Disappointed is how I'd describe my overall reaction to this "new Gmail." Lots of features borrowed from Google Inbox and some other competitors (Protonmail), but nothing resembling the reinvention of the "experience" of using email that I crave. "New Gmail" does not make actually dealing with email any more pleasant for me.
The most innovative thing about this is probably the "secure message" feature I saw promoted in the press release, but even that doesn't seem enabled yet on my account. But it's not something I would use more than a couple of times a year.
I still use Gmail for work, but have moved on to greener pastures with my personal email. The cost/benefit of Google invading my privacy no longer pans out.
I don't know what to make of this new interface. There are few things to like - the integrated calendar, tasks, smart replies etc. but the overall design is extremely incoherent.
I'm not even sure how the compose button made it through all those reviews before production release. Some UI elements seem to have slightly rounded edges (search bar) while others have fully rounded corners (compose, active item in the left side menu).
This also doesn't appear to be a full redesign. There are remnants of the older UI throughout the product:
- The settings pages weren't updated. Why?
- The account dropdown on the top right still has elements of the old UI
- Hangouts hasn't changed much
I also don't like the fact that buttons that were super clear in the past are no longer easy to recognize - back, archive etc. They have all been replaced with icons that you need to get used to.
I've been using Spark since the very beginning. I was an original waitlist-starting user of Mailbox, and was excited to find spark almost immediately after Mailbox went extinct. This is the best email experience on every platform, and has a variety of productivity features that make it my go-to.
Ever since Mailbox became a graveyard app, I have been looking for a worthy replacement – and Spark is as close as it gets! The UI is clean, combining dark and light colors which helps with using the app; the side menu being dark while the rest of the UI has a white background makes you focus on the important stuff (the mail list and the mail in focus)!