You might’ve noticed your Gmail looking a bit different. That’s because Gmail just underwent its latest update of 2022, and it’s made emailing so much easier. Since the email service’s creation in 2004, it’s gone through many iterations, but this one provides the most streamline user experience yet. The new “integrated Gmail view” was first released as a test on Feb. 11 and rolled out for all Gmail users who have turned on Chat on July 27. Here’s everything that’s new in the update.
As someone with an inbox that’s constantly overflowing, the integrated view is a lifesaver. It makes key functions of your inbox, chats, and meetings accessible within one window and easier to switch between. It might not sound like much but improving the efficiency of Gmail could reduce the amount of time spent on emails, which we’re all in favor of. The average American worker spends an average of 352 minutes or five hours and 52 minutes a day on email, according to an Adobe survey CNBC reported. That’s a lot of time. Gmail is also the most popular email service which makes its updates all the more worthwhile. If you use Gmail, your emailing experience is in for a change.
The biggest change in the integrated Gmail layout has to be the main menu that now has four minimalistic display icons on the left sidebar for Mail, Chat, Spaces, and Meet applications. If you remember, the old Gmail had collapsible drop-downs for each app that would reveal details of each. There was a lot going on and this new design, apart from being overall more aesthetic, definitely works better.
Chat & Spaces
When you hover over the icons, it previews each application which you can then click on to expand or hover over for more options. In Chat, you can opt to open it as a pop-up in the right bottom corner of your screen or expand it fully while still being able to have the option of easily switching to Mail, Spaces, or Meet. The pop-up stays open while you work unless you close or minimize it. The same goes for Spaces, which are group chats.
When someone sends a message in Chat or Spaces, a round button (aka bubble) appears on the left bottom of the screen with a preview of the message. A small red dot will also appear on the bubble and the Chat icon, signifying a notification. You can click either to reply to the message. Once you open the message, the notification and bubble both disappear.
While there isn’t a hover option over Meet. Clicking on the Meet icon will open up your meetings for the day in a format similar to the old Gmail. You can start a new meeting or join an existing meeting.
It’s easier to spot a notification with the new notification bubbles. Look for a bubble pop-up or a red dot on your app icons with a number specifying the number of notifications. However, the number only displays up to 99, if your notifications exceed that, it will appear as 99+.
Similar to the old Gmail, the three lines on the top left corner of the Gmail can show or hide the side panel that reveals different inbox labels, chats, and spaces. You can still navigate between the applications while the panel is collapsed. The collapsed view creates more space on your screen for an expanded view of the application you are using.
Improved search results are part of the update to make finding things in your inbox easier. When you type your search into the search bar, you can filter it by Mail or Chat & Spaces. Plus, filters such as attachments, type of document (document, spreadsheet, presentation, etc.), time, and more.
The goal of the integrated Gmail view was to make it “easy to move between critical applications like Gmail, Chat, and Meet in one unified location,” according to Google. While it has become the standardized Gmail layout, you can still change back to the old Gmail view. Google said in January that the option to revert back will no longer be available at the end of Q2. It’s still available at this time, but that might not last much longer as Q2 ended on June 30.