Google has finally unveiled a long-awaited overhaul to its Gmail app for Android, in conjunction with an all-new inbox experience that marks the single biggest revamp of the web mail service in years. We predicted this update would be announced today earlier in the week.

The new Gmail inbox is centered around tabs. Yup, tabs. The idea is that you have up to five sub-inboxes (any of them can be disabled) to organize your email, but that Gmail does the hard work of sorting everything out for you. There's your primary inbox, which houses your non-categorized mail, a social inbox for social network notifications, a promotions inbox for deals and offers, an updates inbox for order confirmations, flights, receipts, and more, and the same priority inbox that has been a part of Gmail for some time now.

You can manually move messages into a specific tab, or set rules for certain senders to always go to a particular tab. Starring a message in any one of your tabs will cause it to also appear in the primary inbox tab.

android 2013-05-29_12-16-42

The official Gmail blog says that an update to the Gmail app for Android, pictured above looking substantially awesomer, will be coming out in the next few weeks for 4.0+ devices, as well as iOS. For more about the new Gmail inbox experience, see the video below, and check out the official Gmail blog post.

Gmail Blog

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

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

    Could it be that 4.3 might drop in a "few weeks" - that'd be around June 10th right? In any case at least we know the tipster was correct :)

    • Steve Freeman

      There's a rumor that even though 4.3 isn't a groundbreaking update, it'll be released first on a new device, so I doubt it. Unless if they're keeping this new device so secret nobody heard any decent rumors about it.

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

        It's worth noting that "in a few weeks" is around about the 10-15th June.... wonder what other high profile events are taking place around that time.....

  • Hamzah Malik

    The clock says 4:30 let the rumors begin!

    • vitriolix

      In one screen shot it is 4:20.... Hmm...

      • http://www.youtube.com/kimirPORTALS kimir


        • ProductFRED


      • updog

        They were high when they thought they needed to 'fix' email.

    • mechapathy

      OH SHNAP!

    • Matthew Brown

      It has a weird small clock design as well!

    • Nick Schiwy

      In the video, the email arrived at 4:30 so I think that's probably all we need to know... :)

      • Ian Santopietro

        It would have been cute if they had released 4.3 to Nexus devices on April 30th.

    • http://them3blog.wordpress.com/ Abel


  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    Starting to hate Google Play... before Google I/O we got the latest updates on the day... now we have to wait weeks or side-load apk's once someone uploads them.

    • illninofan

      I hear what your saying Sebastian, they need to fix their update cycles :(

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      You're actually complaining about the *way* that a new, amazing update to Gmail is coming? You have to wait a few weeks. It's not the end of the world. How about we all just be excited for the day we get it, which should come soon enough. The level of ingratitude and impatience of some people on the internet amazes me at times.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

        Also, his complaint is completely wrong. Since when did Google *ever* have a history of always releasing things day-of? Stages rollouts have been a part of Google's history for years.

        I want to get my grubby hands all over this thing just as much as the next guy (actually, probably more than that poser), but sheesh. I, too, get weary of how pissed off people get that they're not getting free awesome shit as fast as they arbitrarily decide they should.

        • Michael Ta

          Ikr? I'm freaking excited for it. But it doesn't mean I'll bash google because it's rolling out *too* slow. Damn it people, you're getting free shit, if you want something so bad develop it your own. Go run Google if you can.

        • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

          Whenever update was announced i got it immediately.... so.....

          • Nathaniel_Graham

            Stop bitching. It will be released soon. The self entitlement of some people amazes me.

          • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

            Right so wanting updates the day they are out is bitching and it's considered wrong by the android community, what the **** is going on...

          • Nathaniel_Graham

            No people acting like a self entitled spoiled children is what's wrong with the Android community. Google doesn't owe you a damn thing.

          • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

            It's called having a god damn opinion...

          • Nathaniel_Graham

            No. Its called bitching...

          • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

            and that is your opinion.

          • Steve Freeman

            You're like a spoiled kid throwing a tantrum on December 23rd because you don't want to wait any longer for your Christmas presents... Bitching because you're "sick of waiting" for updates, on Android, is just ignorant. Be glad you're not stuck on iOS with no other option.

