Google Updates Gmail Interface And Adds Category Tabs

Freelance Technology Reporter for TechWeekEurope and eWeek

Google has updated Gmail’s user interface to allow email to be sorted into separate tabs for better organisation

Google has updated its Gmail service with a new appearance for users’ email accounts.

The search engine giant has added tabs that organise incoming mail into individual “compartments.” Google hopes that the new tabs will make it easier and quicker for users to find the messages they are seeking.

New User Interface

The tab feature was unveiled 29 May in a post by Itamar Gilad, product manager for Gmail, on the Official Gmail Blog.

“We get a lot of different types of email: messages from friends, social notifications, deals and offers, confirmations and receipts, and more,” wrote Gilad. “All of these emails can compete for our attention and make it harder to focus on the things we need to get done. Sometimes it feels like our inboxes are controlling us, rather than the other way around.”

GmailTo better organise that clutter, Gmail is getting a brand-new inbox on desktop and mobile browsers that puts users back in control of their email using simple, easy organisation, he wrote. “On the desktop, the new inbox groups your mail into categories which appear as different tabs. You simply choose which categories you want and voilà! Your inbox is organised in a way that lets you see what’s new at a glance and decide which emails you want to read when.”

The tabs include areas for primary email from friends and family; one for messages coming in through social media; a tab for promotional and advertising messages; one for updates for bill payments and other personal account messages; and another for incoming messages from online forums that users visit and follow.

“You can easily customise the new inbox – select the tabs you want from all five to none, drag-and-drop to move messages between tabs, set certain senders to always appear in a particular tab and star messages so that they also appear in the Primary tab,” wrote Gilad.

Optional Change

Mobile users will also see the new tab features in the Gmail for Android 4.0+ app and Gmail for iPhone and iPad app, he wrote. Mobile users will see their primary mail when they open the app, and then they can navigate to the other tabs.

The new interface is optional, however. Users who don’t like the new inbox can turn off all optional tabs to go back to classic view, or switch to any of their other favourite inbox types, wrote Gilad.

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