How to use the new Gmail App interface

Fear not, the Gmail app is still the same after its redesign—only better.

How to use the New Gmail App Interface Gmail has received a Material redesign that might make you question it's usability. Fear not, the app is still the same ... only better. Jack Wallen shows you want you can exp

By now you know, Google's Gmail app received a long-overdue fresh coat of paint. This next iteration of the app is now available to most Android devices, and it isn't just about making Gmail prettier. We all know Google's not one to simply upgrade the aesthetic palette without rhyme or reason. With the new Gmail app, we get a much more efficient take on the mobile version of Gmail. This is a leaner, less crowded Gmail that makes for a much more user-friendly experience.

But does this new interface mean needing to re-learn how to use the Gmail app? Not so much. Only a couple of features have changed. Let's find out what they are, and how to use it.

SEE: BYOD (bring-your-own-device) policy (Tech Pro Research)

Material goodness

Before we get into the features that have changed, the first thing you will notice is the starkness of the Gmail redesign. The new interface is very white (Figure A). To me, this redesign makes perfect sense, as it now better blends in with the design scheme of Android Pie.

Figure A

Figure A: The new Gmail interface (right) is far cleaner than previous iterations.

The top red band is gone in favor of an always-ready search bar, which makes for a more efficient search experience. Just tap the search bar and go. The email listing is also not delimited by, well, anything. Even without that demarcation, it is quite easy to differentiate between emails. The email listing on the main page is also slightly larger, thanks to the usage of the new Pixel font. Although you'll see fewer emails per page, the text enjoys a slight bump in readability (again, thanks to the Pixel font).

Switching accounts

Outside of the Material redesign, the biggest change to the Gmail app for users is the way in which you switch accounts. In previous releases, you'd tap the menu button (in the upper left corner) and then tap the account dropdown to switch between configured accounts. That method is no more.

In order to switch email accounts, tap the account icon in the upper right corner, and then (from the Account Manager pop-up window) select the account you want to view (Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B: Selecting an account in the new Gmail app.

From that same pop-up window, you can also add more email accounts and manage the accounts you already have.

The sidebar

The Gmail sidebar is pretty much the same as it was, minus the account management features (which now have their own pop up). Tap the menu button (in the upper left corner of the Gmail app) to reveal the sidebar, where you can open folders, manage labels, access other Google apps (Calendar and Contacts), and open the Gmail Settings window (Figure C).

Figure C

Figure C: The new Gmail sidebar.

Nothing else to see here

And that's pretty much it for the new Gmail app interface. Although at first blush you might think Google has gone mad with the changes—they haven't. This is a redesign of the interface that affects just a tiny fraction of how you use the app. Said changes actually make using Gmail a much more efficient mobile email tool. Enjoy!

Also see

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Image: Google

By Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.