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Your beloved Gmail inbox is about to change, whether you like it or not

Gmail
(Image credit: Google)
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Google has announced it will begin to push its redesigned Gmail interface to a much wider pool of users.

Since the initial rollout earlier this year, the new email interface has been available to Gmail users on an opt-in basis. But now, a large group of account holders (excluding Google Workspace Essentials customers) will be moved over automatically.

In anticipation of a backlash, Google will allow people to revert back to the old design for the time being, but the ambition is clearly to shift all users to the updated UI soon enough.

Gmail

The new-look Gmail interface, complete with sidebar for switching between the inbox and other Google apps. (Image credit: Google)

New-look Gmail

Announced in early February,  the new Gmail interface is designed to bring all Google’s communications services into one place, thereby minimizing the need to hop between multiple tabs when collaborating with clients and colleagues.

Under the new system, a panel on the left side of the email client allows users to navigate quickly between Gmail, Chat, Spaces and Meet. Depending on the services available under their respective Google Workspace plans, users can select which of these apps they would like to appear.

“When enabled, the new navigation menu allows you to easily switch between your inbox, important conversations, and join meetings without having to switch between tabs or open a new window,” explained Google.

“We hope this new experience makes it easier for you to stay on top of what’s important and get work done faster in a single, focused location.”

The company is also eager to shout about the Material You design language that underpins the new interface, which is said to deliver a “fresh look and feel” across the various interlinked applications. The aesthetic is characterized by a soft color palette and rounded edges, in line with the direction Google has taken the Android UI.

In all, as much as some will want to cling on to the classic Gmail design, the new interface represents an upgrade for most users and the modest changes to core inbox functionality will mean the transition should be relatively pain free.

The automatic transition to the new-look Gmail is expected to take effect for all qualifying users over the course of the next two weeks.

"As always, we will carefully monitor and address feedback from users during this rollout period and in the future," Google added.

Joel Khalili
Joel Khalili

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.