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.

Jessica Dolcourt Senior Director, Commerce & Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
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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.