Is Gmail Getting Too Complicated?

Google has upgraded Gmail to offer more apps and user friendly design. That’s how the company puts it. But there’s a groundswell of discontent among Gmail users who now say that clicking on the ‘New Gmail’ icon brings produces nothing but bells and whistles — and confusion.

Who’s right? That all depends on how much time a person wishes to spend getting acquainted with the new Gmail. First of all, Google has made it clear that those who don’t want to start over again with a new Gmail setup can stay with the old Gmail settings — for now. But such a ‘head in the sand’ approach is ultimately self-defeating; Google didn’t design their new Gmail to remain an option forever. At some point it will become the new standard, so the sooner people try it out and get used to it, the better off they will be when the old Gmail apps suddenly disappear from off the face of the earth.

Among other new things, there are now a raft of sidebars that will appear on your Gmail screen — including Google Calendar, Google Keep, and Google Task. For those who find these sidebars more distraction than help, it should be noted that while they pop up automatically they can just as easily be hidden with one simple click. In fact, all of the new features on Gmail can pretty much be hidden with a single click — making the new Gmail basically the old Gmail once a person has learned where to click to get rid of all the flashy new apps.

So, in effect, Google has created a new Gmail that basically lets people have their cake and eat it too. They can switch to the new Gmail and then hide everything associated with it until what’s left is basically the old Gmail.

The more things change, the more they stay the same . . .