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Google reveals a new Gmail interface that's no longer a crowded mess

Gmail App Light
Gmail App Light (Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google is updating the desktop Gmail interface with a new, more straightforward UI.
  • Mail, chat, spaces, and meet will all have different sections instead of being crammed into one column.
  • The rollout will begin on February 8 as an optional change but will become mandatory by Q2 2022.

Any Gmail user who frequently checks their email on a laptop or desktop computer will know just how busy the interface can be. It seems Google agrees as a new interface will become available for all users starting February 8, 2022. At that time, you should see a pop-up on the bottom corner of your inbox to switch to the new UI.

This new UI separates the mail, chat, spaces, and meet sections into easy-to-find tabs on the left side of the inbox. In the current UI, these sections are crammed in the same column, which makes it a bit difficult to see any dense information. Google previously introduced the chat, spaces, and meet sections in a Gmail update last April.

By April 2022, Google will automatically switch users to this new UI. While you'll have the option to revert to the old UI for a little while, Google says that the old UI is going away as of Q2 2022, which usually means sometime in the early Summer.

Users who like having Google Chat on the right side of their inbox will likely be disappointed, as the new UI removes that functionality. Still, by cleaning up the Gmail UI, Google looks to be making the daily task of checking emails a bit more enjoyable.

Gmail is one of the best Android apps you can download on your phone and already separates these four sections via tabs located on the bottom of your phone's display.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu
8 Comments
  • It's only a busy interface because Google keep cramming things into Gmail that should not be there. Adding Chat and Meet and whatever else has made the interface a convoluted mess.
  • New story a month later " Google has canned it's recent Gmail interface facelift" because... Reasons (shrugs)
  • They're not doing this to help us. As usual, they're up to something and whatever it is, it's about something something money.
  • Capitalist entity attempts to make more money. Night follows day.
  • I wish google would fix the way Gmail Android app handles threaded conversations, especially with attachments. It's incredibly frustrating to find attachments in older messages.
  • What Google needs to update next is the desktop browser version of Calendar :D
  • Gmail has been an aggravating mess for a while. Trying to delete messages is frustrating as they keep coming back unless you delete it and allow the pop up to go away and that takes 10 seconds for each one. And moving something to spam always makes it come back.
  • With all these complaints about GMail, why not try Outlook?