More Changes From Google

Posted: June 18, 2013

Double Click

As I’ve said in the past, I used to be a fan of Google and Gmail, but their recent productions are questionable.

I have also written that with the demise of iGoogle, Google Reader and several other Google- and Gmail-related apps, I may not use their new products. While I still hold that thought, the question is: Who is Google’s replacement?

A few weeks ago, Google introduced a new Gmail User Interface. The old one wasn’t perfect, but it did work well. It wasn’t broken, so why did they have to mess with it?

Now, Gmail has a tabbed format. As it is gradually being introduced to millions of users, you can check to see if your account has changed by clicking click the Gear icon in the upper right corner, then “Configure Inbox,” while logged in. If you have that option, you can turn it on at your own risk. Since I arrange my email in folders and categories, I find the tabbed feature to be a real mess — it automatically moves emails where algorithms think they should go.

Google precedes the list with five features to know about the new inbox tools, which include:

Primary: Person-to-person conversations and messages that don’t appear in other tabs.

Social: Messages from social networks, media-sharing sites, online dating services and other social websites.

Promotions: Deals, offers and other marketing emails.

Updates: Personal, auto-generated updates, including confirmations, bills, receipts and statements.

Forums: Messages from online groups, discussion boards and mailing lists.

I don’t care for the new UI, and have returned to the original settings. It will shuffle your email to the new tabs, which may seem confusing and incorrect. However, it is a new feature, so it can become better with different versions.

If you have changed to the tabbed view and would like to restore the original settings, there are two things to do.

First, while logged in,  click the Gear icon in the upper right corner, select Configure Inbox and uncheck everything except “Primary.” To finish, click “Save.”

Then, check it has completed by returning to the Gear icon. Click “Settings,” then “Inbox.” Now, make sure the Inbox Type is set to “Default.” Only “Primary” should be checked; if others are, uncheck them.

If you check online for other opinions about the “new” Gmail, you will find people love it or hate it. Unfortunately, it appears to me the haters are the vast majority.

Contact Ron Doyle at

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