Back at Google I/O, we saw major updates to Google Search, Maps, and Google+. There was one major omission: Gmail. Well, two major omissions if you count Android. I can’t say when Jelly Bean mk3, Key Lime Pie, or whatever it’s going to be called, will show its face, but we do have the lastest on the next update of Gmail.
If nothing more, the new Gmail inbox should be rather familiar. While it does not exactly use the tile interface, the overall look and feel of the recent Google updates shows up in Gmail. You’ll get a mostly flat interface with a white background, black to grey lettering, and pastel color accents. However, this isn’t just about a style update, Google has brought tabbed grouping as standard to Gmail. The example given by Google was one tab for your primary inbox, one for social media, another for promotions, and yet another for “updates” for bills and receipts, and lastly forums for those on messaging boards. Gmail will automatically group your emails into these category tabs. You can change and customize these tabs to fit your own reading habits. It should also be noted that the user has the option to go back to a more familiar Gmail configuration if they so wish.
The new Gmail desktop will roll out gradually as standard over the next few weeks. However, users will be given an option to switch to it early, in the gear-shaped settings menu under “Configure Inbox.” If you try the tabs early though, you’ll still get the old theme for the moment. iOS and Android users will see new Gmail apps in the coming weeks that incorporate these changes.
Readers, when this rolls out to you, we’d like to know what you think. Post your comments below.