Gmail is Getting a UX Makeover on Mobile

Posted on January 29, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Cloud, iOS, Mobile with 18 Comments

In a bid to calm the fears of Inbox users, Google today announced a major user experience update for Gmail on Android and iOS.

“Today, we’re kicking off the year with a new look for Gmail on mobile,” Gmail product manager Nikolus Ray explains. “As part of the new design, you can quickly view attachments—like photos—without opening or scrolling through the conversation. It’s also easier to switch between personal and work accounts, so you can access all of your emails without breaking a sweat. And just like on the web, you’ll get big, red warnings to alert you when something looks phish-y.”

Google introduced the new Gmail last April and it continued updating the service throughout the year with new features like offline support, confidential email support, Smart Compose, Compose Actions in add-ons, and centralized inbox support, among others. These are all great changes, but I still feel that the Gmail interface is convoluted and complicated, and I prefer the alternative Google Inbox interface. Unfortunately, Google announced in September that it was killing Inbox by the end of March 2019. And after evaluating it again, I decided I could never use Gmail, not in its current state.

It’s unclear yet whether the changes announced today will make a difference since I can’t evaluate them on my handsets yet: Google says that the latest mobile UX makeover will roll out over “the coming weeks.” It does look nice, in the screenshots, and Google says “this update is part of a larger effort to make G Suite look and act like a family of products, designed in the Google Material Theme with ease-of-use in mind.”

So we’ll see.

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Comments (18)

18 responses to “Gmail is Getting a UX Makeover on Mobile”

  1. yoshi

    Looks like a big improvement and I'll be happy to check it out. I'm still waiting for them to fix their current apps when it comes to the iPhone Xs Max. Google Calendar, for example, is still not optimized for the Max. Microsoft optimized all of their apps rather quickly, not sure what's taking Google so long.

      • yoshi

        In reply to dontbe_evil:

        I do use that too. I bounce between the 2 quite a bit.

        • VancouverNinja

          In reply to yoshi:

          Why bounce around? Doesn't sound like a productive way to work.

          • dash--

            In reply to VancouverNinja:

            Not the dude you were replying to, but I can tell you that as someone who has used for last 10 years, I connected it to gmail a few months ago. Reason being extremely shitty spam filters on Its just annoying to check every paypal and apple store email if its true or not. Especially when I actually do use those services a lot. I dont have that problem on gmail at all (yes, yes I know why). The thing is I actually went to desktop to report those emails as spam (cant do that from mobile app for some reason) and they kept popping up all the f***ing time.

            But I love outlook app and I semi-like the web interface - for me the app is lightyears ahead of gmail. Unfortunately this is the reason that made me switch :s

            • dontbe evil

              In reply to dash--:

              unfortunately my new company use gmail ... guess what? 90% of REAL Microsoft email goes into spam

            • yoshi

              In reply to dash--:

              Pretty much what you said. Gmail has just been more reliable for me overall, but I do use my address for certain things.

              I actually convinced my wife to start using, and within a month she had over 40 legitimate emails go to her spam. Mostly from teachers at my daughter's school, so it was important stuff.

              Also, I find contacts and calendar to be terrible in Contacts do not sync properly with my phone, but with Google there are no issues. Even the contact photos sync with Google.

  2. dcdevito

    Holy battery drain, Batman

  3. jmikelis

    Where is the dark theme? I am so done with Gmail and it;s crazy folder labels which result in dupicate email and poor IMAP support. I've moved to and am much happier. Works great with Outlook 2019, too. The Outlook Android client looks nicer as well.

  4. JerryH

    I have used Inbox since the early days when I got an early invite into it. But since it is going away I switched to Gmail in December. Even now after using it for two months I find it sucks compared to Inbox. They actually show ads at the top of your inbox in Gmail. That was a big downer. But it just doesn't work as well either. It is really a shame that Inbox is getting shut down. I had hoped the switch would be the other way - move Gmail users to Inbox.

  5. dcdevito

    For those who want it, link is below. Still has Ads in the Promotions section, not happy about that. It doesn't group messages like Inbox does, and isn't as fast or fluid as Inbox. And holy cow is it white. It's like Ross's teeth on Friends.

  6. JoePaulson

    I have moved to literally just forwarded my address to outlook from gmail. I am also using my outlook address as my email address when asked for one...I guess this means I have moved over to outlook as my address and gmail is just the legacy for accounts that can't be updated because it is the user name and for spam that got my gmail address.

  7. dmaddogg

    Google can I please have that as an option in the web browser!?!?!?

  8. chris122380

    I hope they have fixed the notification options. Neither Google in Gmail or Microsoft Outlook have been able to provide "Mark as read" in the notification drop down. I get so many emails that having to do this from the app becomes tedious.

    Too bad there's not a way to get the app pushed out quicker to those who are interested in it first before everyone else.

  9. Polycrastinator

    I still haven't started to transition, and I'm sort of dreading it. I had previously had a ton of rules sorting all my email to labels and automatically archiving, and I deleted those because they interfered with Inbox. Having to recreate all of that - because right now Gmail is an unusable mess of spam and bacn for me - is really intimidating and will be a major time investment.

  10. histogramx

    gmail's new UX makeover is really good. I love it. Thanks for Sharing

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