          • http://GPlus.to/Abhisshack Abhisshack

            who fuck you are thinking you are? are you significant something ? , why would Google release early update for your pleasure ? before app update you certainly need spanking

          • http://GPlus.to/Abhisshack Abhisshack

            also your father should have used that condom before fucking your mother

          • http://GPlus.to/Abhisshack Abhisshack

            So fuck youself

        • blunden

          You seem to be misunderstand what he is complaining about. He is not complaining that they don't release it on the day they announce it but rather that the Play Store now uses staged roll-outs so even after it has been released, people will have to wait days or weeks instead of getting it a short time after release. I can certainly agree with that complaint. Just look at the Hangouts app roll-out.

          OTA updates have always been staged roll-outs though and that certainly makes sense. Also, announcing before releasing is fine but that is not what the complaint is about.

      • mechapathy

        That's what happens when you run out of stuff to complain about.

      • didibus

        I agree with your comment, but only on a general basis, we should all chill and learn to appreciate things, slow down our fast paced hungry lust and desire for all things techy and appreciate the hardware and software we currently have instead of always looking ahead and waiting for the big next thing.

        But I disagree with your mention of gratitude. Gratitude shouldn't be used in a business context, because it just isn't present at all. Google is not doing us a service out of pure selflessness, and we are not choosing to use Google's products over it's competitors out of pity. Google needs to be stepping up it's gmail offering if it wants to retain our attention. Competitors come fast and hit hard, just recently, many new gmail clients came out trying to crown themselves as a better gmail client and @Sebianoti:disqus is proof that Google does not have a lot of leeway when it comes to keeping it's users interested.

        Announcing the new Gmail client this early on, and saying it'll come out in the next few weeks, is a marketing trick. It's a way to tell us, hey, we know there's all these other android email client coming out, and you might be tempted to give them a try, but, before you do, just remember, we will release a new awesome gmail real soon...

    • Mapekz

      This is the way software development works today. They need to do this to ensure that as few people get hit by bugs or other experience degradation so that they can fix these things before continuing roll out to further users. They need to worry about global translations and any applicable legal considerations and such as well.

  • Chronus719

    Are they adding Outlook support? Gmail is so feature-rich compared to the Email app now, it's not even funny. I'd like to finally be able to use one email app, and am hoping that Google is moving to get rid of the Email app in favor of people using the Gmail app as a single, unified spot for all email needs with all the best features.

    • Steve Freeman

      I would rather not have my work email (which is Exchange based, so requires Email, or a 3rd party app) be mixed in with my personal Gmail. And I definitely don't want to be in Gmail, and accidentally send out an email to whomever at work from my personal account...they already have too many ways of contacting me when I'm not in the office.

      • Chronus719

        There's an Outlook app if you want them separated, but I've found many unified inbox apps to be lacking in one way or another, and find that the Gmail app provides the best UX. I mean, really, there should be no need for 2 stock/manufacturer apps on the phone to provide one service.

        • Steve Freeman

          Yeah, but the Outlook.com app is strictly for accessing...wait for it...Outlook.com. It doesn't work with Exchange mailboxes, I checked. Unless if they added that functionality in and I didn't know about it?

          And, I disagree. Gmail is created specifically for Gmail access. Why mess that up and bulk up the app footprint, to also provide functionality for features of other mail services?

  • Scott

    Can't wait for it to show up.

  • The Dark Days Incarnate

    Oh look the time is 4:30 as in Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

    • Guest

      In the left one though it's 4:20 as in "the pot".

      • NemaCystX

        or Android 4.2

    • MasterMuffin

      Oh look someone above you commented that a minute before you :)

  • MrNinjaPanda

    Hopefully an apk will be available soon.

  • timrcm

    I'm betting iOS gets it first. Sigh.

  • ChanceIll

    Always is! I'm sure the .apk will be available before then.

  • narctic

    Oh no! Ron's Gmail update promo leak teardown was flawed. Google made those errors to deceive us.

    And yes, we've learnt a very important lesson.. do not use developer/instructional videos as proof of a redesign.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      The images were from the iOS version of the app, so we were led astray.

