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Google begins rolling out the new Gmail design to users as the default option

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The new Gmail is rolling out for everyone, but it’s not obligatory (yet).

Google originally launched the Gmail redesign in January for a limited number of users. The company says it has used user feedback to make improvements, and the final version will now show for all Gmail users who have turned on chat.

Google didn’t make any drastic changes to the interface, and the new design is pretty customizable via the Quick Settings button on the top right. The biggest changes are better integration of Chat, Spaces, and Meet into Gmail, as well as slightly nicer and more colorful buttons (see, for example, the larger “Compose” button near the end of the video below).

New Gmail design

The new Gmail design has a sidebar that allows you to switch between Mail, Chat, Spaces and Meet. When you switch to the new interface, you may notice that Gmail’s side panel has disappeared. Don’t worry, it’s still there. Mouse over the Mail icon, and it will display the classic menu which has the shortcuts for the Inbox, Drafts, Sent, Bin, and all your labels.

It might be a little cumbersome to move the mouse over to the left every time you want to access one of the options. The solution for this is simple, just click on the hamburger button above the menu, to pin the sidebar permanently. Similarly, you can collapse the menu for a minimal experience whenever you want.

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The new Gmail View displays the hover preview for other services –

regardless of whether the menu is collapsed or open. If you have Gmail open and want to quickly access Chat, just mouse over it to view a list of your conversations, without leaving the Mail view. The icons on the sidebar support unread badges to indicate that something needs your attention. When a new message arrives, you will see a notification in the corresponding service. The accent color of some visual elements has been updated.

That is pretty much all that has changed in the Gmail experience.

The rest of the interface is the same, including the side panel on the right edge of the screen, with shortcuts for Calendar, Keep, Tasks, Contacts, etc.

A support page on Google says that users will be able to choose the apps that are listed on the sidebar, by clicking on Settings > Apps in Gmail > Customize. This should allow users to remove Chat, Spaces, and Meet from the side panel, but I don’t see the option for this.

  1. At the top right of your Gmail window, next to your status indicator, click More options > Chat notification settings.
  2. In the window that appears, check the boxes next to “Allow Chat notifications” and “Open chat bubbles for new messages.”
  3. At the bottom of the window, click Done.

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