Gmail Is Getting A Slick Makeover You're Going To Love, Here's What It Looks Like
At more than 20% of the worldwide market share in email servers, Gmail, Google’s e-mail service, is currently the number one provider of email on the planet according. As such, Google actually updates the system fairly frequently, and the coming months will be no different—Gmail is getting a makeover and it looks fantastic.
In recent years Google has been very heavily leaning into a more unified communication experience, launching what was first called Google Hangouts Chat and later renamed to just Google Chat (not confusing at all, Google). This was rolled out to everyone for free, first testing it on the paying market of Google Workspace (GSuite at the time). This new chat experience has always looked like it was meant to compete with Slack. While Google Meet has also seen some recent love such as increased total capacity, even at the free tier, better video quality, and some neat background features.
Through all of these changes to the individual products, Google has decided that it would be best to just gain access or use all of these things rapidly through just one interface, at least in the paid tiers of Google Workspace. That interface is Gmail, and so it has outlined a roll-out plan for all Google Workspace and Gmail customers.
The changes will be available to all users optionally as of February 8, 2022, but will automatically be opted-in by April of 2022, with an option to temporarily revert. However, as of the end of quarter two of 2022 the new interface will be the standard without the option to revert. The interface change will also be made to the Google Chat interface, which also means that chat will no longer be configurable to be seen on the right side of the GMail interface. However, there will likely be a browser extension to fix this.
For now, the only products that look like they will be affected are paid tier, non-profit, and education customers of Google Workspace. There’s no estimate available yet as to when these changes will be made available to free GMail customers; this is always hard to predict, as Google has a history of not necessarily announcing changes on the free tier, such as allowing access to the new Google Chat interface. You can read more details about the new changes on the Google Workspace Updates Blog here.