We’re used to seeing all kinds of minor UI tweaks to apps that change the aesthetic more than they should. They could be to streamline the interface of stuff more information onto the screen. In the case of the Gmail app, it might be dropping the text labels on the bottom bar.
When the Gmail app got the Material You paint job, the bottom bar got a bit of a change. Google made it a bit smaller. It was just one of those minor changes that we welcomed. Now, you could see just a bit more of your email feed which is always useful.
Now, the Gmail bottom bar could drop the text labels
This seems like something that the company is testing with a select group of people. According to 9To5Google, certain people were seeing this change being made. Now, it seems like it’s in the process of rolling out to everyone.
As you can imagine, the UI will be just a bit more minimalist, as the bottom bar will only show you the Mail, Chats, Spaces, and Meet icons without the text under them. If you’re used to using the app, then this won’t be a problem.
Since the text is being taken out of the app, then the bottom bar will be even shorter. Even if it’s just a few millimeters, it’s still a notable change. It doesn’t add much to how many emails you can see, as you can imagine, so it’s purely an aesthetic change.
Since the text is gone, it could make it easier to accidentally tap on the navigation buttons if you happen to use them (there are some people who still use them). Other than that, nothing else was changed in the software. Google is still experimenting with its Material You design, so this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.