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Gmail for Android wants to ensure you quickly reply to all your emails

Google is testing a new UI that replaces the Reply button with a quick compose box, making it even easier to reply.
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Published onNovember 9, 2023

Gmail on smartphone and tablet stock photo 1
TL;DR
  • Gmail for Android is testing a new UI that replaces the reply buttons in the email view and adds a quick compose box.
  • This lets you quickly begin typing a response to an email as you read it.
  • This is a server-side change and, depending on feedback, may or may not roll out to all users.

Even though instant messaging apps have taken over the world, email continues to have its place in our lives. Not every message we receive needs to be read and replied to immediately; email works beautifully for that purpose. But more often than not, we also forget to reply to emails that we should have responded to when we read them. Gmail knows that’s a problem, so it is now testing ways to make it easier to send a reply right when you read the email.

As spotted by Android Police, Gmail for Android is testing a new message box that appears at the bottom of the email thread. This message box replaces the Reply, Reply All, and Forward buttons in the older UI of the app.

As you can see above, the buttons have given way to a message box. It looks a lot like an instant messaging app, which should appeal to people who have gotten used to such quick reply message boxes.

In the new UI, you can still click on the dropdown on the Reply button to change to Reply All or to edit the list of recipients. You can also click the expand button on the right to expand to a full-screen message compose window. When you begin typing, these UI elements drift above, getting out of your way to give you a longer text line. The emoji key also transitions into a Send button.

This new UI looks good for people who regularly forget to reply to emails, as it cuts down the steps needed to respond to one. It also allows people to reply to emails as they read through it, rather than relying on the quoted email in the reply screen on the older UI.

The report notes that this could be a server-side test on the Gmail for Android app. Being on the latest beta will not guarantee that you will see this change, but we reckon it will improve your odds. Between this and the Help Me Write feature, Google really wants you to just reply to your emails already.