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Google Gmail Heading In New Direction As They Compete With Outlook

Google is totally redesigning its Gmail service as part of a larger push to consolidate its various apps into a single hub.

Its aim is to deliver better communication and interaction between Google users.

Google product manager Neena Kamath has described the update as an effort to establish a “unified Gmail”, allowing users to easily switch between the company’s various web applications.

The update, which has been rolled out in waves, incorporates a new design language with new colours, menus, and navigation tools, that are consistent across the rest of Google’s applications.

The main new feature allows users to display their choice of Google applications within a vertical bar on the left of the screen.

According to Kamath, the company found that common behaviour during the pandemic saw users switching between email, video calls, chat and collaboration. Currently the side bar features Mail, Chat, Spaces and Meet as a result.

“We increasingly see Gmail as a central point for people to manage communication in their daily lives” said a Google spokesperson.

However it does raise the question of how many services Google could add, such as Google Docs and Drive, before the service feels overwhelmed. Kamath also said that with the revamped Gmail, the company sought to find the right middle ground between “a standalone email application or a hub for easily moving between” its various services.

Microsoft’s rival email service, Outlook, already offers integration with the Office suite, providing easy interaction with Word and Excel, making Google’s move to follow suite no surprise.

Likely in an attempt to avoid losing market share and engagement, Google has made the new features optional, with the sidebar option found within Gmail settings.



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