The Iterative Web App: Redesign of the Compose Page

Tuesday, April 13, 2010 | 2:35 PM

On April 7th 2009, we announced a new version of Gmail for mobile for iPhone and Android-powered devices. Among the improvements was a complete redesign of the web application's underlying code which allows us to more rapidly develop and release new features that users have been asking for, as explained in our first post. We'd like to introduce The Iterative Webapp, a series where we will continue to release features for Gmail for mobile. Today: Compose view redesign

You're on the subway and you get the brilliant idea to host a TV viewing party for your friends for the premier of Conan O'Brien's new show. You pull out your phone (or your iPad) and start typing names into the compose page at (Yes, it works on the subway.) You've added Naveed, Suzy and 7 others before you remember that Naveed made you eat grass at the last BBQ. You want to remove him from the list but his email address has scrolled way out of view. Argh! After some intense scrolling and lots of backspaces, you finally manage to get rid of Naveed's email address.

Enter our redesigned Compose page. It has new address fields that automatically expand to fit all the email addresses that you're entering, so you'll never have to worry about this type of problem again.
As always, when you start typing an name into the new compose view, you'll see possible contact choices in the autocomplete dropdown. When you select a contact from the autocomplete dropdown, only the person's name is entered into the address field. This saves screen space and won't leave you thinking "man, who is" when you're reviewing an email before sending.

Once you select a contact from the autocomplete menu, you'll also notice that the contact becomes an object that you can tap on. Tapping on a contact opens a detailed view that let's you double-check the person's email address or remove them from the email. Yes, this means you can remove an email address in two taps!

Some other nifty new features which will help you compose your emails faster:

  • Remove the contact you just added by tapping Backspace.
  • Press the '+' button to see your top contacts, or hide them by pressing the '–' button.
  • If for some reason autocomplete fails you and the person you are trying to reach is a Gmail user, just type their Gmail username and a comma, and we'll take care of the pesky @ sign and the rest (so [hikingfan] becomes [].)
  • The page now fills the entire screen, giving you more space to see what you're writing.

This update is available for Android, iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch devices. We always love to hear what you'd like to see next, so be sure to leave your feedback in our Help Forum or the Mobile Product Ideas page!

Happy composing!

Posted by Andra Adams, Software Engineer Intern, Google Mobile


Unknown said...

The new compose page looks very clean. Any chance that custom From: addresses enabled in the desktop web client will become accessible from the mobile site?

Ian said...

I would like to see work on the Android Gmail app. Why has it not been updated?!

Anand said...

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Unknown said...

If I'm writing in email in from my browser on the subway, what happens if I lose reception, in terms of autocomplete and actually sending the email?

Unknown said...

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Unknown said...

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Rob Alfieri said...

Why is it that Blackberry users continue to be left in the dust?

Marin said...

"Tapping on a contact opens a detailed view that let's you double-check the person's email address or remove them from the email."


P7 said...

Will they update Gmail client on Android like this too?

Peter said...

Apropos of the redesign of the compose page.This all looks fine and good, but where does one get it? No automatic updates in this respect have arrived on my highly valued little Nexus friend as yet and I can't make out from this news item on the blog as to where I can go to get them. Can somebody enlighten an aging non-geek? (I am presuming that "aging non-geek" does not fall into the category of "shameless self-promotion" as defined above. On the other hand I could be wrong. Hopefully not, however.)

YellowJacket said...

This is already exemplified in the WebOS email client. I guess Android is finally catching up.

When you want to delete a recipient, you re-select it, the original address gets highlighted and all other email addresses are displayed so you can either 1-backspace to delete the recipient or 2-select a different email for the recipient.

WebOS is soooo much better than Android. It's a functional OS rather than a toy OS.

Oh, let me go find my earth app so I can look at the

Philip Starkey said...

Please please please add support for multiple email addresses from the one account.

I have about 5 other email addresses all linked to the one gmail. If i send from one account to the other using my desktop computer, and then "reply" from my mobile using the new system, not only does it send from my default account, but also TO my default account.

You really need to add the ability to choose in the mobile webmail which account to send from and it should auto reply from the address an email was sent to (like the desktop client). Many people depend on being able to do this!

It would help if this was included in the android app too...

Unknown said...

agreed with yellow jacket but the hardware blows compared to the EVO which is why I am moving from pre to EVO and webos is a little bit better than android in some things but unfortunately the hardware isn't there and palm might be dead before we know it.

google should make this update for the web gmail on webos browser and does this support contact groups?

mp said...

Is there a way to display images in received messages in the webapp?

Am I totally missing something? I don't see a link/control to show images.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the update but I'm still crippled by the fact I can't choose From: address on the Droid app, both mobile versions, and the mobile desktop version. It's sad I have to rely on a 3rd party software to be able just to do this one function.

Unknown said...

Looks nice, but "+" signs is much to close to "Send" button.
I tap "Send" by mistake quite often!!!!