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Google trials grid view for Gmail Promotions tab

Google has launched a beta for a new preview grid view in the Promotions tab of Gmail.

Google has launched a beta for a new preview grid view in the Promotions tab of Gmail.

(Credit: Google)

Gmail switched to a tabbed view last year, filing emails into separate categories, with Primary for all your direct correspondence, Social for emails from your social networks, and one tab called Promotions.

This last tab is where all your subscription emails go. Sign up for a newsletter or a website, its emails will go into the promotions tab. This is useful for keeping clutter out of your main inbox and allowing you to choose when to look at promotional emails — but it's probably safe to say that many users give it no more than a quick check now and then before going back to the Primary tab.

To help that cursory glance provide users with as much information as possible, Google has launched a new feature in beta. Called grid view, it shows your emails in an endless-scrolling grid layout, with images to relay the gist of the email, rather than a line of text.

"Promotional mail has a lot of images, from pictures of snazzy new shoes to photos of that rock-climbing gym you've been wanting to try," product manager Aaron Rothman wrote on the Gmail blog. "But right now, those images are buried inside your messages — and with only subject lines to go on, it can be a challenge to quickly pick out the deals and offers that interest you most. To help you find what you're looking for faster, you can now sign up for a new field trial for Gmail that lets you view the Promotions tab in a more visual way."

It hasn't rolled out universally yet, but you can register for the beta via the field trial sign-up page.

(Credit: Google)