      • narctic

        No prob, I was rooting for the tabbed look so I'm happy that it turned out to be true.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

          Nevermind, thinking of the wrong screenshots.

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

      I'd say the images at http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/05/24/redesigned-gmail-screenshot-leaks-during-google-io-session-its-packing-a-navigation-drawer-and-dumps-the-bottom-action-bar/ were relatively accurate. They definitely pointed in the right direction, just not complete with all the new inbox categories.

      The hamburger slide-out turned out to be spot on, for instance.

      • narctic

        Yep, it definitely hinted at something. Android Police is my first stop for Android news so at the very least I expected (hoped) for one of them to be right.

        Great Journalism!!

  • meetloaf13

    Mark All As Read please.

  • Danny Holyoake

    Pretty disappointing that Google *still* does this stupid 'in the next few weeks' rubbish.

    Give a date. A concrete date. Or better yet, how about you wait until you've finished it before announcing it.

    At this rate, they may as well have 'announced' this at Google I/O.

    • chandradithya

      Well, I'm sorry you're not getting free awesome stuff as fast as you randomly want it.
      What will you do if it has a bug and a billion people are already using bugged software? Bash against google for bad software?

    • brkshr

      Soooo, you want them to update all 900,000,000 devices at once? Okay...

      • daveloft

        Well actually it's probably just over 500 million as it's for Android 4.0 and above. But yeah I agree with your point completely.

        • brkshr

          Good point

    • http://www.fb.com/xda.developers.czsk XDA Developers (CZ+SK)

      New GMail is update only for Android 4.0+

    • pm c

      hooray just another dumb kid on a smartphone

    • the_banned_one_returns

      Whatever, Captain Bitter. Feeling a bit entitled, are we?

    • MasterMuffin

      Pretty dissapointing that people *still* are complaining that updates for free (awesome) software don't have EXACT update date ಠ_ಠ

    • CuriousCursor

      The reason they do this "next few weeks" thing is so that fewer people get affected by early bugs as they iron out and keep rolling it out to more people.

      If you don't know how software/website releases work, shut up.

      • didibus

        He's pretty clearly complaining about marketing. And I have to agree, Google kind of spoiled us at first, with their crazy fast release cycles, think Chrome, now compare it to how fast browsers used to update before it. The pace has slowed down now, and I understand why, Google needs to focus, make sure all integrates, work well across a plethora of hardware and platforms. But marketing wise, it's like they still try and have us believe they are pushing stuff out as fast as they used to, when in fact, they are not.

    • Scott

      Chill out. It'll come to you soon enough.

    • QwietStorm

      It's just an update to Gmail. Surely your life isn't affected in any serious way by having to wait a few weeks.

    • mgamerz

      I have to agree with you at this. I bought a chrome book, and they had no authoritive date for release. They so it on everything and it makes me never want to buy another product of theirs again.

  • rap

    Some of this makes sense although change is always hard. Wondering how this is going to play with the Thunderbird client I use on the desktop.

    • Richard Wawrzyniak

      I suspect that desktop clients like thunderbird will just show all the emails in inbox as the new categories aren't normal labels so the clients won't see them.

  • RitishOemraw

    "We predicted this update would be announced today earlier in the week."
    You didnlt predict anything...the tipster 'predicted' it, not AP.

    Other than that.....hope to get the update on my phone sooner rather than later...else with staged rollouts I can expect a apk file on AP when it begins rolling? :D

  • Lorenz

    I think the picture with 4:20 clock shows the app on Android 4.2 . All the other screenshots with 4:30 are running on 4.3 . Look at the new clock size... Greets from Germany

    • mgamerz

      The overflow menu icon is also aligned a bit differently and the contact photos are different

  • Mn_1


    Like the "priority inbox", another grat idea for Gmail, that's cool!

  • jjrudey

    Glad you can at least turn the tabs off because they're really not useful for me.

  • Steve Freeman

    The (very) brief view of Gmail on on Android looks a lot less "busy" than the screenshot above. Hopefully whatever that crap is with the "Promotions 2 New", "Social 1 New", etc, isn't actually in the final product.

  • Sakshar Thakkar

    Nice...they don't wait for conferences to release cool features... Take a bow Google!

