About 2 days ago, an anonymous tipster emailed TNW,  Android Police, and probably a few other sites with screenshots of an alleged Gmail redesign that would automatically categorize your emails into separate inboxes. We didn't run the pictures because they seemed pretty sloppy, and often didn't conform to the way Gmail works. Now though, now we're seeing confirmation from ryan_socio, who has been a pretty solid source in the past, so they've officially graduated to post-worthy. Here they are:



Top Left: Android | Top Right: iOS | Bottom: Desktop Web

The initial batch of these images that went out had horribly distorted colors, which really didn't help their credibility. We brought that up with the tipster and he came up with the higher-quality versions you see above.

We've got the whole trifecta of Android, iOS and desktop images for this new inbox feature, so it looks like you'll be able to use this everywhere. The Android version is sporting the slide-out navigation drawer and a top-only action bar, just like what we saw at Google I/O. Gmail now sticks profile pictures in front of every email, and multiple labels are actually readable.


This automatic email categorization feature sounds like they are graduating the "SmartLabels" Labs feature that is currently in Gmail. SmartLabels automatically tag incoming email with "Forums," "Notifications," "Promotions," and "Social Updates" labels; this leak uses similar categories: "Primary," "Social," "Promotions," "Updates," and "Forums," and seems to turn them into some kind of "super label." These special labels seem to have different presentations on each platform: The desktop uses tabs, Android puts them in containers inside of your inbox, and iOS has them all listed in the sidebar.

The tipster claims these two images are from a draft of an official Gmail Blog post, which will be published this Wednesday, at 4 PM GMT. So it's only a few days until we find out if these are really legit.


Can I just say though, I hate these images. The status bar clock is an absolute joke of a Photoshop job, and the network icons are just flat-out wrong. There are formatting inconsistencies, incorrectly sorted emails, and uncharacteristically poor English in the messages. If these really are the promotional images Google is going with, they are the sloppiest things they have ever produced.

I guess we'll see in a few short days. Come Wednesday, we'll be mashing our F5 buttons on the Gmail blog just in case.

Ron Amadeo
Ron loves everything related to technology, design, and Google. He always wants to talk about "the big picture" and what's next for Android, and he's not afraid to get knee-deep in an APK for some details. Expect a good eye for detail, lots of research, and some lamenting about how something isn't designed well enough.
  • Alex Flynn

    fake and gay

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Thanks for this valuable contribution.

    • Fred

      But it looks so sexy. Am I gay?

      • Larizard

        Here here, let me help you figure that out.

    • Alex Flynn

      Damn so much hate. Pretty sure 'fake and gay' was a meme at some point

      (And I meant the screenshots, not the entire post)

      • scuttlefield

        Meme or not, calling something 'gay' meaning that it's bad, is not okay.

        • andy_o

          Reminds me of that great scene in 21 Jump Street where they go back to high school and try to be cool by bullying nerds and gay kids but everyone thinks they're douches. Some people just don't realize society has outgrown their own immaturity.

          Yes, I just referenced 21 Jump Street, great movie BTW especially if you saw the old show.

        • Freak4Dell

          Yeah, and while we're at it, let's also stop calling things stupid. It offends the intellectually challenged. Oh, and actors are offended by the word fake, so that's out, too.

          Remember kids, being politically correct is the only way to go.

        • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

          Oh - did I miss a memo?

          I'm gay and so is my partner (it'd be weird if he wasn't right?)

          I have always used "well that's just gay" in reference to something that doesn't work the way it should (or at all). I am not personally offended by the use of the word in this way and neither is anyone else that I know. (and because this is the internet - yes I really am Gay and yes I really had a civil partnership and yes - here is proof - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zu468AbqNGM )

          • selonmoi

            Yes. The memo was titled "Have some self respect."

            You say that you describe yourself as gay, and that you also use gay to mean "something that doesn't work the way it should", and you see no problem in that? I'm reading your words over and over again, and they just don't make any sense.

          • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

            Ah I see - you missed the memo entitled "did you know that the same word can have multiple meanings in the english language?"

            By your logic I should also be offended that the word "gay" originally meant "happy" before it was used to describe someone as homosexual?

          • selonmoi

            Ah, so you're a language expert now? I cannot wait for you to explain the etymology of your pejorative use of "gay." I am beyond excited to learn how this meaning came to be, independent of any ugly connotations toward gay people.

          • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

            Nope, not a language expert - just someone who spent a large part of his life living in Northern England. This is clearly going to rage on like the use of the word "fag" which in my country means a cigarette and always has - I don't know how or why it acquired it's more offensive meaning and frankly - it's not my problem (except when Google sees fit to voice type f** despite the fact my language is set to English UK)

          • Freak4Dell

            Good on you, man. People that get their panties in a bunch over words that aren't even directed at them need to get their heads out of their asses.

          • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

            It's the thing that some people seem incapable of understanding - a word, any word used in a derogatory context - only has any power at all - if you choose to let it.

      • Joseph Cascio

        Reminds me of this commercial.


  • http://twitter.com/zackeryfretty Zackery Fretty

    Yeah, this is probably a bit fake. ;)

    • quiro91

      it's ryan_socio confirmed, so I don't think it's fake

  • Arslan Jumaniyazov

    I hope they will also add an option to clear my trash from the app, without going to my desktop PC.

  • Mn_1

    Not everything is good but I think there is some great ideas (like the smartlabels)...

  • Phil Oakley

    I suspect this is real, but the promo images are placeholders.If the source has given a date and time for the post, and ryan_socio, who is reliable, has confirmed it, then I expect it to happen.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Unless Syrian Electronic Army has taken over ryan_socio's TheVerge account.

      This should be the new disclaimer now.

      • Ryan Socio

        That statement has opened up completely new levels of paranoia inside me that I never knew existed.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          Nice try, Syrian Electronic Army member.

          • Ryan Socio

            Even the Syrian Electronic Army isn't silly enough to hack Disqus accounts, are they?

          • Andrew

            I'm pretty sure you never sleep. Ever. Are you a robot?

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii


          • Michael Ta

            can I program you to make me a sandwich? me lonely no gf :(

  • Nevi_me

    Twitter Bootstrap image colours on the buttons, dodge I say!

  • silaslenz

    An answer to one of the comments on the verge asking when the new android version comes:
    "No idea, but its quite minor, just an update to the camera interface, an update to the calendar and the other stuff is mostly under the hood."

    • Phil Oakley

      The Calendar app is on the Play Store now, so I guess that could be modular.

      I'd like an app to the phone app and the tabs in the app drawer to use the new style used in the Google Play apps.

    • Matt

      Yeah I saw that. I suppose that's to be expected given the fact that it's 4.3 (not 5.0) and that they changed so much stuff on the back end with Play Services, etc. The Google I/O sessions gave us some insight into the backend stuff, which seems pretty cool (speed improvements through more Project Butter, Bluetooth updates, etc.). Still, it's going to be at least 1.5 years between major releases (when KLP's theoretically released with the new Nexus in November). That thing better be badass.

    • Larizard

      That's sad. Jonny and his team at the other camp is readying a UI overhaul of their beloved OS, and all that Google has come up with is arevamped Gmail, Camera, and Calendar?

      I wanted to believe that there was a strategic reason to why there was no mention of 4.3 at all at I/O---that they were waiting for Apple to show its cards and release 4.3 right around the time WWDC starts.

      But if all they have to show is this, then meh.

      • quiro91

        I don't think they care at all of what Apple is doing; Android is just fine right now and there's no need for a major update.

        • Larizard

          I'm certain they do. It's marketing 101. Know they competition.

          I don't think there is a need for a major update, yes, but we need new compelling features. This year's IO was a total MEH consumer-wise. Nothing exciting. Nothing new.

          You and I and everyone who reads this blog know every well how Apple fans will react to a "black and white, monochromatic iOS". They will jump ecstatically and hail it as the next coming of Jesus.

          What I am concerned about is that Google find a way to counter the hype that will come with iOS 7. They cannot let the tech news outlets lavish at the new OS. They need to steal some spotlight for themselves. Again, Marketing 101: Can't let the competition have all the news coverage.

          • Freak4Dell

            Apple always commands all the news coverage around the time of a new release. It's not worth Google's time to try and stop that. Google is better off waiting and focusing on releasing good products of their own, rather than trying to outdo Apple. The last time they rushed out a release, they were trying to make Android tablets relevant compared to the iPad, and we ended up with the horror that was Honeycomb. Google can handle a little downtime, and it's not going to kill them to not have news coverage for a week or two. Apple has been behind Android in terms of features for a while now, so they're the ones playing catchup. Best case, they do what they always do and add in some feature that Android has had for ages. Worst case, they catch up and add a couple of new features. Either way, they're not going to leapfrog Android overnight. This way, Google can focus on the more pressing matters in the Android world, like update speed (or lack thereof), fragmentation, OS fluidity, etc. A 6-month release cycle is too fast, so I'm happy to see Google slow it down and release less dense updates. This means their next major update will not only contain a lot of new things, but those new things will actually be good.

