have 1.5 billion (to b! ) active Gmail users, which Google clearly sees as an exploitable asset. Maybe you’ve noticed: Google keeps populating the interface with buttons for other services.
The left sidebar on desktop and the bottom sidebar on mobile now have large buttons for Chat, Spaces, and Meetings, all three services that Google really wants you to start using.
A small sidebar with four buttons takes up a lot of space, seemingly just to remind Gmail users that Google offers video conferencing and chat services. On the mobile version it’s even worse, the chonkbar is always at the bottom of the screen. It’s cluttered, I’m tired of seeing it, and I don’t think I’m alone.
You could take this opportunity to replace Gmail with your privacy-first email provider, but I know not everyone wants to switch email addresses. With that in mind, here’s how to keep your Gmail address without looking at the clunky Gmail UI, or, if you prefer, hide the chonkbar so you can get back to Gmail.
try email client
It’s okay if you forget your email client – we all forget. It’s time to remember, though, because they’ll show you your emails that would otherwise get in your way. Here are a few that I like:
- On Apple devices, the default Mail app is clean, fast, and even blocks email tracking by default.
- On Windows, there is the default mail application, which is very clean and doesn’t get in your way.
- Outlook is so good now that it’s included if you’ve paid for Microsoft Office. The mobile version, in particular, is much cleaner than Gmail in many ways, and it’s also a very good calendar app.
- Thunderbird It’s still a very good open source email client for all desktop operating systems.
- canary is a clean, fast and secure email client for Windows, Android and Apple devices. You can choose to use the default Gmail keyboard shortcuts, which is important if you’re a long-time Gmail power user.
All of these apps make it easy to add a Gmail account after installation, so you can try a few and see what you like best. And everything is synced between those clients and Gmail, so you can use both for the time being if that helps.