New Gmail Is Live, Here’s Some Early Response

    November 2, 2011
    Josh Wolford

Gmail has a new look, and it’s live for everyone who wants to make the change.

In the coming days, Google will switch everyone over to the new Gmail, but those of us anxious to see the new look can switch right now. Just hard refresh the page and look for the “Switch to the new look” link at the bottom right-hand side of the screen.

Here is what’s new about the Gmail redesign:

  • Conversation view has been redesigned to be more streamlined.  Profile pictures of contacts now show up in the view, and it had been stripped down in order to make it more user-friendly.
  • Google says that Gmail now has a better search function.  There’s a new advanced search panel in the search box that is supposed to make it easier to find what you’re looking for.
  • Google has rolled out new HD themes, provided by iStockphoto.
  • New “elastic density” automatically changes the spacing between elements based on the size of the display you’re currently using to view Gmail.  You can still change the density manually if you’d like.
  • The left-side navigation panel keeps labels and contacts there at all times, and there are more customization features.

From what I’ve noticed, the interface has been cleaned up a little as well, hiding certain functions until they are necessary to be displayed. All in all, the new Gmail looks cleaner (possibly simplistic to some) and more compact – considering you set the density levels to suit your needs.

Twitter gives us a look into some of the early feedback, which seems to be split:

If the new Gmail look feels a little too spread out, click the gear at the upper right and pick a new density. (Thanks, @mediamacaroni!) 33 minutes ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Ooohhhh… New Gmail is pretty! 2 hours ago via HootSuite · powered by @socialditto

#FANCY new Gmail design! today is going to be a good day! 49 minutes ago via TweetDeck · powered by @socialditto

Getting used to the new look Gmail. Glad we use Outlook in the office. 4 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Anyone else having involuntary seizures from the new Gmail look? Eek! 4 hours ago via TwidroydPRO · powered by @socialditto

I don’t have a problem with Gmail getting a new look, I just don’t see why it has to look like a poor first attempt at a Geocities website. 5 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto

In other Gmail news, it looks like iPhone users might be getting a native Gmail app – to the cries of “Finally!”

What do you think about Gmail’s redesign? Let us know in the comments.