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Google announced on Thursday that Gmail’s new compose window feature will become the default option for users, and that it will do away with the old compose option soon thereafter. With the recent termination of Reader Google Reader's End Is Nigh: Prepare With These Alternative RSS Readers Google Reader's End Is Nigh: Prepare With These Alternative RSS Readers Google Reader is dead. By July the Internet's premier RSS service is shutting down forever, leaving users to find a replacement on their own. If you're looking for an equivalent to Google these are just... Read More , Google has already been in the doghouse for some technology users, and if you’re not a fan of the new compose, this is yet another feature you’re going to have to give up on.

If you haven’t noticed any changes to your Gmail account yet, this is due to the update tolling out over the “next few days”, but you will soon find that you’ve been switched to the new compose, whether you chose to or not. The new compose window will eventually be the only option for users to write email, but for the time being, you can switch back to the old compose experience.

Launched in October 2012, the new compose window allows users to create emails using an in-window pop-up while still viewing their inbox. This means users can write messages while reading the context of other emails, and can work on and minimize multiple drafts to the bottom of the browser’s window.

After looking at user feedback, Google added new features to this upgraded version. These features include the ability to send files with Google Drive, a new pop-out replies option, starring and labeling while composing a message, and support for the Canned Responses lab. The new compose feature also has a special function for replying to emails. As expected, it appears just below your email threads, but it scales down the content inside so you can easily see your recipients and email controls.

Google has already requested for user feedback on Google+, and replies include a fair mix of negative and positive responses. Likewise, we asked you about the new Gmail compose experience Are You Using Gmail's New Compose Experience? [MakeUseOf Poll] Are You Using Gmail's New Compose Experience? [MakeUseOf Poll] Read More in December, and back then, many of you were still unsure about it.

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Now that new compose is a default setting for Gmail, how do you feel about it? Do you think it is better or worse than the old version?

Source: Gmail Blog

  1. henricus deiters
    August 21, 2013 at 10:50 am

    i find this new feature quit confusing and unpractical to use
    the programmers should go for a more simple userfriendly version close to the old version...

  2. JacobC
    August 14, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Like most people, I HATE the new compose feature. It will eliminate all business use of Gmail and leave only 12-year-olds who have nothing relevant to say. It perpetuates the myth of multitasking; no one, ever, does multiple things at once very efficiently. The tiny compose box (even in so-called "fullscreen" mode) looks incredibly unprofessional and is ridiculously unwieldy for business communication. If Google wants only to market to children, it will soon discover that millions of its users are not children, as they migrate to more business-friendly services.

  3. john
    August 13, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    I hate the new compose experience. Funny how people who are soooo loud about freedom and choice will then make something like this mandatory. Why not offer the option to use the "new reply / compose experience," rather than forcing us to use it?

    Now I have to look around and find a new email provider...maybe go back to Yahoo. Can't stand the stuff that Google's doing...

  4. Greg
    August 13, 2013 at 9:11 pm


    I tried this in beta, but got frustrated and returned to the "old" way...

    Then I tried it when it was under general release, but got frustrated AND returned to the "old" way...

    Now they are FORCING me to change, and I'm not happy.

    Google, you suck!

  5. James Lampert
    July 18, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    So far as I can determine, it does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to address the worst problems with GMail's web interface, and only makes them worse:

    To wit: GMail makes it difficult (indeed, damn near impossible) to be certain of how much quoted text you're including, especially on a tablet; it damn-near FORCES you to top-post (which is considered EXTREMELY rude in some circles); it makes it difficult to be certain you're sending pure text (HTML is for web pages, NOT for email; HTML email is EVIL).

  6. Roger
    May 12, 2013 at 1:09 am

    I hate it actually...enough to where I'm actually contemplating switching my main email over to another source like Yahoo (scary thought, I know). I wish they'd make 'improvements' like this optional and not mandatory. Let people have the choice of which setup they like best. Yahoo did something like this recently as well, but they did give people the option of using the version they liked best. You'd think that Google would be ahead of Yahoo in their thinking on the subject, but they're certainly not on this one.

