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Major Gmail Update Brings Tabbed Categories to Email

Major Gmail Update Brings Tabbed Categories to Email

Following the trend of innovative Email interfaces, Google on Wednesday announced a major redesign to its Gmail web interface. The Gmail update brings a new look that significantly cleans up and modernizes the user interface, and adds tabbed browsing of incoming messages to help users process email based on category.

We get a lot of different types of email: messages from friends, social notifications, deals and offers, confirmations and receipts, and more. All of these emails can compete for our attention and make it harder to focus on the things we need to get done. Sometimes it feels like our inboxes are controlling us, rather than the other way around.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Today, Gmail is getting a brand new inbox on desktop and mobile that puts you back in control using simple, easy organization.

The tabs will act to separate and group incoming messages into broad categories, including “social,” “promotions,” and “updates.” Emails about your Facebook friends will be filed under the social tab, for example, while marketing emails about upcoming sales will go to “promotions.” While Google will use filtering algorithms to automatically sort email, users will also have the ability to fine-tune categories by forcing messages from certain senders into a particular tab.

In addition to a revised webmail interface, the new look and features are also coming to Google’s native Gmail apps for Android and iOS. Instead of tabs across the top of the screen, mobile users will be able to access their categories via a swipe menu.

Of course, some users may not care for the changes and may prefer the traditional look and functionality. Google promises to keep a “classic view” toggle available in Gmail’s settings that can allow any user to revert to the traditional style. However, it’s not clear if the classic view will be available in the updated mobile apps or if it will be limited to desktop webmail users.

The new Gmail is rolling out “within the next few weeks.” Users who can’t wait that long will be able to try the new look before its general availability by choosing “Configure Inbox” from their Gmail gear menu. This “pre-release” is not available as of the time of this article but should come online in the next few days.

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Jim Tanous

May 29, 2013

676 Articles Published