Gmail redesigns its message window for Android, iPhone, iPad

An update to Gmail.com for Android and iPhone lets you quickly add, remove, and manage contacts in the compose screen.

Google is continuing the slow and steady march of improvements to its Android-, iPhone-, and now iPad-optimized site. On Tuesday, the company pushed out a handful of small changes to the way Gmail.com handles new messages.

Gmail.com compose window on iPhone, iPad, Android
An update to Gmail.com for Android and iPhone lets you quickly add, remove, and manage contacts in the compose screen. Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

The height of the address field now expands to accommodate the full list of added contacts, so you can view your recipient spread in a glance. Tap a contact name, and Gmail also gives you an escape hatch, a quick button for removing a a recipient you've suddenly thought better of including. Tapping the backspace also achieves the same end.

Then there are the buddy names themselves. If a contact's address pops up in the automated suggestions when you begin to type, selecting your pal shows only their name, not their entire address. As for other enhancements, a "plus" button surfaces your most-e-mailed contacts.

We've certified the new features as useful shortcuts, but here's our favorite trick: typing just your friend's Gmail name, followed by a comma. Google will fill in the rest on the backend.

We can't see ourselves using Gmail.com over a native e-mail app on mobile phones (the iPad may be a different story,) but the enhancements are certainly an improvement, and worth a try.

 

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