Gmail compose UI getting a slew of web updates: New contact menu, thread name edits, more

Apps & Updates

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The integrated Gmail web experience that combines Chat, Spaces, and Meet is due for a navigation redesign. Until then, Google is rolling out a slew of updates to the compose UI on the web client.

It starts with a new right-click menu (no available image) to “easily view” a recipient’s full name and email address. You’ll have the ability to quickly copy the latter and open their information card, while Gmail will let you quickly edit contact names and the ability to “control what contact name is displayed to email recipients.”

For example, if you have a contact saved as “Sales Manager”, you can change what contact name will be displayed to others receiving the email. Note: this will not change the saved name in Contacts, only how the name appears to others included in the email. 

Meanwhile, contacts in the To, Cc, and Bcc fields are now placed in avatar chips to better distinguish between people, while checkmarks in the dropdown will note when somebody has already been added. 

Gmail will automatically remove duplicate entries within the same fields, when dragging and dropping between the To, Cc, and Bcc fields. 

gmail compose updates name
Gmail compose update
Gmail compose update
Gmail compose update

As you type in addresses, Gmail will validate those emails to “prevent any strings from becoming recipient chips that are not formatted correctly.”

Previously, users had to double click to correct an error. Further, if you do maintain an invalid email address in the address bars, you’ll see an error message prompting you to fix the error before sending. 

Google continues to work on making it apparent when enterprise users are emailing somebody outside of their organization with the use of color theming:

  • External contacts that you’ve interacted with before will be highlighted in a deep, yellow color. 
  • External contacts that you have not interacted with before will also be highlighted along with an out of organization avatar and warning banner

That said, different domain names within the same organization will no longer be marked as “external.” 

For example: users from will not appear as out of organization if added to an email from an user. This will help eliminate unnecessary warnings and confusions for users communicating across different brands under the same umbrellas or during the process of one company acquiring another. 

This is a big update that will break existing extensions that modify the Gmail compose screen’s recipient search, selection, and authoring field/capabilities. These updates to the Gmail compose screen will not be completed until the end of this year. It starts rolling out today:

We anticipate rollout to be complete by the end of year, and will complete rollout to Rapid Release domains at least two weeks before beginning rollout to Scheduled Release domains. We will provide updates here when rollout for Rapid and Scheduled release domains is complete. 

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