gmail).
According to Google, users may pick which applications are featured in the Quick Settings menu. And you can return to the original design if you want. Unlike the typical 15-day rollout for new features, Google says this one will be an “extended rollout.” So while it will be available for both Workspace and personal Gmail accounts, it may take more than a couple of weeks for your interface to change on its own.
If you just want to try it, you should be able to do so from the quick settings menu right now if you’ve already switched to Chat from Hangouts and positioned Chat in the left-hand menu.