Google’s been making a lot of big changes with the way its apps look lately, and it looks like the Gmail app for Android is about the get the same big changes. A few weeks ago we saw Google testing a new Gmail web interface that has the look of many other leaks we’ve seen in the Project Hera/Moonshine UI design language, and just three days ago Google dropped the official Google+ update with the same design. Now it looks like that look is moving over to the Android Gmail app, and it’s changing a lot of what you might already have gotten used to since the last time Google changed their UI design language. First up you’ll notice the complete lack of left-hand slide-out menu, something that’s been slowly added to nearly all of Google’s apps over the past year. This is odd considering just how well the left-hand slide-out menu works, especially for something like Gmail that features lots of folders, tags and other organizational information. Instead we’re getting an overflow button on the top right, which is something that Google hasn’t focused on in a long time, but is prominently used in the latest Google+ update.
The compose button has been moved from the top right to become a rather prominently large plus button in the bottom right, complete with a large circle around it. This design is very reminiscent of the KitKat lockscreen that placed a camera button on the bottom right so as to let users know they can drag the right side of the screen out to get to the camera without having to unlock the phone first. You’ll also notice that the top left shows the current mailbox being used and is a clickable dropdown menu as well, likely showing all the tabs you’ve enabled to filter messages, and probably includes things like tags and other organizational information that you’ll currently find in the left-hand slide-out menu on the most recent Gmail update.
That’s about it though, as the Gmail icon doesn’t represent what we’ve seen in the Project Hera/Moonshine leaks, and the list of emails itself and how information is organized on them isn’t any different either. Why Google is changing the navigation from the left-hand slide-out menu back to an overflow button is incredibly confusing, and it leads us to wonder if they’ve received nothing but negative feedback about the way they redesigned their apps last year. For now we’ll keep taking the leaks, as this same individual, Yoel Kaseb, was the one who leaked the new Google+ interface as well, so this may very well be a near-final design of Gmail in the future.