Gmail is getting a huge new update next week: All the features heading to your mailbox

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Gmail will be sporting a fresh lick of paint in the next few days. On Tuesday February 8 Google will begin rolling out a huge Gmail redesign which they first showed off last year. The Mountain View firm has called this inbound update ‘integrated view’ as it gives easy access to other Google services.

The Gmail update adds a new column on the far left handside which lets users easily switch to Google Chat and Google Meet.

Google Chat is the search engine giant’s answer to messaging service Slack, while Google Meet is a video-conferencing tool that rivals Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Given the huge number of people that use Gmail (1.8billion in 2021) this easy access to Chat and Meet could lead to huge uptick in those services’ user numbers, and a downfall in the amount of people that use rival services.

Besides easy access to Meet and Chat, the new Gmail update also brings with it other big changes.

The most noticeable one being a new colour scheme, with the virtually all white current default look replaced with a grey and white colour scheme.

Emails appear in white while surrounding areas which display user interface elements appear in grey.

The Gmail redesign also boasts updated icons as well as what looks like a more simplified layouts for chats, where instead of seeing the beginning of a message you can just see a user’s profile picture.

Speaking about the redesign, Google said: “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.

“Notification bubbles make it easy to stay on top of what immediately needs your attention. When working in Chat and Spaces, you can view a full list of conversations and Spaces within a single screen, making it easier to navigate to and engage.

“When working in your inbox, you’ll be able to view the full array of Mail and Label options currently available in Gmail today.

“In the coming months, you will also see email and chat results when using the search bar, making it easier to find what you need by eliminating the need to search within a specific product.

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“We hope this new experience makes it easier for you to stay on top of what’s important and get work done faster in a single, focused location. Further, this will help reduce the need to switch between various applications, windows, or tabs.”

If you want to try out this new Gmail look you’ll be able to opt-in to take it for a test drive from Tuesday February 8.

For those that haven’t opted in by April they will begin to see the new Gmail experience by default. At both of these stages you will be able to roll back to the classic Gmail look if you prefer.

However, by the end of the first half of this year this Gmail redesign will be the standard experience with no way to revert back.

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