  • kstagg

    Upgraded SMS option for Android to be released simultaneously with new mobile Gmail app. See: http://goo.gl/bogus

  • spamfilter

    The email that the person checks on the android app (which happens to land at 4:30pm) says "Pick you up at 7?". Is that a reference to say, maybe, the 7th of June when 4.3 might drop? This is Google people, they love teasing.
    On the plus side, at least the phone is being held correctly and not upside down as some previous video has shown...

    • Thestig

      OR pick it up with the Nexus 7...

  • Leonid Podolny

    Right, Google's famous "few weeks". If I'm not mistaken, with Gingerbread for the N1 "few weeks" lasted from December to around June.

  • http://thedangerbrain.com/ Alfonso Surroca

    This is a glaring omission. How come the promo video shows the old Google Talk instead of Hangouts? I'm sure the video was produced beforehand, but omitting Hangouts seems like a huge mistake.

    • eilegz

      prefer gtalk over hangouts.... unless they add invisible mode

      • Darkbotic


        • DeadSOL


          • Walkop


      • http://thedangerbrain.com/ Alfonso Surroca

        All I want is the online status bar in the app. Aside from that, I'm actually glad they removed invisible mode. I've been enjoying messaging a lot more now that I'm always out in the open and available.

    • Lupe Fiasco

      One thing I noticed other than that is that the UI looks different from what it previously looked like. The design in the picture you show looks more flat.

  • Matthew Fry

    AAAHHH! I want it NAO!

  • MeCampbell30

    I see google has the grammar police review before publishing. I want that job!

    Edit: This is in reference to the poor grammar displayed on the leaked photos.

  • http://googleplus.VoluntaryMan.com/ William Thieme

    oh no why did someone photoshop that clock lol

  • mgamerz

    Am I the only one who noticed the new contact background that doesn't have a photo?

  • leo Finn

    If the Gmail update is like the hangout feature and you can't wait for the roll out just in install the Gmail app and reinstall from the play store it should install the new app.

  • ThomasMoneyhon

    need apk. asap.

  • Tommeh

    My sort? Spam folder

  • NF

    It's kind of disappointing that I have all my email accounts managed on a local client. Then I don't get the awesome features.

  • Ramiro Fernandez

    She purchased lindy hop heels, but then the video clearly showed a couple doing charlston. Ha, I hope someone got fired over that blunder...

  • skeeterfood

    Why can't Google provide an updated Gmail for pre 4.0 devices? All their other apps have been getting updates with the new sidebar and other niceties, while Gmail on my Android 2.3.7 device is ancient CRAP. I'm sure iOS will get the new design, while those of us with Google devices prior to 4.0 are left out.

    I lose my $25/month Virgin Mobile rate if I upgrade devices and I'm stuck in a place I can't use my phone during the workday, so I just can't justify upgrading my phone at the moment. I also have an N7, so it really bothers me that Gmail is not consistent across my devices.

  • Yalla Tschikowski

    Why do the regular screenshots on the play store have 4:20 as time , but in the video its 4:30 ?

    Something is happening...

  • wollac11

    Anyone else think an additional potential reason for the "in a few weeks" business is because they want to launch the new Gmail app alongside Android 4.3 and don't want to give us the set release date for that just yet because they are yet to announce it formally?

  • chisao101

    This update sucks. Can't select multiple emails for deletion anymore, and what is the deal with these big blocks with the first letter of the sender? Moronic.

  • Alvin Brinson

    Looks like Google turned Gingerbread users out to the cold on this update. No update has shown up in the market for several days, so I downloaded the APK... Parsing error. Hey Google, here's MY BIG MIDDLE FINGER!...

    (yes, I know all the comments are gonna be like "hey loosah, gingerbread's old upgrade yer phone", but it is still the MOST WIDELY USED version of Android... In the world. And not all of us can afford to upgrade on a 6 months cycle).

  • dc architect

    but i still can sort my mail by "from" or "subject" ....who cares about tabs!

  • Cameron

    I hate it I have made so many mistakes today emailing and want it back to the way it was. or at least allow me to sync, select and delete multiple messages.