Google introduced a new look and feel for the Gmail web app earlier this year, complete with a new sidebar, larger buttons, and other tweaks. You could still opt out and stick to the old design, but that is now changing.
Google has confirmed the new Gmail design “will become the standard experience for Gmail,” with no option to revert back to the old design (also called “original view”). The new design will be enabled for everyone starting November 8, but the change won’t kick in for some accounts until late November 2022 or early December.
The updated Gmail is intended as a portal for all of Google’s communication platforms and productivity tools. Google Chat, Spaces, and Meet are accessible from the left sidebar, where there’s also a larger Compose button. Just like before, the right sidebar has shortcuts to Google Calendar, Tasks, and other applications. Google also rounded most of the corners, changed the color options, and removed the old Google Hangouts from the sidebar.
Gmail’s latest incarnation isn’t a radical change from the previous look, so the forced switch is unlikely to cause mass mayhem. However, there were a few complaints when it first rolled out, especially from people who didn’t like the always-visible Chat and Spaces buttons when they didn’t use either product.