  7. Google Arrogance
    April 25, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    It's really very simple, just because software CAN be changed, doesn't mean it should be AND (1) PRESERVE FAMILIARITY (i.e. stop changing things all around every 14 months) and (2) CODE *OPTIONS* FOR PEOPLE TO KEEP IT THE WAY IT IS IF THEY WANT instead of the "new" (i.e. worse) forced way. Sure, everyone "uses" the "new" way BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO due to time limitations. If the "new" UI was TURNED OFF BY DEFAULT no one would use it. What does that tell you. Where's the choice. Where's the end-user respect.

  8. Julian Altshul
    April 1, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    I really dislike the new compose window - I kept using the old one till the bitter end.

  9. Matt Mar
    April 1, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    it's awful! seriously what's wrong with the big companies they just destroy their products after getting in the top.

  10. Google has jumped the shark
    April 1, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Why would I need to see the old post when I'm REPLYING INLINE TO IT? Oh wait, the new compose doesn't let you do that. Why is Google so arrogantly dismissive of their users lately?

    • dragonmouth
      April 1, 2013 at 6:00 pm

      "Why is Google so arrogantly dismissive of their users lately?"

      Because Google has gotten so big that it does not have worry about its users anymore.

  11. suzanne williams
    April 1, 2013 at 8:47 am

    I find the new compose feature is much more clean and logging into the upgraded account provides you the option of multitasking but making it as a default settings may not be worth enough.

  12. Michael W
    April 1, 2013 at 6:22 am

    I tried the new compose window in beta, and I really liked it. I don't even remember the old window. My only issue with the new window is that all the options are somewhat more hidden and harder to access than before.

    I wish they had a button that expands all the options bars to what they were previously. For most things, I don't need to see all the formatting options, but I think this goes a little too far.

  13. Nicolas Large
    March 31, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    I already hate this new compose window. Why everybody (Facebook, Gmail,MS Office, MS Windows ...) changes louyout, menus, windows, GUIs? It worked fine so far and the previous Gmail compose interface was great. It was easy to format text now you have to click on the menu and find your formatting.
    I hate when it's TOO simplified because then everything is hidden and you'll spend your time looking for the option you want.
    The Reader was a great option too. That really sucks. I'm a reasearcher and I was using it to track the new scientific articles just published. I need to find out a new way to do it.

    In one word, Google gonna loose people if they continue doing this kind of things.
    In the end it's all a question of money.

  14. A&L
    March 31, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    I've had gmail for a few years but only use it through thunderbird, i'd probably be lost if i used web gmail. Sometimes i think google just treats it's users as testers, but never listens to their feed back

  15. Srinivas Gollapudi
    March 31, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    It is their product. Even though they are courteous enough to ask for opinions, they anyway go ahead with the changes they desire and impose them upon us (Refer to Google Reader). The only thing we can do is either adapt or migrate.?

    • dragonmouth
      April 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      Would you be so sanguine about changes if the makers of everyday items started to change them around? After all those are their products. What would you say if the windshield wiper control was on the passenger side of the dash? What if all the controls on your cell phone were rearranged? Would you still be so understanding?

      Microsoft has been ramming their vision of how things "should be" down our throats for decades. They've been changing file formats every few years so that Office files created in 1995 cannot be read by Office in 2000, or 2005, or 2013. I guess you approve of that because, according to you, Office is a MS product and they can do with it what they want.

      • Srinivas G
        April 1, 2013 at 1:24 pm

        1) I was being sarcastic, probably in your words - 'sanguine sarcasm'.

        2) What's wrong with my last statement? Can you or did you even try to undo what Microsoft has done? People do resist change, but large corporations do what they want. That's the way. Atleast, the American way! Can you stop Google from shutting Reader down (if you do, I shall bow to you)? Have you not migrated to another service? More than half a million people who have joined feedly after the announcement support my argument (without even knowing they are!). You adjust, or choose an alternative (includes rolling your own feed reader service).

        3) Thank you. :)

        • dragonmouth
          April 1, 2013 at 5:57 pm

          Sarcasm does not across too well in print. :)

  16. macwitty
    March 31, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    TGF Postbox!