      • erikiksaz

        And iOS needed the update because the gui is over 6 years old and has been stale now for half a decade. Google's refresh was ICS, which is not even two years old.

        • Larizard

          I totally agree. But my comment was not about the UI. They need new compelling features. New 'stuff' to engage the imagination of people, just how Google Now last year captured the spotlight. And need I mention Glass?

          Will you really be okay if all that 4.3 comes with are new UI for the Camera, Calendar, and Gmail? Let's not forget we are talking about Google here. Solving . Moon-shot ideas. So far, it looks like 4.3 will not deliver at that front.

          Of course, it is too early to say. I just hope Google does not rest on its laurels, because that's exactly what other companies on top tend to do (ehem Nokia). And before they even know it, they're done.

      • joser116

        Google has already done plenty of overhauls of Android. The upcoming one that Apple is doing is about the only major overhaul they have ever done. iOS has pretty muched looked the same since it came out, just a grid of icons.

  • Snakebites

    Like someone on the verge posted, the time on press shots has always been the number of the release. The time in these images is 4:30 so if this is coming Wednesday then it should be coming with version 4.3

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      You've got a point. I have a feeling this will be a pretty interesting week if all this pans out.

      Though, Gmail is already at 4.3 (4.3.1 to be exact), so either the time indicates something we already know (an update to Gmail 4.3.1 that will still be 4.3.X?) or the new Android OS version (Android 4.3), or it's a fake.

      • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

        No.... New Android versions generally come with a new Gmail that takes advantage of new features - eg Expandable Notifications etc. Yes Gmail also comes to the earlier versions of Android too but it's usually demoed on the latest version of Android. The chances are the blog post is showing a BETA of Gmail and a quite early version of Android 4.3. If anything has become apparent over this last year - it's that internally in Google everyone appears to be running software at different subversions - where you would expect that everyone who has access to the latest unreleased flagship hardware would also be running the latest build - that appears not to be the case. (I can only assume that this is to cut down on the number of leaks to the outside world)

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      Eh, Gmail isn't part of the Android OS, it's just a Play Store app. There's no reason to arbitrarily tie Gmail to Android releases anymore. Plus, Gmail is already on version 4.3.1.

      • quiro91

        what about this?

        • Angel Penabad

          But that's normal, those are press photos of devices, the way that you see an Audi A6 spot and plate is A6. In this case these fotos are leaks of an app, not press release fotos of a new device.

          I'm pretty sure that white nexus 4 press photos will show 4:30.

          • Nasko Hristov

            Right now, from the photos we have, iot shows 4:23 which is very strange. I hope it is wrong :D

    • Nasko Hristov

      You sir, just made my day.

  • JonJJon

    Maybe the Syrian Electronic Army hacked ryan_socio's account to say it's real, they are apparently hacking lots of random stuff atm ;-P

  • Lupe Fiasco

    I don't know, maybe it's just me but I hate that the App Icon is not updated to the newer one which is present in the Web and iOS version of GMail.

  • xspirits

    Seems terrible, hope it's a fake. Obviously there's some photoshop-fail in this but...still.

  • Eric Coffman

    I don't understand this. Who cares what category they belong in. I want to get to all of them and I prefer to read my email in the order they were received. Confused.

    • Justin Swanson

      Some people like the sorted views because they are bothered by emails that are from XDA saying X post was updated or if you have wrap up emails turned on for Facebook, they don't want then in the primary inbox.

      It needs to be an option, but it can be very useful for those that get 200-300 emails a day.

  • Ben Baranovsky

    Ron, you are a boss at spotting things! I wouldn't have noticed most of the flaws you did, and I'm a pretty observant person.

  • Androidfan

    Could it be this be android 4.3? With the icons switched around?

  • joser116

    I don't think they would use a screenshot of a Googler's actual e-mail so they had to photoshop one.

  • Ryan Socio

    The app image is a poor mock up created by that guy in all likelihood, the version that I've seen has a much lighter colour in the side bar.

  • Michael Ta

    1 pixel too small? Ron are you a humanoid? :O

  • Huss

    No one gives a shit about you guys think!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/cabbieBot cabbieBot

    Almost showtime.

  • Russ

    It's 16:00 GMT and the GMail blog has announced this. Good shout!

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii
    • SAFergie

      nice scoop Ryan socio....or rather, nice scoop Syrian Electronic Army posing as ryan socio