back to article Google: Mmm. Tab-free Gmail desktop client? We won't DENY it

Google is working on a radical new redesign of the desktop version of its webmail service Gmail, it has been speculated. This comes after screenshots surfaced detailing various features Google is allegedly testing out. When quizzed about the gossip, Google declined to confirm or deny that a makeover was planned. A …


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  1. bigphil9009

    What a horrible website

    Sorry for the rant,but that website has an awful layout. Why, in this age of relatively low-res widescreen laptop and desktop screens would they take up nearly 1/4 of the available horizontal space with those borders? I don't really care how many people have shared the story!

    Now I'm off to chase those kids of my lawn.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: kids of my lawn

      While you're chatting with them, explain the relative merits of "off" and "of". If they really are "kids of your lawn" then they have every right to be there

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: kids of my lawn

        Don't forget to include the merits of the "full stop" or "period".

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: kids of my lawn

          And don't forget to include the merits of putting punctuation before the closing quotation marks.

          1. captain veg


            There is no merit in so doing unless you wish to demonstrate that you are American.


          2. Khaptain Silver badge

            Re: kids of my lawn

            @Dan 55

            You have to help me out here. Are you saying that the correct syntax should be example a :

            a : Don't forget to include the merits of the "full stop" or "period."

            b : Don't forget to include the merits of the "full stop" or "period".

            Version a : I believe that that is the American form.

            Version b : I believe that that is the British form.

            Being of British rather than American descent I automatically use the "correct" syntax :-)

            1. Steve Aubrey

              Re: kids of my lawn

              My take is that the punctuation does not belong inside the quotation marks, since it was not part of what was quoted. The exactness of what is quoted supersedes any imagined niceties of sentence structure.

              And when you're done with your lawn, I could use some assistance . . .

    2. RISC OS

      Re: What a horrible website

      It's to to do with readability... yeah I know nerds would love everything to be the full screen width but it causes a paragraph to run into one sentence, and usability studies show this is not fun when reading scanning/text

    3. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: What a horrible website

      Website design has been going backwards for years.

      Designer aren't paid for squat, developers are often mistaken for designers and ultimately, the owners with the pockets make the final design decision, like they will ever know a damn thing about interface design or clean code.

      So you end up getting what you pay for. Overpriced crap.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Change for Change's Sake

    We'll as they've mucked up the UI on maps, it's timed to muck up another popular app.

  3. NoneSuch

    I'm not installing any software from Google on my work PC.

    1. joeW

      Just as well we're talking about their webmail UI then I suppose.

  4. Ruli Manurung

    "Desktop client"

    "Desktop client"? Bah, when I were a wee lad, these things didn't run in bleedin' browsers. Misleading article :-(

    1. Ian Yates

      Re: "Desktop client"

      That got me as well.

      Also, aren't we beyond Web "2.0" by now? People have been saying it for so long, we must be on 3.0 at least

      1. Malcolm 1

        Re: "Desktop client"

        Web 2.51 - it's a patch release.

  5. Shady


    Are they really trying to make it look like

  6. Irongut

    Desktop version?

    Wtf is the desktop version of Gmail? They have a webmail version and several mobile clients as well but no desktop app afaik.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Desktop version?

      Presumably it'll just be Chrome with a new title and auto-launching into GMail. You can do that now to create a pseudo desktop application, with a bit of messing about, I suspect the "new product" is much the same thing in an easy to install package

      I can't see them coding a "real" desktop email client from scratch.

  7. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Keep 'em guessing...

    Classic misdirection - everyone will be too busy howling about the new, very different and highly visible UI changes to be worried about the inevitable small clauses in the usage licence that allows Google to scan, profile, sell, advertise etc., even more than they do now.

  8. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    Cue lots of comments shouting, "DON'T CHANGE MY UI!"

    1. Martijn Otto

      from people who don't realize it's not 'THEIR UI'

      It's Googles UI. You are only using it in exchange for your privacy.

  9. Gene Cash Silver badge

    The real Gmail desktop app

    It's called "Thunderbird"

    1. GBE

      Re: The real Gmail desktop app

      Is called "mutt".

      Or maybe it's called "mutt."

      Whichever you prefer.

      I was brought up to type the latter, but I think the former makes more sense.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still not used to their weird thread view

    Where when you click the trash can button when you're viewing any one of the messages in the thread, everything goes to the trash. Everything, even messages you've sent in that thread, disappears when you click on the button when viewing the thread.

    I had a long debate in the Gmail forums with one person -and I have to reckon that he/she was really trying to help me- teaching me to "understand" how it works, and myself responding how unintuitive and brain damaged was that decision because it violated one of the basic laws of UI designs: avoid unintended consequences. In the end, I had to close the discussion saying something like "hey, I know how it works, it is just I don't like it, and if you find it natural or intuitive you've been using this for too long because it is weird. And yes, I understand there is other option to view to switch but this is the default and defaults should be sane"

    What amazed me was that this person could not even start to imagine that someone could not like this behavior. That one wanted to keep a copy of the sent messages regardless of them being part of a thread or not was an alien concept for him/her.

    Funny how what is weird for some can be normal for others.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Still not used to their weird thread view

      It is sane... most users are happy with it so as a default it is acceptable. I don't see any unintended consequences - the thread is an entity not an individual email message so if I delete the thread, it is deleted.

      That threads you deleted come back when a new reply is received is a little weirder but better than having orphaned messages I reckon. And the fact deleted messages are so easy to find and undelete makes it moot in most cases.

  11. psychonaut

    deja vu

    "one that is clearly designed to function across a variety of screen sizes without losing functionality"

    now where has this gone badly, balmerly, badly wrong in the recent past?

    it wont work the same on a 27" fucking desktop monitor as it does on a phone you dicks. how can it? it might look the same but it wont be as usefull.

    oh ffs.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: deja vu

      "Look identical across a variety of screen sizes" and "function across a variety of screen sizes" are entirely different things. Separating content from layout is what CSS has been doing for the last decade.

      You know, like how works on your desktop and your mobile - it's the same code but it looks different.

  12. M Gale

    What I would like:

    A tablet client that looks a bit more like the desktop client.

    Oh well.

  13. ecofeco Silver badge

    Bad design - auto pop outs suck

    Flat out. Auto pop-out are the worst idea ever created for an interface. Designers barely know how to do drop downs well. Auto side pop outs or "blooming" pop out are even worse.

    You have to hold the mouse "just so". You have to click "just so" or the menu flys away and you have to start over.

    The menu pops out at inconvenient times.

    Then current design for Gmail already suffers this crippling design. Please do not inflict more for the sake of "fashion."

  14. BozNZ

    Just the ticket

    Ah email software which can change UI at the suppliers whim and may possibly have advertising thrown in whenever they choose, where do I sign up?

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Just the ticket

      ANY software that's web-based can change design at any time whether you pay or not.

      But then, so can desktop software - you can refuse to update to the newer version but that really is only a short-term protest until you give in or stop using the software, because you not only miss out on bug-fixes and new features but may likely find the server stops supporting your client version at some point.

  15. Jolyon Smith

    The REAL Gmail Desktop App...

    Is called "Sparrow"...

    It really was a fantastic Gmail desktop client for OS X. Until Google bought it. And killed it. :(

  16. bofh80


    there was a rumour mill that a redesign was in the works and going to include PGP too.......

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