The browser version of Gmail is set to receive a redesign that will bring it in line with Google’s Material Design guidelines, according to a presentation held by the G Suite unit earlier this year in San Francisco. The image that can be seen beneath the conference video below provides the first look at the new Gmail interface that’s said to be coming in the final quarter of the year and will likely be available on a worldwide level come early 2018. While the new version of Gmail will presumably still support themes, the one that was showed earlier this year features a regular white background and a somewhat cleaner design which may do away with inbox tabs which are currently supported by the service. All items in the left sidebar are now accompanied by colorful icons and no Google branding of any kind can be seen on the interface, with the company’s name in the top-left corner seemingly being replaced by the word “Gmail.”
The new interface still shouldn’t require much getting used to as its overall layout remains the same, with the “Compose” button being featured even more prominently at the top of the left sidebar. One functionality that’s seemingly getting lost in the transition to a more contemporary-looking design is the ability to quickly switch between Gmail, Contacts, and Tasks using a simple drop-down menu, though that feature may have simply been hidden on the version showcased by the G Suite team earlier this year or will eventually be added to the service before the redesign is available to all users.
The Mountain View, California-based tech giant is also working on a number of artificial intelligence functionalities it intends to add to Gmail going forward, with one of them being Smart Groupings. Just like its name suggests, this feature would be able to identify and automatically categorize your emails by their contents if you choose to enable it, with the G Suite team giving a specific example of Gmail recognizing and organizing your trip-related digital correspondence. The service will presumably be similar or identical to the one of the same name that’s already supported by Inbox, and the same goes for the Snooze ability which is also on its way to Gmail, Google revealed. The same event also saw the announcement of Smart Replies for Gmail, though that particular functionality is already available to mobile Gmail users and people who rely on Inbox. The Alphabet-owned company is holding its next product event on October 4 but will presumably keep its focus on hardware instead of software, with the Pixel 2 series, Google Home Mini, and Chrome OS-powered Pixelbook being some of the devices expected to be announced next month.