Gmail tests redesign on Android with a chat-style UI for replying to emails

Gmail on phone screen in hand
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Google's latest redesign for Gmail on Android introduces a chat-style UI for replying to emails.
  • The company is testing a new Reply field that will be a permanent presence at the bottom of your screen, basically turning email threads into instant messaging chats.
  • It's unclear yet when the redesign will reach our devices.

Gmail recently received a number of updates, both in terms of functionality, such as emoji reactions, and interface, including a visual refresh for foldable phones. But the latest redesign is introducing a whole new chat-style UI for replying to emails on Android. 

According to the folks at Android Police, Google is testing a Reply field on the Gmail app on the Android that will stick to the bottom of the screen. The text box looks reminiscent of that of Google Chat and even Google Messages, as the field seemingly manifests as a pill-shaped container flanked with buttons for media and emoji. 

Right now, replying to emails can be a cumbersome process — a process that involves having to choose from the Reply, Reply All, or Forward buttons and then typing out your response. But now, Gmail is making the process easier by seemingly turning email threads into back-and-forth-like conversations like you see on instant messaging apps like WhatsApp or Telegram.  

The redesign sees the messaging box appear consistently at the bottom of the screen, which means you don’t need to scroll to the bottom to see it. The bubble is where you can start composing a reply, and there’s also the option to choose your reply type and edit the recipients. The small send button appears to the right of the bubble, and a paperclip icon for attaching files on the left-hand side, similar to our favorite texting apps.

Test for a redesigned reply field in Gmail

(Image credit: Android Central)

The makeover is but the latest update for the email platform, which previously saw the introduction of emoji reactions to make replying to emails on Android more enjoyable. But now, apparently, the company is going a step further by making replying to emails look more like instant messaging.

The redesign has yet to receive a wide rollout and there’s no word yet from Google in terms of a timeline. However, once the new chat-style UI is fully deployed, it will most likely become the default option for responding to emails.