Google revamps Gmail, introduces new design and features

Today as you log into Gmail you may notice a Switch to the new look link near the top-right or bottom-right corner of your inbox:

Clicking on this link transforms your Gmail into the the new and improved Gmail; call it New and Improved Gmail by Google, if you wish.

What exactly has changed? Well, obviously the design: The new Gmail design is “cleaner, more modern”. (Although, some people, including me, would argue this new design – that involves scrolling a part of the window but not all of it – isn’t modern — it is annoying.) In addition, Gmail now supports more themes (specifically high resolution themes), the way e-mail conversations are displayed has been modified, you are given the ability to select how “squished together” your e-mails are displayed (“Display Density”), you can modify the chat window, e-mail search has been improved with added filters and better useability, a new button at the top allows you to switch between mail, contacts, and tasks, and a new toolbar replaces the current one that is displayed above e-mail messages/top of the inbox. The following short video demonstrates the just-mentioned changes:

Want to try these changes for yourself? Log in to your Gmail, find the Switch to the new look link, and click on it. (You can also revert back to the old style.) If you want to learn more about these changes without actually taking the dive (yet — this new Gmail is optional for now but will become the default in the near future), hit up the links below.

About Gmail’s new look

Google Blog official announcement

[via Engadget]

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  • Mardel

    I had to make this post about the new e-mail look for Google. I have been using Incredimail since ’98 or so since I purchased a life-time membership back then. I have had trouble with it since it went to #2 version. I recently purchased Win7Pro and had an awful time getting my lincense transferred dealing with their support, etc. Finally got it and no troubles for a month. Now my license # is gone and support won’t talk to me; Can’t use any features and now the Trend Micro that came with the computer won’t let me access the page claiming spam. I then went into my Google account and found this change. I simply love the way you can now make folders and subfolders; colors, etc. Especially the contacts page! I think this change is great and yes, I will now be uninstalling Incredimail and simply use the new Google account. I also love where in I can now access all 3 of my g-mail accounts via one easy set up. Love it.

  • Peter

    Thanks for this..and even though I am a little late posting a reply to this, I still feel it needs to be said that “changes” like this are not always for the best! I personally don’t like what they have done and the fact these changes appear to be going ahead in the near future..even if we don’t want them! It kind of makes you wonder just when companies like this reach the point where they think they are more important than the people they are serving?

    Perhaps it’s due to new blood at google trying to make their mark on the company or something like that..or it might be based on some current / recent poll carried out on some internet user segment, that perhaps indicates this is the way to go with the look and feel of the Google image in general..I don’t know..but they have been messing about with their image in general now for some time..making a little tweak here and changing something there..when in the end, it does little to enhance the services offered over all!

    As the old adage says: “If it ain’t broke..don’t fix it!”

    If they do, in fact, make these changes compulsory, then I will be moving swiftly on to some other service out there, as I’m sick of companies winning you over when they first hit net, only to start imposing their own “way of doing things” once they have grown to a certain size.

    Maybe I am over reacting here..but I don’t think so..FACEBOOK have been going down this same route now for a while already and many folks out there are starting to get more than slightly pissed over how they are being if it’s a case of you will do what we say and we will do what we want!

    On the flip side of all of this is the fact we don’t really need any of them or their services, as there is so many options out there to choose from..if we are prepared to spend a little time looking some of us used to do back in the day..before you got everything handed to you in a made-to-measure digital package.

    Perhaps more and mroe folks out there will start looking around at what it on offer, rather than just simply go with the “big boys and girls”. If so, then we can expect to see a sharp influx of members to forums and lists such as this one here..again, just like the old days.

    Just my thoughts. Thanks for reading them.


  • IndoMK

    I mostly like the new look; except for the HD themes which stink on slow connections, the pain-in-the-neck scrolling boxes, the larger space-eating buttons, and the ultra-square-ishness of *everything*. Wait, isn’t that like, most of the changes? :-P

  • david roper

    New Gmail would be OKAY if they had a B&W theme so I could see the boxes and stars at the left. there’s no contrast unless I use the Black theme.

  • Col. Panek

    I like GMX mail better. I hope Google kills Microsoft, but then I hope something kills Goggle.

  • hatman

    I wonder how long those Bastards will Harass me with the stupid “Switch To” Message? Google works for the CIA and is gathering up a Database on every user. That is why they have been offering free phone calling for last 2 years. Once you use it,they link it with your e-mail address and any other info they gather on you!

  • hatman

    gmail regularly asks me for my phone number. I think eventually they will deny me access without providing the number. I would like to flood their whole building with Raw Sewage!

  • Jeffinprov

    Iccchhh. It made whatever theme I had been using, which was dark but soothing, look like Gmail Meets The Black Death. Now that I’ve fiddled around, I have something that’s really terrible looking, but I’m not in the mood to have to re-art-direct my stupid gmail page. Wouldn’t it be nice if they directed their creative energies into some new level of functionality rather than foisting some dubious new aesthetic upon us all?

  • Ashraf

    @Anak: You can revert. Click on the mechanical wheel button (the one next to the buttons at the top control which page you are on) and click on “Revert to old look temporarily”.

  • Anak

    Just saw it on my recent check of gmail……..The only thing I did not like is that it seems to be permanent! With no chance to revert.

    What I saw was, try me now or try me later… We are going to change in two weeks or so automatically, so try to get used to it.
    At least this time they (google) produced a warning of an upcoming change.

    I like it I guess??, will have to wait until the DW sees it.

  • Ashraf

    @Prema: Yep, that’s what I meant when I said high resolution themes :-)

    I am not too sure I like the changes (especially the scrolling and the over dependence on white in the default theme) but you are welcome nonetheless!

  • Prema

    they also have HD themes and all in the Themes section. I like the change, thanks for the great post ashraf!!