Gmail on Android notifications are getting a whole new look that might divide users

(Image credit: Google)

Android users will soon be able to quickly see whether they have a notification from Google Chat (opens in new tab) or Spaces (opens in new tab) right from the status bar as a new update is now rolling out to Gmail (opens in new tab).

As Hangouts will soon be replaced by Google Chat for Google Workspace (opens in new tab) users, the search giant has added new status bar icons that make it easier to differentiate between Google Chat and Spaces notifications.

Up until now, Google's messaging app Chat and its Slack (opens in new tab) and Microsoft Teams (opens in new tab) competitor Spaces have both used a filled-in message bubble with another one behind it as their status bar icon. This made it difficult for users to determine whether they had a message from a single co-worker or if someone had said something in a group chat.

Thankfully, this will no longer be the case once Google's latest update for Gmail becomes widely available.

New status bar icons

As spotted by 9to5Google (opens in new tab), Gmail for Android is currently in the process of rolling out separate icons for both Chat and Spaces notifications.

The new Chat icon is a single message bubble that's outlined and has an empty interior while the new Spaces icon depicts three people next to each other. If either of these new icons look familiar, that is because they're currently being used on Google's email client (opens in new tab) for desktop.

While the new Google Chat icon makes sense, some users might be confused by the new Spaces icon at first since it looks more like a social networking app than a workplace chat app.

According to 9to5Google, the publication has only seen these new status bar icons appear on a single Android smartphone (opens in new tab) running Gmail version 2022.02.20. However, Google will likely roll them out to more Android devices soon.

Via 9to5Google (opens in new tab)

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.