  17. dragonmouth
    March 31, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    "This means users can write messages while reading the context of other emails"

    If you don't mind constantly minimizing/maximizing the message box. The new pop up is a PITA. It is rooted in the lower right corner and if it overlays any text it has to be minimized to read the text, then maximized to write message, then minimized to read more of text, then nauseam.

    Did Google do any user surveys prior to releasing this garbage, or did they just decide that since it is very annoying, they will make it a default?

  18. Albert Llado
    March 31, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    I've been using it since it was available and I like it. It is highly useful to be able to write while having your other mail info at a glance.

  19. Garris Rago
    March 31, 2013 at 11:30 am

    This is one of the things I hated when it came out (when it was optional) but it has grown on me. I like it because you can have your email up in the background whilst you write a new one, yeah, I believe it will catch on after a while.
    This was the same for me when google changed gmail to what it is now, you know, without the big buttons for delete and stuff.

    Not to sound like a sod, but I do wish some thing would stop changing. Facebook, gmail, and youtube seem to always have to change when they have thought of a new design, when in reality the old one works fine. I mean, change can be a great thing - I liked it when Facebook changed with cover photos, but I just think websites are too quick to change things.

  20. Scott M
    March 31, 2013 at 11:00 am

    I enjoy the change.I find it a real improvement.

  21. Margaret
    March 31, 2013 at 9:26 am

    I hate it!!!!! it sucks!!! and i won't be using it.

  22. Valerie Shuttleworth
    March 31, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Great! ... now I can't even find out how to reply to an email using your new system. I clicked on "reply" as usual and all I got was a page offering me "help" - I still don't know how to reply to my mail. I know I'm no whizz kid, but I'm not unteachable either - if I could access some proper help.
    Sure I'd then enjoy the new "experience". Please do something more to help

  23. Nevzat A
    March 31, 2013 at 6:15 am

    I liked the new composer, no objection to that.

  24. Pratish Rao
    March 31, 2013 at 5:59 am

    dat thinking of composing mail is good idea as a shorcut or to be quick..

    but making it default is realy sumthing they should hav thought,:(

    • Packard Leonberger
      April 1, 2013 at 1:49 am

      Hard to take you serious. You really should have paid more attention in school.

      • Michael W
        April 1, 2013 at 6:17 am


        If you're going to grammar nazi, please do it correctly.

        And for all you know, English is not his first language. You are on the Internet, after all.

        • Pratish Rao
          April 1, 2013 at 12:00 pm

          ha ha ha.. thank u for your advice..
          but being used to chats n social networks.. cannot control that...
          this time i will surely wont do that... he he ha ...

        • Pratish Rao
          April 1, 2013 at 12:05 pm

          and I m good in english...
          also soory guys...
          i won't use such kind of grammar n text here.. atleast...

  25. harry waima
    March 31, 2013 at 5:48 am

    I thing its ok with the new system, replying while reading.

  26. Glenn
    March 31, 2013 at 2:50 am

    As long as the "old" Compose is available, I'll keep using it. If & when it goes away, I'll stick completely to Thunderbird (again).

    • Gordon
      March 31, 2013 at 5:14 am

      BCC option better as you do not duplicate email address' with the same first initials even though you choose another but still no easy access on your desktop to get your mail ? Many years ago you could get a a Red outlined envelope that opened Gmail accounts up easily !

      • Glenn
        March 31, 2013 at 6:00 am

        "Red outlined envelope"? Are you referring to Prism? If so, you can get pretty much the same thing by putting a typical browser shortcut on the desktop and giving it whatever icon you prefer, such as a red outlined envelope. I just think Thunderbird has a better interface than Gmail in every way regardless, and I don't have to worry about Google screwing it up.

  27. Alberto Lerma
    March 31, 2013 at 2:46 am

    I really hate it..

  28. Ashwin Ramesh
    March 31, 2013 at 1:24 am

    I guess I'll miss out on extensions like bananatag in the new compose :(

  29. AriesWarlock
    March 31, 2013 at 1:22 am

    Damnation. I am seriously consider going back to Outlook now with the death of Google Reader on top.

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