Fourteen years ago, the web search engine giant Google launched their own email service, Gmail. It got a lot of attention thanks to its then-unimaginably massive mail storage of 1GB per user, plus many other nifty features that eventually led to it becoming the email service of choice for over half of America’s mid-size firms and nearly all startup companies. Remarkably, the Gmail platform has not changed significantly in terms of interface and visuals since it started 14 years ago, barring a 2011 “minimalist” redesign. Now however, Google is cooking up a significant design change, and they accidentally leaked it.
TechCrunch notes that Google may have tipped its hand a mite early with its secret revamp of their Gmail platform. That is the only way to explain the sudden email message to the customers of their cloud computing and app development brand G Suite, which contained previews of the new and improved Gmail interface. A close inspection of the photos that have floated up online following Google’s G Suite email indicates that the revamp is like a fusion of Gmail and another Google-developed email service, Inbox, with is “bundled” mail feature. Different color shades for highlighted menus are also evident.
According to online analysts of the new interface, the “new” Gmail left-hand menu list appears to be repurposed from Inbox, while the main screen portion with the list of mail – and message conversation threads – looks like the base Gmail one, but enlarged. Furthermore, the background color has shifted from off-white to a hint of blue. The folder list on the left, merely text links in Gmail, are now accompanied by Inbox-like icons in this revamp, plus category dividers to keep sections distinct. Due to updates in the interface, it has been theorized that some existing Gmail add-ons might be disabled.
The email from Google that blew this whole thing in the open stated that the new Gmail experience will be made accessible to an Early Adopter Program that will be finalized within the coming weeks. Said EAP will of course be an available option for those with personal Gmail accounts. Once it has been availed of, the revamped experience will be opened. No precise date was given for when all of this will come to pass however. It is plain that Google never expected the news to spread quickly after their G Suite email. No further details have been forthcoming.
Photo courtesy of Engadget