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Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 12:45 pm PT (03:45 pm ET)

Google shows off updated Gmail layout, iOS app update to come soon

Google on Wednesday announced a sizable reworking of the interface behind its Gmail web client, one that introduces a new tabbed inbox interface that will soon make its way from the web to iPads and iPhones.



The major change in the new-look Gmail is the much larger focus on sorting mail. The webmail client now organizes mail in up to five tabs. One tab handles emails from friends, family members, and other non-sortable communications, while other tabs are reserved for social network communications, notifications, offers, and forum content.

The redesign may be an outgrowth of Google's acquisition of Sparrow, an Apple-centric developer that had a popular email client for both the iPhone and the Mac platform. Google brought the Sparrow team into the fold last year but didn't specify exactly what part of the Gmail experience they would be working on.

The new features should arrive on the iOS and Android versions of the Gmail app in the coming weeks, according to the Official Gmail Blog.

The search giant will be gradually rolling out the Gmail update in the near future. Users will have the option to return to the old Gmail interface should the new one prove unsatisfactory.