Google unveils Gmail's new look, iOS app finally coming

By on November 1, 2011, 5:30 PM

Update: Gmail's iOS app went live tonight, but was later pulled due to a bug with notifications. It's likely to come back sometime tomorrow.

Google has started rolling out a revamped version of Gmail intended to make the webmail service as simple and streamlined as possible. Among the most noticeable changes is a redesigned conversation view that now shows a profile picture besides each sender, so it's easier to track who said what, and strips out as much as possible from messages so you can focus on the conversation.

The company also added a feature it calls "elastic density", which essentially means that the interface dynamically expands or contracts depending on the size of your Gmail window. If you prefer a denser view all the time, you can change your density manually in the Settings menu near the top right of the conversation window.

The navigation panel on the left now keeps labels and chat contacts in view at all times and let's users resize these elements to their liking. Meanwhile, searching has been improved with advanced search options available from a drop-down search window that appears upon clicking the search box. You can specify to/from fields, subject, word inclusion and exclusion, attachments, dates, and create filters right from the same search interface.

Lastly, themes have also been completely rebuilt for the new UI, carrying many of the old Gmail themes over to the new look while introducing several others based on high-resolution imagery from iStockphoto.

As usual, the rollout will happen gradually. Google says it'll bring the changes to everyone soon, but if you'd like to make the switch right away, there will be a "Switch to the new look" link in the bottom-right of Gmail over the next few days.

In related news, word on the street is that a Gmail app for iOS is waiting for approval on Apple's App Store. Currently, Gmail users on Apple devices have the option of accessing the service though its mobile web app, Apple's built-in Mail app, and a handful of third-party clients. While that may be enough for some, a native Gmail client could mean that iOS users would finally get such features as the color-coding that exists in Gmail for Android, improved search and filtering, the ability to zip through mulitple profiles, message prioritization, push notifications and more.

User Comments: 12

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yorro said:

Love the new look. I just wish Google Reader would get the same attention

Guest said:

Must admit I really like it too. Clean, fast, modern and elegant. Nice work Goog. Now if you can just fix your lousy Google Apps shared contacts (or lack thereof).

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Still looks rigged and lacks customization besides the theme and size. I would like an Outlook clone, basically.

Guest said:

I don't understand how people like the new look, the new look is absolutely horrible, it's a mash, there is no contrast between elements. If I open a conversation it's really hard to find the last message of the conversation...buttons colors are the same as messages titles, replay box is almost as the background....really really horrible !!

Recycle said:

Google Reader got a remake earlier this week!

Guest said:

i totally agree there is no spacing and no difference between any icon..I hat it

Guest said:

Yeah.. its just bad.. Google has this recent trend of making unnecessary changes lately and this is one. If you look at the list of changes only two are functional changes, "smarter navigation" and "better search". That's cool and all, but who had trouble searching or navigating Gmail before? Never was a problem for me. Besides the navigation is exactly the same besides moving the stupid chat box up and down. Search function isn't new.. There was always advanced search.

So it basically comes down to this: Google thinks this new look is cool, but it's really not. And to appease some people, they added what they call "new functions" to Gmail.

Guest said:

Google's new look is horrible; it is not intuitive, nor is it friendly; I hate the push technology where the company does not give the user a choice; I used their services based on what they had offered when I joined because I liked it...

Guest said:

The new Gmail look is very hard on the eyes. Also the old one is easier to navigate. Bad decision Google!

Guest said:

Completely Agree!

Guest said:

new look is ugly!!!

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