Google’s fresh Gmail layout—which better integrates email, video calls, chat, and content sharing—will begin rolling out next week.
Starting Feb. 8, users can opt in to the new experience. By April, those who have not joined will begin seeing the update by default, with the option to revert to the original via Settings.
While you can run, you can’t hide forever from Gmail’s changes as they are set to become the only option by the end of Q2 2022. Around the same time, users will begin seeing a streamlined navigation experience on Chat web (mail.google.com/chat).
Google will prompt users to switch to the new integrated layout
“When enabled, the new navigation menu allows you to easily switch between your inbox, important conversations, and join meetings without having to switch between tabs or open a new window,” according to a Google Workspace announcement.
The current interface, with its expandable stack of Mail, Chat, Spaces, and Meet apps, can feel cluttered and almost claustrophobic. Google’s update, however, consolidates each tool into a simple icon, helping users to focus on one task at a time. The new navigation menu makes it easy to switch between important conversations and in-progress video calls without leaving the tab or window. Plus, notification bubbles ensure you stay on top of incoming emails and urgent chats.
Integrated view is available to Google Workspace Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Fundamentals, Education Plus, Frontline, Nonprofits, and G Suite Basic and Business customers; it will not be rolling out to Google Workspace Essentials users.