May 17, 2022

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Hands-on: Gmail's new sidebar looks like a big Google Chat banner

Hands-on: Gmail’s new sidebar looks like a big Google Chat banner

Zoom / New Gmail design. You can see the chat window that pops up at the bottom left.

Ron Amadeo

Gmail Latest redesign It looks like it finally started hitting a slew of accounts over the weekend. The new desktop location changes a file 2018 design By turning the top and side parts of the web app gray, turning red shading blue, and rounding some corners. Oh yeah – it also adds a second big sidebar to the left side of the screen. The regular Gmail sidebar showing all your mail sections is still there, but now there’s an entire extra sidebar which is basically an app switcher for other Google apps. It’s weird.

The new colors are fine, but Gmail is able to look anyway, so the new default design doesn’t matter much. But the new “Integrated View” and sidebar are likely to spark controversy. You’re on Gmail.com to check your email, and now on the side of the screen, there are four new buttons. There is “Mail”, which is just Gmail. Then “Chats” and “Spaces,” both of Google’s newer messaging service, Google Chat. Then there’s the Google Meet button, Google’s Zoom competitor.

That’s pretty much it. Vertical bar from top to bottom to be displayed four Humble buttons (five if you count the returning hamburger button) and then the Siberian wilderness desolate of white spaces. Oh, if you happen to get an incoming Google chat, you’ll see a profile picture pop up in the abyss below the new sidebar. This is a huge waste of space for irrelevant buttons if you visit Gmail for – you know –Use Gmail.

Even if you hit the hamburger button, the new Gmail will still show the app bar.  The old layout, even when it collapses, will still display an icon for each Gmail section.

Even if you hit the hamburger button, the new Gmail will still show the app bar. The old layout, even when it collapses, will still display an icon for each Gmail section.

Ron Amadeo

Crucially, you can’t collapse the new sidebar, even if you plan on not using Google Chat and Meet while you’re trying to check email. It looks like the hamburger button in the upper left corner might cause the new sidebar to collapse, but it collapses the Gmail sections instead, not the app switcher. you may Start Make the app bar disappear in the new Gmail design. Historically, you’ve been able to head into Gmail settings and turn off Google Chat and Meet individually, but flipping a switch in any of these services kicks you out of the new Gmail design and into Gmail Classic. This will be an issue in the future when the “classic” design is gone.

The lack of control is what makes this app converter such a terrible addition to Gmail. The new sidebar is big, it’s annoying, it takes up screen real estate to promote irrelevant products, and I can’t get rid of it. It is a basic banner ad for Google Chat and Meet.

Even if you use Google Chat and Google Meet, the new Gmail buttons aren’t particularly good. Google Chat has made the inexplicable decision to separate chats 1 to 1 from group chats (or “Spaces” in Google Chat parlance). Just like the mobile app, the new Gmail makes the fatal mistake of not displaying both sections on the same screen. Half of your conversations will be in the Chats section, group chats will be in the Spaces section, and you will have to tap to move between them. Both the old Gmail and the chat.google.com website display all chats in a stacked sidebar, with group chats and one-to-one conversations still split into separate sections but appearing on a single screen. The old website or Gmail is a much nicer interface for this reason.

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Google Chat is now a full screen interface.  The "distances" Group chat displays the same interface, but is now annoyingly divided into a separate area of ​​your individual conversations.
Zoom / Google Chat is now a full screen interface. Spaces group chat displays the same interface, but is now annoyingly divided into a separate area of ​​your individual conversations.

Ron Amadeo

We’ve already encountered bugs in the new Gmail interface. Abner Lee At 9to5Google He can’t get the new gray color scheme to load properly on his business account, so Gmail appears incorrectly with an all-white background. For me, the “Meet” tab doesn’t do anything. Nothing happens when I click on it. Even if you manage to open it, it’s clearly there Not much to look into. The only real functions of Meet are ‘Join a meeting’ and ‘Start a meeting’, and even the dedicated Meet.google.com has no interface next to any. All of these sidebar buttons open up giant full-screen interfaces, and what Google Meet plans to do with all that space is unclear.

Chat and video features were part of Gmail for A thousand years Now, starting with Google Talk in 2006 and the first Google Video Chat in 2008. In the “classic” Gmail design available today, Google Chat and Meet are already integrated with Gmail, and are available in a way that seems like an entirely better design than this new offering. In the classic view, there is one sidebar, with “Mail,” “Chat,” “Spaces,” and “Meet” stacked on top of each other. Any section can be collapsed, and you can look in the settings and turn off any section you don’t want permanently. Sections like Google Meet, which have only two small buttons to present, only have a small sidebar section, which seems like a more convenient space.

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