If you’re a regular user of Google’s Gmail, you may have noticed a major change take effect recently. The web-based version of the popular email service has begun a rollout of a new minimalist, window-based design for a key part of the Gmail experience: composing and replying to emails.
When using the new compose feature, the first thing you’ll notice is that, instead of being taken to a separate page to write an email, a small window will appear in the lower left-hand corner of your inbox. It’s anchored by default, but you can click the arrow in the window’s upper right-hand corner to make it “pop-out” in its own browser window.
The new compose window is very minimalist in design. It’s loaded with familiar icons like a paperclip for attachments, a garbage can to trash your draft, and an X in the top right-hand corner that saves and closes your draft. If you forget what any of the icons do, you can just hover your mouse arrow over the button in question. A tiny text box will appear explaining what the icon does.
If you’re not a fan of the new compose window, Gmail gives you the option to switch back to the “old compose,” at least for now. Just click the upside down triangle in the lower right-hand corner of the compose window. That will bring up a menu that gives you the option to temporarily switch back to the old compose – at least until Google disables the option in the coming months.
The new compose window allows you to write (and see) two emails at once, all while keeping an eye on your inbox. The biggest drawback, at least for now, is that it’s new and different – your pace might slow down until you get used to it.
Has Google launched the new compose for your Gmail account yet? Do you like the new window-based method? Or do you prefer the old way and wish the company wasn’t permanently disabling it in the near future?