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Google testing new minimal Gmail web interface

Tom Morgan
12 May 2014
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A new, minimal look with a fly-in menu bar could be on the way for Google's Gmail web client, according to leaked images

Google appears to be working on an overhauled web client for its Gmail webmail service, according to one site that has gained early access to the new look interface - a brave move by Google, considering how strongly many users feel about wide-ranging design changes to their most frequently used apps and services.

The screenshots, originally revealed by Geek.com, show a completely revised interface which appears to be designed for a range of different screen sizes and resolutions, rather than being aimed purely at desktop PCs or laptops.

Google Gmail new look

The biggest change is the new fly-in menu system, which Google has already introduced to its Android 4.4 KitKat-compatible apps. It hovers on the left side of the screen, displaying the usual selection of webmail folders including Inbox, Sent items, Drafts, Trash and Spam, as well as any user-created labels and folders which are colour-coded and assigned icons to represent their content.

A second pop-in menu on the right side of the screen displays Hangouts contacts, a large compose button for writing new mails and a reminder feature, which will likely use the recently-added Google Now functionality built into Google's Chrome browser.

Google Gmail new look

The new UI also includes a new Pin system, which looks set to replace the stars currently used in Gmail to highlight important emails. Pinned emails can be moved to the top of your inbox with a single button, or turned off to have your inbox arranged in date order.

Google has yet to announce a global rollout of the new look, with no guarantee that they will arrive in a state anything like these leaked images, but as big fans of the minimal look we can only hope the company sees sense and makes it available to the public soon.

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