Google has just announced two big design changes to Gmail and Google Reader. As an avid user of both services, this is definitely going to impact my daily routine. First, let’s take a look at the leaked video and information surfacing about the new Gmail design courtesy of TechCrunch:
A video inadvertently posted to Google’s YouTube account has given a sneak peek at some of the changes that will be coming to Gmail in the very near future. It was quickly taken down, but not before a few screenshots were snagged by Google Operating System.
The Biggest Change
The new UI is obviously based on the Gmail ‘preview’ theme that it began offering back in June, which has more whitespace and options for tweaking how densely you want your conversations listed. The biggest change seen in the video is the conversation/reply view, which looks a lot more like Facebook Messages — each person in the conversation has their photo shown, and it’s easier to read previous messages in the thread.
Another key change: Gmail will start surfacing its advanced search features as soon as you click the search box. Before now these haven’t been as easily accessible — you’d have to either click a ‘show search options’ link, or use search operators (“sent:”, “has:attachment”, etc.). Now these options will pop up immediately, and you can also create a new filter from your search query on the fly.
Minor Gmail Tweaks
There are some more minor tweaks as well. Some buttons are now represented with visual icons reminiscent of those seen in Android Honeycomb/Ice Cream Sandwich. Read more about the changes over on TechCrunch.
The Google Reader Redesign
There aren’t any screenshots or images available yet for the new look of Google Reader but you can rest assured it’ll look similar to the overall design scheme being employed on other Google apps. It’ll be like Google Docs, Google+, etc. Here’s more details courtesy of PCMag:
Streamlined Look and Feel
Google didn’t post screen shots of the updated RSS reader, but Alan Green, a Google software engineer, said in blog post that the changes will be similar to those made to Google’s search and Gmail pages over the summer. Those updates streamlined the look and feel of the page, making the logo smaller, putting more space between items, and highlighting the section being used in red.
Google will also “bring Reader and Google+ closer together, so you can share the best of your feeds with just the right circles,” Green wrote.
Losing Key Social Features
As a result, Google will retire options like friending, following, and shared link blogs inside of Reader. Instead, Green said users can now start “prepping Reader-specific circles” in Google+.
“We recognize, however, that some of you may feel like the product is no longer for you. That’s why we will also be extending Reader’s subscription export feature to include the following items,” Green wrote. “Your data belongs to you, after all, and we want to make sure you can take it with you.”
That data includes subscriptions, shared items, friends, likes, and starred items. Read more about the changes over on PCMag.