Remove text labels from the bottom bar in Gmail for Android

The bottom bar was reduced in size shortly after Gmail received a Material You revamp on Android last year, and now Google is going even farther by deleting the informative labels.

The majority of Gmail for Android users have seen Mail, Chat, Spaces, and Meet labels beneath the bottom bar icons ever since the app’s launch. A few users had a text-free version, and this design is currently being used generally. With its pre-Material You design language, Gmail for iPad already demonstrates this visually.

The text label is viewed as optional by Material 3 guidelines for the navigation bar. Google does, however, advise that icon meaning should always be clear and available to all users. At this point, the majority of users of Gmail only use the first tab, which is more or less the situation.

The bottom bar, however, contravenes established standards in a different way. You must always utilize the higher, introduced by Material You, default height for navigation bars as a minimum. While theoretically you shouldn’t use a bottom bar if you only have two sections (three is the minimum), which is the default situation when Chat and Spaces are disabled, both bottom bar shrinks violate that advice.

Gmail Material You redesign
Gmail Material You bottom bar
Gmail bottom bar

In Gmail’s instance, you can see more of your inbox, which is usually appreciated, but the most recent vertical savings are incredibly little.

In the previous week, more people began to notice this change, but it has not yet been broadly implemented. It’s a server-side adjustment, and we can see it alongside the app (2022.08.07.x).

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