Apr 03 2013

Gmail updates their compose window to benefit mobile users


Composing new emails with Gmail are going to different next time you use it. It’s rare that changes are made that people actually like, Change with anything is rarely acceptable to most people, but change must come and Google [which is in a constant state of beta] has added some new features to the compose window of Gmail. Some are complaining, but are they the ones that don’t like change or are they truly objecting the to aesthetic function of the new compose window.

Google is slowing rolling this out to everyone, but from my vantage it’s a welcome change. I think Google / Gmail has enough information to say whether people use specific functions of the composition window or not. It appear that they’ve made some judgment calls and made some adjustments to reflect that, but also to prepare for the future.

The presentation of the changes that they’ve made seem to be reflecting where they want to go with their services in general. Gmail seems to making changes that are going to be standard across the board, regardless of which device you’re using; you should still have the same experience. In the weeks to come, I would expect to see all android devices see updates to their Gmail application.

The effect that Gmail is going for seems to be the minimalistic view. Start off with the basic interface and then allow users to add in information/options as they need them. For instance, there’s no need to show the field for carbon copy and blind carbon copy if no one’s actually being carbon copied on an email. Now the author has the option to choose what options they want to see.

The formatting bar has been removed, and relocated to the bottom of the composition window. If you want formatting options, select them; if you want additional options, those are available too.

Here’s the notice you should see when you login to Gmail.


It provides you the general instruction you would need to see what’s new. It’s simple enough.

Here’s some more information on the new options.


Some of the changes seem understandable. Most people aren’t worried about formatting and the chance seem to be driven to the Smartphone/tablet market because the options are at the bottom, close to where the buttons should be on a tablet or a Smartphone.

To get the formatting options to come up, you click on or press the A button at the bottom.



Those options seem generic enough to apply to everyone.

For additional options for adding content from Google Drive, inserting images, inserting links, smiley faces or invitations, just click or press on the + symbol.


Of course users can paste the images and links still.

If this new compose window isn’t working out for you, Google is giving you a warm up period to get used to it. You can use the old composition window, by going to the bottom-right and choosing the drop down for the old compose window.


The new interface for Gmail composition is going to benefit smartphone and tablet users the most because it gives them the most function in the most composition real estate without cluttering the screen with functions they’re not using.

Are you using the new interface?
How do you like it?


Thank you,
Larry Henry Jr.

…via Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12

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