Google Unveils Revamped Gmail and Calendar Apps

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Google Unveils Revamped Gmail and Calendar Apps
Google is slowly rolling out updates to all of its apps with the new Material Design interface. On Monday, the company announced the new Gmail 5.0 and Calendar apps for Android devices.

While the new Gmail app will roll out over the "next few days" according to the company, the new Calendar app ships along with Android 5.0 Lollipop, starting Monday. The Gmail app will work on devices running Android 4.0 and higher, and the Calendar app with devices running Android 4.1 and higher once it rolls out to Google Play in the "coming weeks". The company is also working on an iPhone version of the updated Calendar app.

Along with the Material Design revamp of the Gmail app, the updated app incorporates support for all email providers - like Yahoo Mail, Outlook and more - using POP/ IMAP.

The Gmail app includes a lot of Material Design style changes including a convenient reply button at the bottom of every message for quick and easy conversations on the go, says Google. Also the new Gmail app for Android tablets features more convenient switching of accounts and the different inbox categories. Other changes include a new round compose button at the bottom of the currently open mailbox, a new send button, a new accounts menu, and new circular avatars for contacts, apart from new iconography.

While Google is yet to roll out the new Gmail app, a Google-signed apk via Android Police has been available since last week.

Emphasising the need to update the Calendar app, Google on its blog post said, "Calendars (like email) should do better-especially on phones and tablets-so we set out to build one that's always at your service."

The revamped Calendar app includes several enhancements, such as automatically creating events from Gmail emails, like flight and concert ticket bookings, hotel reservations, and so forth. Google says that these events will be updated in real time if there is a change, such as a follow-up mail regarding changes in flight timings.

For manual addition of events entry in the new Calender app, there a new feature called Assists, which works like a contextual auto-complete and suggests titles, people and places as typed. Finally, the Calendar app's new Schedule view gives more visual appeal to the app by including photos and maps of the event places.

"Your calendar is more than just a list of dates and times-it's your life! So Calendar's new Schedule view includes photos and maps of the places you're going, cityscapes of travel destinations, and illustrations of everyday events like dinner, drinks and yoga. These images will bring a little extra beauty to your day, and make it easy to see what's going on at a glance-perfect for when you're checking in from your phone or tablet," noted Ian Leader, Product Manager, Google, on the blog post.

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