We first got word of a planned update to the views in Gmail in December of last year. This week, it has begun showing up in Google accounts including our NWOCA email system.

I am calling this a facelift rather than an update since really they have mostly only made some cosmetic changes which appear to make perfect sense.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the two views: 

Really the major difference is on the left hand side you now have a small sidebar with 5 icons. The hamburger menu is separated from the Gmail logo and below it the 4 main sections of the new Gmail interface are listed.

  1. Mail (Gmail) with a badge notification showing unread messages.
  2. Chat (formerly hangouts chat) For chatting with other gmail users.
  3. Spaces (added a few months ago) for team chats and collaboration.
  4. Meet (Google Meet) for video meetings and conferences.

Most of these features have been available for some time but unless you scrolled to the bottom of your gmail sidebar you did not see them. The new button bar will make accessing these other features much easier.

We will explore the new Gmail and dig into some more of its features in a future Tech Tips article. Spaces might be the solution for some of you looking to do group work and collaborations. It is similar to Slack and Webex Teams but built right into Gmail.

To switch between the two, head to the settings menu and click on Go back to the original Gmail view.

So now you know what to expect when you are offered to try the new Gmail interface. You can always go back to the old interface but I think most will like the new interface and won’t look back.

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