Gmail For Android Could Soon Get A Navigation Drawer

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The folks over on Android Police must have spent some of their time rewatching I/O videos. While they were doing that, they spotted a potential leak during the “Structure in Android App Design” session. In it, it seems, Google quietly leaked screenshots of what looks to be a revamped interface for the Gmail app.

If this turns out to be a real product, and the presentation sure made it look like that, the app could soon get a new navigation drawer that should make using it quite a bit easier – especially for those of us who like to use lots of labels in Gmail.

Currently, Google uses what it calls a “spinner,” the drop-down menu at the top of the screen you’ve probably seen in numerous Android apps. Instead, as Google’s Jens Nagel showed during his presentation, the new design would use a navigation drawer that users can pop out from the left side of the screen.

Here is what this would look like:

google_nav_drawer

It’s worth noting that Google showed a lot of mock-ups during this presentation. The Gmail screenshot looks pretty real, however. Google does typically vet these presentations ahead of time, so we will just have to wait and see if this is really a leak or just an example of what the Android team could do with navigation drawers in Gmail.

During the presentation, Google also showed a mock-up of what the Calendar app would look like with the new navigation drawer, but Jens Nagel explicitly noted that while they could use this as the main interface for Calendar, the sidebar does “look a bit underpopulated,” especially on a tablet. It would be odd for Google to use one interface paradigm for one of its main native Android apps and go with another one in the rest of its apps.

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Here is the full presentation. The discussion about the new Gmail interface starts about 23 minutes into the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=XpqyiBR0lJ4