Five things I hate about the new Gmail for Android

Agh! They’ve “improved” Gmail again.

I’m not generally one of those who insists that every new change to my software is bad. I like to at least entertain the idea that developers have something good in mind. But just a cursory scan of the new Gmail application tells me my productivity just went to shit on mobile.

5. Icons? Is that what we’re calling them?

Each email now shows an “icon” to the right. In a perfect world, where everybody is using Google Plus like Google would like them too, there would be an image of the sender and receiver. In this world, what I end up with is a bunch of pics of me and colored blocks with the last name of the sender.

I know what I look like. Why do I need a picture of me?

4. Check box? What’s a check box?

Remember those handy checkboxes to the left of every message? You know, the ones you used to check to perform actions on a series of messages on? Like tagging, archiving or deleting?

Yeah, those are gone. Replaced by the fucking icons. And as for deleting…

3. Where the hell is my delete icon??

It has seemed, for the last year or so, like Google is trying to force me to keep every email. Slowly but surely, they are eliminating my ability to delete my email. Why the hell do I want to keep my crappy spam emails?

At one point, the status bar on Android had a handy function: when new email came in, you could just tap an icon in the drop down menu to delete it. No need to read it. No need to open your inbox. Now that function has been changed to “archive.” You cannot delete from there.

Now with the new upgrade of Gmail, not only is the checkbox I normally use to mass delete emails gone, but if you open the email and look… there’s no delete option, there, either. If you click the context menu from within an email, then and only then can you delete.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Google wants to keep your emails for the same reason Facebook wants to keep every message you thought you’d deleted: advertising data. But rather than get caught the way Facebook did, they figure they’ll just let you know up front that they’re not letting you get rid of anything.

2. No seriously: why do I need a picture of myself??

Ok, I still can’t get over this one. Why do I need to see an image of myself?

1. I’m color blind, assholes

When, oh when, will Google become standards compliant with accessibility? Their insistence on color coding everything is a clear violation of that concept. The icons that don’t include an image of the sender are all different colors. Fine of those colors are blue or yellow, but am I meant to differentiate between brown and brown? Because that’s what red and green look like to those of us with color blindness.

I am a man of peace and I abhor unnecessary rancor on the Internet. I try so hard to stay calm in the face of a tumultuous world, and I rely on my tools to aid me. Google has gone after my Achille’s heel and is forcing me to respond.

It is therefore with deep regret that announce that I feel compelled to create the most powerful tool available in the social media landscape in order to deal with this. That’s right, people. I’m going to create a “Change Gmail Back” Facebook Page and bring the multi-colored giant to its quivering needs.

Pray for them.